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Legislative Agenda

2020 Legislative Agenda

Our annual legislative agenda is developed by the Policy & Advocacy Working Group and approved by the Homes RI Steering Committee. It aligns with our Policy Priorities and Framework. For more information about our 2020 Legislative Agenda, contact Melina Lodge, mlodge@housingnetworkri.org or 401-721-5680 x 36.

Invest to Build and Preserve Safe, Healthy and Affordable Homes

In order to ensure that all Rhode Islanders live in healthy, safe, and affordable homes in thriving communities, and to realize the multitude of economic benefits – including cost savings – that such homes create, we must commit to making serious investments to increase the supply and preservation of long-term affordable homes.

  • A permanent funding source of at least $8 million per year to support the production and operation of rental housing serving households at or below 60% AMI.  These funds would serve as gap financing for the construction of new units and would make available project-based rental assistance to serve extremely low-income households.
  • A permanent funding source of at least $4 million per year to support the preservation of expiring affordable units. This would ensure a source for much needed capital improvements and reinvestment to renew the term of affordability on developments that are at risk of expiration. 
  • A bond referendum in 2020 of at least $25 million to re-fund the Building Homes Rhode Island program administered by the Housing Resources Commission. Funds would be available over a 2-year period.

Remove Barriers to Accessing Safe, Healthy and Affordable Homes

We support removing legal, administrative, regulatory, and economic barriers to accessing quality housing.

  • Pay for Success: A social impact bond that would bring tangible housing resources and realize long-term savings for RI. Pay for Success would create 125 Permanent Supportive Housing vouchers to house our most vulnerable neighbors. 
  • Fair Housing Practices:  Rhode Island is the only New England state besides New Hampshire that does not prohibit discrimination based on a tenant’s source of income. Source of income protection for Rhode Islanders would reduce barriers to accessing existing units for Rhode Island renters. State funding is necessary for outreach, education and enforcement.
  • Residential Landlord and Tenant Act: De-stigmatizing eviction histories for Rhode Islanders by sealing court files in eviction cases in which the case is dismissed or the tenant is not found at fault would protect tenants from retaliation and reduce barriers to accessing new housing opportunities.
  • Language Correction to Real Estate Conveyance Tax: At present, affordable housing developments are subjected to taxation on transactions that do not constitute real estate transfers. The language correction would improve the effectiveness of our previous and current investments, as well as the financial stability of housing developments with limited rental income.  

Together, we can work to ensure all Rhode Islanders live in safe, healthy, affordable homes.