local Habitat group receives biggest gift in program history | News

A recent award of more than $ 400,000 in public funds to South County Habitat for Humanity is the largest in the 31-year history of the non-profit affordable housing organization.

The impact will be felt locally, as $ 88,000 of the funding is earmarked for a single-family home under construction in South Kingstown, near the University of Rhode Island. Habitat plans to launch the project in early spring.

In November, Habitat opened applications for the property and answered more than 100 phone calls from interested families.

The funds came to Habitat through the Building Homes Rhode Island program, which uses money from the state’s Affordable Housing Bonds to develop affordable housing for the people of Rhode Island.

In March 2021, in a special election, the Rhode Islanders approved Question 3, a $ 65 million bond for housing and community opportunities.

A team from South County Habitat for Humanity spent the first part of the year raising awareness

of the special election, encouraging the community to come out and vote, said executive director Colin Penney.

“Fortunately, the bond was accepted, and for that reason our organization received $ 424,204 to fund the construction of four homes right here in Washington County,” Penney said. “I am still in disbelief and very grateful to everyone who voted to invest in the community. Thanks to them, four low-income families who need safe, decent and affordable housing will soon have their own homes.

The remaining $ 326,204 is for the construction of three single-family homes on Cardinal Lane in Hopkinton. Once the units are complete, Habitat will build four more units on the same street. Construction of these homes will begin in the summer of 2022. Habitat hopes to open a spring homeownership application for the units.

On December 1, Gov. Dan McKee announced that the administration’s Housing Resources Commission had approved nearly $ 31 million in grants under the Building Homes Rhode Island program to support 23 affordable housing projects. These awards will help produce or preserve more than 600 affordable housing units in 13 towns and cities across Rhode Island.

This is the largest series of awards given under the BHRI program since the program’s inception in 2006.

“These awards represent historic funding to fight our housing crisis and keep Rhode Islanders in safe, affordable and stable housing,” McKee said. “I am grateful to the Rhode Islanders for approving this bond financing and for the work the Housing Resources Commission has done through the Building Homes Rhode Island program to invest in our families, our children and the future of Rhode Island. “

Based in Charlestown, South County Habitat for Humanity serves all of Washington County.

Associate Executive Director Courtney Gray said the funding is more than double the largest grant the organization has received in its history.

“This is a monumental grant for our small subsidiary and it will create four permanent and affordable home ownership units,” said Gray.

While the non-profit home builder called the funding an “incredible financial opportunity,” he also said Habitat will need the community’s volunteer support to keep pace with a rigorous construction schedule. He encouraged anyone interested in helping to visit www.SouthCountyHabitat.org or call (401) 213-6711.

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