Fall is off to a fantastic start here in Rhode Island! On September 6, in partnership with federal, state, and local officials, we broke ground for a new, mixed-use, affordable workforce housing development located on Ivy Street and Taunton Avenue in East Providence, called Ivy Place.
“Affordable housing has many favorable economic benefits. Research from Housing Works RI indicates that for every $1 invested in housing it will produce $16 in economic benefits”East Providence Waterfront Commission Chairman William Fazioli
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, never before has it been so difficult for Rhode Island residents to purchase a home. As housing prices statewide have hit a record high, East Providence in particular has seen a 44% increase in housing prices, with single family homes across the Ocean State averaging close to $310,000. Ivy Place, a part of the East Providence Waterfront Commission’s Taunton Avenue sub-district, will be, for many, a life changing housing development during one of the most critical financial times in our nation’s history. With East Providence boasting a long history of offering realistic homeownership opportunities, Ivy Place will simultaneously help alleviate the housing shortage while boosting economic opportunities in the area.
“We must act at every level of government to address the lack of housing stock. Ivy Place is a symbol of what we can achieve when we come together to ensure Rhode Islanders have the kind of quality, safe, and affordable homes they need — places where they can put down roots and strengthen neighborhoods.”Senator Jack Reed
“Ivy Place represents the smart and strategic investments we are making to lay the foundation for a bright future for our state and its families,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RI Housing. “Rhode Islanders need housing options they can afford and the new homeownership opportunities being created here will open the door to homeownership for families, help them build financial security, and contribute to the economic vitality of East Providence’s main commercial corridor.”
“This is a great day for our community and our state and federal partners who continue to work hard to provide affordable housing across the state. This new construction will contribute to the ongoing revitalization of one of the city’s main corridors, just feet away from City Hall and several local eateries and new small businesses.”Mayor Bob DaSilva
While the majority of the workforce housing units will be available to future homeowners who earn up to 80% of the area’s median income, three other market rate units will be sold to households that fall below 100%. Born of a June decision brokered between Gov. Dan McKee and Rhode Island Housing, where they announced $80 million in investments to preserve and create more than 800 affordable housing units in the state, (including Ivy Place), the 13 homes will serve East Providence and Rhode Island families earning from $44,000 to $79,000 annually. The sales prices will range from $135,000 to $295,000. Made possible with support from our federal, state and local delegation, Ivy Place will take Rhode Island one step further on the path to affordable housing recovery.
“We are proud to be partnering with so many public and private partners on this important affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization initiative,” said NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley Executive Director Joe Garlick. “They are truly a state leader,” Garlick added in reference to the City’s innovative land-use policies through its Waterfront District. “We appreciate their innovation and raise them up as a shining example of where other communities need to go to begin to tackle RI’s housing crisis.”
“There is still more work to be done, but this morning’s groundbreaking celebration is a testament to the progress the state has already made when it comes to strengthening our statewide housing stock. By offering new, permanent housing units as well as commercial retail space, the Ivy Place project will make a tangible difference in the East Providence community. I congratulate and thank the many leaders and advocates whose efforts made today’s celebration a reality, and I look forward to continuing the work of creating a more equitable housing future that benefits all Rhode Islanders.”Rhode Island Secretary of Housing Josh Saal
As NWBRV works over the coming months in partnership with Providence-based Demeter LLC., with architectural design by Union Studio Architecture & Community to develop Ivy Place, the funding will be supported by numerous sources–including the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Rhode Island Housing Investment Fund, East Providence Waterfront Commission, Federal Home Loan Bank Bank of Boston and BankRI. Ideally located, Ivy Place will be situated in the City’s central metro area, well served by RIPTA and within walking distance of both the City Hall and Weaver Library. The lot, which has sat vacant since 2008, will contribute to the continuous revitalization of a main East Providence commercial stretch. Joining other newly inhabited properties, including Café’ Zara, Ivy Place will be influential and instrumental in paving the way for new homeownership and economic opportunities in the state.
“Housing is one of our most basic needs, but we know that far too many struggle to access quality, healthy, and affordable homes. It is a serious problem that was exacerbated by the COVID pandemic and the resulting economic impacts. Recognizing the nationwide housing crisis, Congress made funds available through the American Rescue Plan and other COVID relief measures to not only respond to the immediate housing challenges created by the pandemic but also to support long-term growth and opportunity. Ivy Place, which will provide new, affordable homes in a new mixed-use community, is an example of how this funding will not only address the housing crisis in Rhode Island but also support good-paying jobs for hardworking Rhode Islanders as we invest in our communities future.”Congressman David Cicilline
NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who made this groundbreaking possible. Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman David Cicilline, Governor Dan McKee, Lt. Governor Sabina Matos, City of East Providence – Office of the Mayor DaSilva, Rhode Island Commerce Housing Secretary Josh Saal, RIHousing, LISC Rhode Island, Housing Network of Rhode Island, East Providence State Senators and Representatives, and all those who’ve invested time and energy in expanding access to affordable housing, we thank you!