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3/15/2022 Rep. Corvese sponsors bill to create online database of affordable housing
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Arthur Corvese is sponsoring legislation to make it easier to find affordable housing by creating an online database of units in the state.

The legislation (2022-H 7944), which is part of the legislative package announced last week to help address the state’s housing crisis, would assist Rhode Islanders in their search for housing they can afford in their community.

“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.”

Representative Corvese’s bill requires the Statewide Planning Division to establish an affordable housing online database that shall include a list of low and moderate income housing units in the state, identified by each municipality, and a list of available affordable housing units along with contact information for the rental or purchase of these units.

The database would also track affordable developments that are on the horizon. It would list the number of active applications for comprehensive permits to build affordable housing as well as the number of permits issued for affordable housing plans, aggregated by each municipality.

The bill also beefs up data collection and transparency at Rhode Island Housing Corporation, requiring it to collect data on certain funds and fees received and used by municipalities and their public housing agencies and on fees and payments in lieu of taxes. It also requires semi-annual status reports on funds collected and expended by the corporation, and the projects and number of units it has created.

The bill was introduced March 7 and has been assigned to the House Municipal Government and Housing Committee. It is cosponsored by Rep. Mary Ann Shallcross Smith (D-Dist. 46, Lincoln, Pawtucket), Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly), Rep. Thomas E. Noret (D-Dist. 25, Coventry, West Warwick), Rep. Robert D. Phillips (D-Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland) and Rep. Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence).

IN PHOTO: In a screenshot from Capitol Television, Rep. Arthur Corvese, far right, listens to House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi during a recent State House news conference announcing a package of housing bills, including one he is sponsoring. Also pictured is Rep. Thomas E. Noret (D-Dist. 25, Coventry, West Warwick), center.

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923