COVID-19 COLLECTIVE-IMPACT RESPONSE
Homes RI is a collective impact effort focused on increasing the supply of safe, healthy and affordable homes. The COVID pandemic presented unique challenges to our state’s housing ecosystem and amplified existing ones. Throughout the pandemic, Homes RI has acted as a hub of communication and collaboration for housing advocates, holding space for a coordinated response through weekly calls. Working as a collective allows us to bring a range of expertise and resources to each issue. Collaboration happens around analysis, policy design, advocacy, information sharing, and addressing direct service needs. Check our our COVID response policy documents below:
INCREASING FUNDING FOR HOUSING
Rhode Island currently has the lowest per-capita investment in affordable-housing production in New England. We are the only state in the region that does not have a sustained funding stream for producing homes. But previous advocacy efforts from current partners have yielded three bonds to fund new construction and preservation of long-term affordable homes. These bonds have generated a huge return on investment:
- More than 3,200 new and preserved long-term affordable homes
- Funds used in 34 Rhode Island cities and towns
- Over $650 million in additional investments
- 4,000 jobs statewide (HousingWorks RI, 2020).
When Rhode Island invests in affordable homes, the impact is powerful and bolsters all aspects of our economy. We continue to advocate for this proven benefit. In July of 2020, thanks to advocacy efforts of our partnership, housing has been placed as a central element of Governor Raimondo’s proposed economic recovery plan from COVID. The Housing and Infrastructure Bond, which the new proposal increases from $87.5 million to $310.5 million, includes a $40 million increase in the Housing and Community Revitalization Fund to help design, develop, or repair about 2,000 housing units statewide.
Civic engagement is essential to a thriving community. Voting centers the voice of Rhode Island’s residents. But the pandemic has made voting more less accessible for our neighbors. Community organizers in the Homes RI coalition have been collaborating to help inform residents on safe methods of voting and sharing resources for registering. Read more about voter engagement here.