“The Ordinance Amending Chapter 13, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Providence, Entitled: “Housing” to add article VII- “Security In Housing Development for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities” will provide necessary security measures all residents deserve. Although the Council decided to table the legislation, I will continue my commitment to ensure all residents of marginalized communities are safe and protected in their homes. I am disappointed in the Providence Housing Authority’s unwillingness to implement basic security measures that keep elderly and persons with disabilities safe. I look forward to working with the City Solicitor and City Council staff to continue this fight to hold landlords and developers accountable for the safety and wellbeing of their residents,” said Councilor David Salvatore (Ward 14).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Councilor David Salvatore (Ward 14) is asking residents with security systems to closely monitor the mail, after a staffing shortage and technical issue halted the release of February’s annual registration forms. After hearing from constituents, Councilor Salvatore learned that the issues generated $100 late fees for some residents.
Each year, residents with security alarms are asked to pay $10 to have their systems registered with the Providence Police Department. Failure to do so results in a $100 fine.
If you received a fine from the City of Providence, but not a renewal request, you can file an appeal here. When prompted for a reason, enter “renewal notice received at the same time as the late fine.”
All fees related to late renewal notices will be waived immediately. For additional resources or help, call 401-680-5582.
“It’s vital for residents to check in with the elderly or vulnerable to make sure they can resolve this issue in a timely manner. We also want to make sure no one is being asked to pay a fine for something out of their control,” said Councilor Salvatore, “I will also be reviewing the Ordinance regarding alarm registration and enforcement to see if these seemingly excessive fees are truly the best way to ensure alarms are being used responsibly.”
• Council President John Igliozzi issues unprecedented address and calls for an independent audit to oversee the disbursement of $124 million in federal relief funds
• Council calls on RI DOT to reduce the speed limit on Allens Ave to 25 mph
• Council calls on Providence Housing to stimulate more affordable housing
• A final ordinance passed prohibiting the storage of liquid propane gas (LPG) in the city
• Councilors call on the administration to hire a consultant to understand the true status of all city-owned real estate for the possibility of developing affordable housing or other public services
Providence, RI – At tonight’s Providence City Council meeting, President John Igliozzi (Ward 7) set a serious and circumspect agenda for 2022, which includes holding the line on taxes, supporting police and public safety, as well as the importance of the once in a decade legislative process involving the Charter Review Commission and Ward Boundaries Committee. COVID-19 has decimated Providence’s restaurants, hotels, and small locally owned businesses. Many folks have lost jobs and cannot find housing. The city has an enormous responsibility of dispersing $124 million in American Rescue Plant Act recovery funds. “That is why, as part of the ARPA budget, I will be recommending the Council retain the services of an independent auditor to track, monitor, and prepare bi-weekly reports on ARPA expenditures. This will allow the Council and the public to monitor the progress of every ARPA dollar,” said Igliozzi.
Liquid Propane Gas
The City Council passed President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal’s (Ward 10) ordinance prohibiting the storage of Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) in Providence. This legislation comes after Pro Tempore Espinal and community activists continued to advocate to stop outside corporations from increasing the storage of highly combustible LPG in the Port of Providence. While Liquid Natural Gas has long been prohibited in Providence due to its high risk of combusting, Espinal has led the effort to broaden this prohibition to Liquid Propane Gas. “Tonight’s ordinance is a big win for protecting the environment and neighborhoods in the Port of Providence. The families of South Providence have too often gotten the short end of the stick as an environmentally harmful industry is allowed to freely expand in their back yards. This ordinance puts Providence residents first and takes a stand against environmentally harmful business practices. I am grateful to my council colleagues and the many tireless community advocates who have joined me in the continued fight for public health, and environmental protection in our city,” said Espinal.
