Sen. Lawson, Rep. Kazarian seek state funding
for East Providence housing development
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Valarie Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) and Rep. Katherine Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence, Pawtucket) are sponsoring a joint resolution to provide state funding for a proposed housing project in East Providence.
The project, called the Taunton Avenue Collaborative, would provide 160 new apartments in a vibrant and diverse community for extremely low-income households, youth aging out of foster care and low- to moderate-income families. Residents would have access to a variety of supports from area nonprofits.
“Housing is one of the most urgent issues facing our community and our state,” said Senator Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence). “This exciting project will create 160 new housing units and provide necessary relief for families in East Providence and across Rhode Island. It will make an immediate and meaningful impact on the housing crisis we are experiencing and will provide the entire region with a replicable model to produce more housing.”
The project is being spearheaded by the nonprofit organization ONE Neighborhood Builders (ONE|NB), which recently purchased three contiguous vacant and blighted properties, for a total acquisition of 2.95 acres of land. ONE|NB is working in collaboration with three other Rhode Island nonprofits: Crossroads Rhode Island, Foster Forward and Family Service of Rhode Island. Together, the groups have secured $7.1 million for the project and are seeking an additional $28 million in state support.
The joint resolution (2023-S 0985, 2023-H 6297) introduced by Senator Lawson and Majority Whip Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence, Pawtucket), would appropriate this $28 million to the project. A House Finance Committee hearing on the resolution is scheduled for Wednesday at the rise of the House.
“This transformative project would serve as a model for how organizations can partner with government to alleviate the affordable housing crisis. If funded, the project would expeditiously add 160 desperately-needed affordable units to Rhode Island's housing stock for some of our most vulnerable populations. We thank Senator Lawson and Whip Kazarian for their steadfast support of this project, and we thank the Rhode Island House and Senate leadership for their commitment to tackling Rhode Island’s housing crisis head on. We look forward to working with the General Assembly to advance this extremely important appropriation request,” said the Taunton Avenue Collaborative partners.
“The key to ending Rhode Island’s housing crisis is building more housing,” said Whip Kazarian. “Community collaborations like this one show that we are capable of rising to the challenge. I will continue to support this effort in the House to ensure we invest in housing and promote forward-looking policies that strengthen East Providence and our entire state.”