As 2017 draws to a close, RIHousing has a lot to celebrate. This year, we invested millions of dollars in developments across the state, putting people to work and helping thousands of Rhode Island families find and keep an apartment or buy a home.
Our investments don’t just create homes: each new development improves the whole community. When an individual or family buys a home, they are able to put down roots in the neighborhood. They shop at local stores, dine at local restaurants and give back to the community. And let’s not forget: building and buying homes creates jobs for hundreds of construction workers, architects, electricians, real estate professionals, mortgage brokers and others.
Earlier this year, we celebrated a groundbreaking at 60 King Street at Providence, the site of the former Imperial Knife Factory, which provided jobs for many people in the Olneyville neighborhood. Like many mills around New England, when the factory closed, the building stood vacant and fell into disrepair. It was cut off from the rest of the neighborhood and became a magnet for crime and vandalism.
In that blighted building, a coalition of partners saw potential. With investments from a host of sources, including a first mortgage and federal HOME funding from RIHousing, Trinity Financial is now undertaking more than $21 million in renovation and turning the mill into apartments for 60 families. The redevelopment is contributing to more than a decade of significant investments in Olneyville. In fact, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, whose parents once worked in Olneyville mills, called 60 King “a transformational project” for the neighborhood.
Another transformation is Greenridge Commons, a development of 96 townhomes, apartments and commercial space in the Pascoag area of Burrillville. As our Executive Director Barbara Fields noted at Greenridge’s ribbon cutting last month, developments like Greenridge “break down negative perceptions associated with affordable housing.” Built on a 200-arce site, the development preserves open space while creating homes that are in keeping with the character of Pascoag’s architecture and history.
Investments like Greenridge and 60 King are only possible thanks to our many partners – developers, banks CDCs and investors.
For many people, homeownership represents achieving part of the American dream. Here at RIHousing, we are so proud to be able to help by providing mortgages for first-time homebuyers. In fact, we financed an all-time high 531 mortgages in Q3. Totaling over $106 million, this represents RIHousing’s highest single-quarter mortgage volume in our 44-year history. But these aren’t just numbers for us – this means that we helped hundreds of Rhode Island families become homeowners.
We are extremely proud of the work we did in 2017, and are looking forward to an even better New Year. From all of us here at RIHousing, happy holidays and best wishes for 2018.