City breaks ground on a new mixed-use, affordable housing development

Sept. 6, 2022

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City breaks ground on a new mixed-use, affordable housing development

EAST PROVIDENCE, RI – NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, together with federal, state and local officials, broke ground today on Ivy Place, a mixed-used development that will include 10 new affordable workforce housing units located on Ivy Street and Taunton Avenue (a part of the EP Waterfront Commission’s Taunton Avenue sub-district) in East Providence.

Affordable housing units are eligible to buyers who earn up to 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), adjusted for family size. A total of three units will be sold to households below 100 percent AMI.

The 13 homes will serve East Providence and Rhode Island families earning from $44,000 to $79,000 annually. The sales prices will range from $135,000 to $295,000.

The project is made possible with support from our federal, state and local delegation.

“We must act at every level of government to address the lack of housing stock.  That’s why I wrote the law establishing the National Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund and have worked to deliver federal housing aid to advance collaborative projects like this one -- which was led by NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, and leverages federal funding along with assistance from state agencies and private sector developers.  Ivy Place is a symbol of what we can achieve when we come together to ensure Rhode Islanders have the kind of quality, safe, and affordable homes they need -- places where they can put down roots and strengthen neighborhoods,” said Senator Reed.

 “Housing is one of our most basic needs, but we know that far too many struggle to access quality, healthy, and affordable homes,” said Congressman Cicilline. “It is a serious problem that was exacerbated by the COVID pandemic and the resulting economic impacts. Recognizing the nationwide housing crisis, Congress made funds available through the American Rescue Plan and other COVID relief measures to not only respond to the immediate housing challenges created by the pandemic but also to support long-term growth and opportunity. Ivy Place, which will provide new, affordable homes in a new mixed-use community, is an example of how this funding will not only address the housing crisis in Rhode Island but also support good-paying jobs for hardworking Rhode Islanders as we invest in our communities future.”

In June, Gov. Dan McKee and Rhode Island Housing announced $80 million in investments to preserve and create more than 800 affordable housing units in the state, including Ivy Place.

 “This is a great day for our community and our state and federal partners who continue to work hard to provide affordable housing across the state,” Mayor Bob DaSilva said. “Ivy Place will be constructed in a lot that has sat vacant since 2008.

 “This new construction will contribute to the ongoing revitalization of one of the city’s main corridors, just feet away from City Hall and several local eateries and new small businesses,” DaSilva added.

"We are proud to be partnering with so many public and private partners on this important affordable housing & neighborhood revitalization initiative,” said NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley Executive Dir. Joe Garelick.  

“There is still more work to be done, but this morning’s groundbreaking celebration is a testament to the progress the state has already made when it comes to strengthening our statewide housing stock,” said Rhode Island Secretary of Housing Josh Saal. “By offering new, permanent housing units as well as commercial retail space, the Ivy Place project will make a tangible difference in the East Providence community. I congratulate and thank the many leaders and advocates whose efforts made today’s celebration a reality, and I look forward to continuing the work of creating a more equitable housing future that benefits all Rhode Islanders.”

“Ivy Place represents the smart and strategic investments we are making to lay the foundation for a bright future for our state and its families,” Rhode Island Housing Executive Director Carol Ventura said. “Rhode Islanders need housing options they can afford and the new homeownership opportunities being created here will open the door to homeownerships for families, help them build financial security, and contribute to the economic vitality of East Providence’s main commercial corridor.

“We appreciate the support of our federal delegation, Gov. McKee, state and local leadership in providing the tools and resources to make projects like these happen,” Ventura added.

One of the most significant reasons for these extremely affordable sales prices is the City's innovative land-use policies through its Waterfront District.

“They are truly a state leader,” Garelick added. “We appreciate their innovation and raise them up as a shining example of where other communities need to go to begin to tackle RI's housing crisis.

“Affordable housing has many favorable economic benefits,” East Providence Waterfront Commission Chairman William Fazioli said. “Research from Housing Works RI indicates that for every $1 invested in housing it will produce $16 in economic benefits”

About Ivy Place: Place is being developed by NeighborWorks BRV in partnership with Providence-based Demeter LLC. Architectural design by Providence-based Union Studio Architecture & Community Design. Funding of Ivy Place is supported by a number of sources including American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Rhode Island Housing Investment Fund, East Providence Waterfront Commission, Federal Home Loan Bank, Bank of Boston and BankRI

About NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley: NWBRV is a nonprofit HUD-approved Homeownership Center. It has been helping families buy their dream home for more than 25 years.

About Rhode Island Housing: RIHousing is a nimble and flexible agency focused on connecting Rhode Islanders with opportunities for homeownership and choices in housing.