Councilwoman and Finance Committee Chair Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) introduced and passed a resolution, that calls on the Providence Housing Authority to act with urgency and maximize its allocation of Project-Based Vouchers (PBV) to promote the development of affordable housing in the capital city. The 2001 federal housing law allows public housing agencies like the PHA to convert up to 20% of their Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) portfolios to Project-Based Vouchers. What’s the difference? HCVs travel with the family, commonly in one-off privately owned units. PBVs stay rooted in Providence and when coupled with other housing assistance resources, provide critical gap financing to otherwise unsustainable affordable housing developments. “The PHA is underutilizing this critical tool which creates affordable housing for disabled, elderly, and low-income households. Only 100 Project-Based Vouchers exist under the PHA. That’s about 4% of its portfolio and far too low. The PHA has a long way to go to stimulate construction and service the needs of residents looking for a place to call home,” said Ryan.
Tonight, Councilor David Salvatore (Ward 14) and the City Council passed resolution 35044, calling for the detailed analysis of all city-owned real estate, to identify possible areas to develop affordable housing. In September of 2020, the Council requested a list of all real estate owned by the city and the Providence Redevelopment Agency (PRA). Initial estimates show more than 150 city-owned vacant lots. “Right now, our city is seeing an unprecedented need for affordable housing. Through this resolution, and the assessments of our real estate, we can begin to utilize untapped resources to bring housing to the people of Providence,” said Councilman Salvatore. “I am excited to begin exploring potential avenues for dynamic and much-needed development of these otherwise unutilized parcels and buildings.” The Council is now calling for immediate site assessments of all real estate owned by the PRA and the city.
Councilwoman Nirva R. LaFortune (Ward 3), Council President Pro Tempore Pedro Espinal (Ward 10), Majority Leader James Taylor (Ward 8), Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci Jr. (Ward 4), Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11), Majority Whip Carmen Castillo (Ward 9), Councilor David Salvatore (Ward 14), Councilwoman Helen Anthony (Ward 2), Councilwoman Kat Kerwin (Ward 12), and Councilman John Goncalves (Ward 1), penned a letter to Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee regarding the state’s response to the recent uptick in cases of COVID-19.
Providence City Councilor David Salvatore and the Providence City Council are seeking applicants for the new Green and Complete Streets Advisory Council. The deadline to apply is Monday November 8th, 2021. Interested individuals may click here to apply: https://bit.ly/3nvMPHK.
The Green and Complete Streets ordinance was passed by the City Council in July 2021. Community advocates including AARP Rhode Island, the American Heart Association, Grow Smart Rhode Island, the Providence Streets Coalition, and WalkPVD, were consulted in the drafting of the ordinance to highlight significant concerns in Providence’s street infrastructure. The ordinance calls for the creation of an advisory council that will be responsible for making recommendations regarding roadway improvement projects that fall under the Green and Complete Street initiative.
“Green and complete streets will not only improve how residents and visitors move through our city, but will also add important quality of life enhancements. We are calling on our Providence residents to join the conversation and share their valuable input as Advisory Council members as we move forward with the implementation of this initiative,” stated Councilor Salvatore.
Green and Complete streets mean streets that are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. The design guidelines ensure that pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities can safely move along and across a street.
“The quality of roads in our neighborhoods are a key factor in the quality of life for pedestrians, drivers and bikers alike. Anyone who uses our city streets must feel safe doing so. Safety, accessibility and resiliency are what will push our city forward as we work towards a livable and sustainable future,” added the councilor.
Residents with expertise in civil engineering, architecture, city planning and environmental sustainability are especially needed on the advisory council. Older individuals and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Council advisors will serve in two-year terms.
I would like to extend my appreciation to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) for their efforts to consult with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regarding South Water Street. Additionally, I want to sincerely thank the FHWA for their review and for not implementing any penalties against the City of Providence.
Though the FHWA will not be involved in any further discussion or proceedings regarding South Water Street, I commend RIDOT for their diligence as we work collaboratively towards solutions on this issue.
Moving forward, I remain committed to collaborating with businesses, developers or any other parties who are concerned about South Water Street. Most importantly, however, I will continue to advocate for the residents and constituents of our neighborhood and city who have supported these critical multimodal infrastructure plans as a way to calm traffic along the waterfront and ultimately improve quality of life in our ward.