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Site Acquisition Program to reduce stress on housing market

Gov. Dan McKee, joined by legislative leaders, announced a $12 million initiative to address affordable housing in the state.

McKee was joined by RIHousing and housing advocates to announce the Site Acquisition Program. The initiative will be supported with State Fiscal Recovery Funds that will be put to work to acquire properties for redevelopment to reduce stress on the state’s housing market.

The initiative, according to a news release, will allow for nonprofit and for-profit developers, municipalities, and public housing officials to purchase land in order to kickstart projects to increase the affordable housing supply in the state.

“I’m excited to be able to provide yet another critical funding tool to help Rhode Island meet the housing needs of our residents,” McKee said in the release. “Ensuring that all Rhode Islanders have access to a safe and affordable home is critical to the success of Rhode Island families, our communities and our state.”

McKee filed and received approval last fall for a supplemental budget amendment to invest 10% of the state’s $1.13 billion in American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Funds back into the state’s families, workers, small businesses, and housing. The approved plan included $12 million for a property acquisition program.

“Simply put, the demand for affordable homes greatly outpaces the available supply in our state, which puts too many hard-working Rhode Islanders in a position of housing insecurity,” House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, D-Warwick, said in the release.

According to the release, the program will be administered by Rhode Island Housing and funding will be made available by a process that will be announced next week. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis while funding lasts.

According to the release, $1 million will be granted to selected projects and at least a 30-year deed restriction that would enforce affordability and income requirements on all properties assisted with SAP funds.

McKee has requested an additional $13 million in ARPA State Fiscal Recovery Funds as part of the proposed fiscal year 2023 budget for the program, which if approved by the General Assembly push investment in the program to $25 million.

This article was originally posted on Site Acquisition Program to reduce stress on housing market

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