Committee on Ordinances Approves Affordable Housing Trust

Tonight the Council’s Committee on Ordinance voted to recommend for approval an ordinance which would authorize the appropriation of funds to the Providence Housing Trust. The ordinance will be sent to the full Council for vote and passage.
“This is an important and meaningful milestone for this Council,” stated Council President Sabina Matos. “As I assembled my leadership team, I did so with the knowledge that one of the first things we would tackle is creating a dedicated funding source for affordable housing and this is a step in that direction. I thank Majority Leader and Chairwoman Ryan, Mayor Elorza, and Sam Budway from the Providence Redevelopment Agency for helping bring this to fruition so quickly.”
Mayor Jorge O. Elorza stated, “Expanding access to safe and affordable housing has been a top priority for my Administration because it is a key element for creating stronger, more vibrant neighborhoods in Providence. We are in support of this appropriation of funds for a housing trust as it aligns with a comprehensive housing strategy we are developing to support those most vulnerable in our capital city. We remain committed to continuously exploring collaborative and creative approaches that can help us tackle the housing challenges that our residents feel in our communities.”
Majority Leader and Chairwoman of the Committee on Ordinance Jo-Ann Ryan added, “I am grateful to the members of our Committee who helped shepherd this important piece of legislation through. Housing is the cornerstone of our economy, and the housing shortage here in Providence is real. I believe that this Trust is a big step forward in our goal for more affordable housing in our city.”
The ordinance directs the City Tax Collector to transfer and deposit 10% of all funds collected annually by tax stabilization agreements from the current tax year going forward into the Affordable Housing Trust. The Trust will be managed by the Providence Redevelopment Agency, who will develop rules and regulations around the Trust’s implementation.
“This is the first step in creating a mechanism in which to help fund affordable housing in our city,” stated Councilman Luis A. Aponte. “The Trust creates a direct connection between large developments downtown and the ability to develop much-needed affordable housing in other parts of our city. It is an economic tax policy that will not only create new affordable housing units but will also work to preserve units we already have.”
Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris echoed Councilman Aponte’s remarks and added, “I have been working for years to help provide for families in need in our city, and the greatest need among them is a safe place to live. Every person deserves to live in dignity, and finding an affordable property for lower-income families is becoming increasingly difficult, and I believe this fund will help create and preserve the much-needed units to serve all those that need them.”
The Council will take its vote on this ordinance at the first meeting in July, scheduled for Monday, July 8.
All ordinances require two passes by the full Council before it is passed into law.
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