Rhode Island & The American Rescue Plan
Housing Stability for Rhode Islanders (September 2021)
Recommended Priorities for Investing American Rescue Plan Funds
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides an extraordinary opportunity for federal investment to help states and localities respond to the coronavirus public health emergency and help redress its devastating economic effects. The ARP Act, otherwise known as the COVID-19 Stimulus Plan, was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 21, 2021. The package is intended to help states recover economic and health effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The State of Rhode Island received a total of $1.1 billion in ARP State Fiscal Recovery Funds, intended to “provide substantial flexibility for each government to meet local needs—including support for households, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers, and the communities hardest hit by the crisis. These funds can also be used to make necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure..” as told by the U.S. Department of Treasury, highlighting the flexibility of uses of these funds to meet local housing and health needs.
Our Recommendations for Housing Investments
Over the past year, Homes RI advocated for State Leaders to make a substantial investment of American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery funds to improve housing stability for Rhode Islanders. On July 23rd, Governor Dan McKee signed a $13.6 billion FY23 budget, which included a $250 million investment of American Rescue Plan funds in affordable housing and homelessness. The $221 million in SFR funds allocated for housing in this budget (on top of $29 million approved in the RI Rebounds Act approved in January 2022) represent an historic level of investment providing critical financial resources for housing development, expanded homeownership opportunities, and support for people experiencing homelessness. We applaud the General Assembly for their leadership on housing this year, building on important initiatives enacted in 2021, such as the creation and seeding of the state’s first dedicated Housing Production Fund. Housing is an ongoing need that changes over time in response to population shifts, policy decisions, and levels of investment and we urge our State Leaders to remain steadfast in their commitment to addressing Rhode Island’s housing challenges by reducing barriers and making continued investments in development, preservation, and stabilization services.