House approves Rep. Corvese’s affordable housing bill
STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Arthur Corvese to provide better information to Rhode Islanders about where affordable housing is available.
The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, is part of House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi’s legislative package to help address the state’s housing crisis.
Representative Corvese’s bill (2022-H 7944A) requires the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation (RIHousing) to maintain an online affordable housing online database of low and moderate income housing units in the state, along with contact information for the rental or purchase of the units, linked to the application whenever possible. The bill requires the database to be accessible to the public by July 1, 2023.
“Rhode Island should be using every tool available to us to connect people with affordable housing. Making the search easier with technology just makes sense,” said Representative Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence). “Having one central database available to all for free will help those searching for housing find every unit that is available to them, while also helping landlords and developers fill openings quickly, preventing vacancy. There many challenges ahead of Rhode Island in addressing our housing crisis, and this is a step we can take relatively quickly to fix one of them.”
The legislation also beefs up transparency at RIHousing, requiring it to issue annual reports on its housing development and preservation activities, including the total amount of funding the agency has provided, the number of units that were issued a certificate of occupancy as a result of its work, and the tax payments made by affordable housing developments to each city and town.