2021 Legislative Wins
We would like to thank our partners and supporters who persistently advocated for legislation that would improve access to safe, decent, affordable homes.
We would also like to acknowledge the strong leadership of the Governor and RI General Assembly in propelling us toward these crucial legislative wins and thank them for prioritizing housing in their 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, firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-721-5680 x 38.
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.
- Dedicated Funding Stream to Build and Preserve Affordable Homes: The FY22 Budget includes a dedicated funding stream for long-term affordable housing production and preservation. The newly established housing production fund includes $25 million in “seed money” and will be funded annually by a portion of the real estate transfer tax on high-value residential properties. The fund also includes resources to provide technical assistance to cities and towns and incentives for housing production.
- Housing Opportunity Bond: This past spring, voters approved a $65 million bond for housing construction and renovation, property acquisition and community revitalization to improve availability and access to affordable homes.
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: Pay for Success is Rhode Island’s first social impact bond. The PFS Act authorizes a five year pilot to be administered by EOHHS and will provide housing and support services to 125 people who are chronically homeless and high users of emergency services. The program leverages $875,000 in HUD and Dept. of Justice grant funds and authorizes up to $1.5 million a year or six million over the five year period.
- Fair Housing Practices Act: Signed into law by Governor Dan McKee in April, this act prohibits source of income discrimination in Rhode Island. Source of income (SOI) discrimination is when a person seeking housing is discriminated against because of the source of income they will be relying on to pay for their housing costs, such as Section 8, creating huge barriers to accessing safe, healthy homes. This is a major win for Rhode Islanders, especially those families and individuals who rely on housing vouchers because they are routinely turned away by landlords who do not wish to accept government assistance as a means of payment. The City of Providence also passed its own ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on source of income just prior to the passage of the state legislation. Rhode Island joined 15 states and Washington DC as well as 99 counties and municipalities with similar legislation at the time of passage. Learn more about the SOI law here.
Language Correction to Real Estate Conveyance Tax: The FY22 Budget includes a language correction to the real estate conveyance tax that ends double taxation on affordable housing developments. This fix improves the effectiveness of our previous and current investments, as well as the financial stability of housing developments with limited rental income.
Check back for updates on our 2022 Legislative Agenda.