Senator Dawn Euer is cohosting an online forum on affordable housing Wednesday in partnership with HousingWorksRI and What’s Up Newp.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2, at noon, and it will accessible at whatsupnewp.com (video below), on Facebook.com/WhatsUpNewp/, and on What’s Up Newp’s YouTube channel. Viewers watching on the Facebook page and YouTube channel will be able to ask questions and share comments in real-time.

The forum will focus on the particular need for affordable housing in Newport, as well as solutions for addressing the affordable housing crisis, including legislation to create a permanent stream of funding for affordable housing in Rhode Island.

Panelists at the forum will include: 

  •  Brenda Clement, Director, HousingWorksRI at Roger Williams University
  • Annette Bourne, Research and Policy Director, HousingWorksRI
  • Christian Belden, Executive Director, Church Community Housing Corporation
  • Rhonda Mitchell, Executive Director, Newport Housing Authority

Ryan Belmore, Owner of What’s Up Newp, will moderate the conversation.

“Newport is one of only six communities statewide that has met its obligation to ensure that at least 10 percent of its housing stock is considered affordable, yet we also have a very high need for more. In Newport, you need a family income of $57,080 to afford the average two-bedroom apartment, and 45 percent of all renters here are paying more than they can safely afford. The demand for available affordable housing in Newport is high, and leaders at every level need to work together for solutions,” said Senator Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown).

Among the topics that will be discussed during the forum is legislation (2021-S 0365) sponsored by Sen. Meghan Kallman (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) and co-sponsored by Senator Euer to establish a dedicated, consistent stream of funding to support affordable housing in Rhode Island. The funding would come from a small tax on high-end real estate transactions and would be used to support renters who are struggling and to build new housing for low-and moderate-income Rhode Islanders.

“Rhode Island’s investment in affordable housing continues to trail behind that of its New England neighbors, ranking last overall,” said Brenda Clement, Director of HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University. “While housing bonds, including the bond passed this past spring, will help produce and preserve units, the need for an increased supply far outpaces this support. A dedicated funding stream in our state budget is critical to ensure all Rhode Islanders have access to a safe, healthy, and affordable home.”

To view the entire presentation, “An Overview of Aquidneck Island’s Housing Challenges: Meeting Our Communities’ Needs”, that was discussed during this event, click below.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).