Governor Dan McKee, RIHousing, Amos House, and the RI Association of Realtors announced a new landlord challenge Monday to provide permanent housing for over 150 households who have been experiencing homelessness and staying in hotel shelters since the onset of the pandemic.
“A lack of housing is one of the most critical challenges facing too many Rhode Islanders – and the rapid decline of available affordable units over recent years has only exacerbated this crisis,” said Governor McKee. “We have neighbors currently in hotel shelters who need to be re-housed, and this program will help meet that important need.”
“I’ve repeatedly said that the best remedy for homelessness is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “This program will provide homes to neighbors who are at risk of ending up in shelter systems, or worse, on our streets. I am happy that we are working collaboratively with housing providers to tackle this issue.”
Building off of a successful program launched in 2020, participating landlords across Rhode Island will be given incentives to provide available units to support this urgent housing need.
“While many Rhode Islanders have felt the direct effects of the housing crunch, families and individuals experiencing homelessness have faced additional barriers to finding safe and secure housing during the pandemic,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Housing Josh Saal. “Landlords are critical to our housing ecosystem, and with this program we call on them to help build a stronger housing future for those Rhode Islanders who are currently experiencing homelessness.”
All participating units must be available, safe and habitable. Landlords will receive a $3,000 signing bonus for the first unit signed on for a one year lease and $1,000 for each additional unit. Up to $3,000 per unit is available for reimbursement of necessary repairs. The program, when possible, will provide guaranteed rent for up to one year.
“We’ve seen firsthand the devastating impact our state’s lack of units has had on individuals and families throughout this pandemic,” said Eileen Hayes, president and CEO of Amos House. “As the non-profit organization running the landlord incentives for this program, we hope to engage landlords across the state and help demonstrate the value of participating.”
“Families are in need in every part of our state – we want to see families stay in the communities they know and love,” said Philip Tedesco, CEO of RI Association of Realtors. “With our wide network of realtors statewide, we hope to engage more properties to participate in this program to support the immediate need of safe, available housing units. This program is mutually beneficial for landlords and for those in need of housing.”
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