Governor Dan McKee and Rhode Island Secretary of Housing Secretary Josh Saal announced today that the State has committed $9.5 million in federal funds to expand legal services to support individuals and households experiencing housing insecurity across the state.

“All Rhode Islanders, regardless of their financial situations, deserve a shot at securing and maintaining safe housing,” said Governor McKee. “By increasing access to housing-related legal services, we are aiming to protect individuals and families who may be at risk of losing their homes, and ensure their interests are fairly and professionally represented in our housing courts across the state.”

The State is currently seeking proposals from qualified law firms and attorneys to provide housing-related legal services to tenants whose household income is no more than 80% Area Median Income. These services may include eviction prevention and eviction diversion programs; mediation between landlords and tenants; case management related to housing stability; housing counseling; fair housing counseling; and others as defined by the Department of Treasury. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with other organizations to outline a plan for obligating and spending up to $9.5M on housing stability services to be provided statewide. Other organizations are defined as local community-based organizations or local non-profits.

Funding for this initiative is being supported by the State’s allocation of federal Emergency Rental Assistance 2 (ERA2) dollars for housing stability services, as awarded in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

“While the long-term solution to addressing housing instability and homelessness is to create more affordable housing, we must ensure all Rhode Islanders are able to access the services and supports they need to remain in their current homes,” said Rhode Island Secretary of Housing Josh Saal. “The services funded through this solicitation come at a time when we know evictions peak – during the winter months and as the holiday season approaches. This funding will connect low-income and vulnerable residents to resources when they need it most.

Interested parties can learn more and submit proposals online, by visiting the state’s division of purchases website and searching for RFP #23002007The deadline to submit proposals is Tuesday, November 22. Questions should be directed to Gail Walsh, at the Division of Purchasing (gail.walsh@purchasing.ri.gov).

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...