Homes RI Statement Regarding Governor McKee’s FY23 Housing Proposals
As a multi-sector coalition of organizations focused on increasing the supply of safe, healthy and affordable homes across Rhode Island, Homes RI is pleased to see Governor Dan McKee’s proposal to invest $250 million of federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds into housing and homeless assistance. After decades of underinvestment in housing, this infusion of funds to support housing development, homeownership, and supports for people experiencing homelessness is welcome. We applaud the Governor and his team for sending a clear signal of the Administration’s commitment to help meet a vast need across the state.
This investment builds on progress the State made last year to advance production and preservation of long-term affordable homes through a voter-approved bond and dedicated funding stream. The proposed $250 million investment of ARP funds shows that Rhode Island leaders understand that housing is a priority of the people and communities across the state.
The American Rescue Plan funds are an extraordinary one-time opportunity to make impactful investments. In September, Homes RI released a proposal calling for a $500 million investment of ARP funds to produce, protect and preserve 2,500 long-term affordable homes, promote housing access and stability for the lowest-income Rhode Islanders, and support cities and towns with resources to increase capacity and improve conditions and quality of existing homes
We know that safe, healthy, and affordable homes are essential to Rhode Islanders’ quality of life, prosperity, and economic vibrancy. Rhode Islanders and the communities we live in will have housing and infrastructure needs beyond the lifetime of these funds. Governor McKee’s proposed housing package sets a strong foundation from which to make long-lasting, impactful investments and policy changes that will benefit Rhode Islanders now and in the future.
As State leaders make consequential budgetary decisions over the next several months, we urge the General Assembly to consider fully funding our collective recommended investments, crafted and supported by housing practitioners, health equity experts, philanthropic organizations, and importantly, community members, residents and voters living and working in Rhode Island. We ask State leaders to also think about long-term, sustained investments in housing that will be necessary for the prosperity of the State in decades to come — especially for Rhode Islanders with the lowest incomes.
We offer our support to this process and look forward to working with State leaders in the Administration and General Assembly to equitably address Rhode Islanders’ robust housing needs.