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Community Connections – The Steel Yard & ONE|NB

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If you’ve driven along Manton Avenue recently, you may have noticed our ONE|NB fences adorning the lot where our new Manton Avenue Live/Work project is set to be built.  Construction begins this fall! The colorful fences are attractive, yes, and they let the community know that ONE|NB’s got a new project in the works, but they are also much more than that.

The unique 100’ construction fence was created by local non-profit and Central Providence Health Equity Zone member, The Steel Yard through their Weld to Work 1.5 program. Weld to Work is a job-training program that teaches participants the technical and soft skills they need to start their metal working careers. The Steel Yard has trained hundreds of individuals who have entered a variety of trades like welding, pipefitting, shipfitting, and iron working. The 1.5 program, in which Weld to Work graduates are hired back to work on Steel Yard public projects and work under a mentor, was designed to bridge the gap after the Weld to Work program while participants search for employment.  One such person is Devyn Maher. Devyn helped design and fabricate the images depicting “neighborhood” that are welded into the fence. Devyn completed the Steel Yard’s Weld to Work program and is now an apprentice at Local 51 (Rhode Island’s Plumbers Pipefitters Union).   

ONE|NB believes equitable economic opportunity is essential to fostering healthy and thriving communities.  Through the purchase of The Steel Yard’s fence panels, we are supporting local art, social enterprise, and workforce development.

The fences were made possible through funding provided by Council President Sabina Matos, proving the Providence City Council in invested in comprehensive community development.   

Partnership, public art, and job creation, can it get much better than that? Comment below on how you collaborate with community partners to make an even greater impact!

ONE|NB Receives Grant from HarborOne Bank to Support Small Homes Construction!

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ONE|NB has been awarded a generous grant from HarborOne Bank to support the development of Sheridan Small Homes. Sheridan Small Homes is a cluster of five net-zero small homes sited at the end of Sheridan Street on the Woonasquatucket Greenway at the head of Riverside Park in Olneyville. Featuring affordability, energy efficiency, durability, sustainability, and community-centric living, the project is designed to be a model for a new and replicable approach to affordable homeownership in RI. The homes will be developed on land that is a blighted eye-sore between Riverside Park and newly developed 60 King Street apartments.

Preschool Development Grants Awarded to Central Providence Health Equity Zone

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Press Release July 25, 2019

Governor Raimondo’s Health Cabinet Announces New Partnerships to Support Young Children and Families

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced new partnerships to support local families to raise healthy children who are ready and able to succeed in school.

“Family members are the first – and often most important – educators in a child’s early life. Yet vulnerable families face significant economic, socioemotional, and other barriers to fulfilling that role,” said new Health and Human Services Secretary and Children’s Cabinet Co-Chair Womazetta Jones. “The Preschool Development Grants will increase the accessibility, choice, affordability, and intensity of programs that are available in these communities.”

ONE Neighborhood Builders is the backbone organization for the Central Providence Health Equity Zone (HEZ) and will be supporting two of its members with Preschool Development Grants.

“Research shows that factors outside the doctor’s office drive up to 80 percent of our health outcomes,” said RIDOH Deputy Director Ana Novais. “Health Equity Zones are about bringing the right partners to the table to support communities to define and achieve their goals. We’re thrilled to work with our sister state agencies to expand this important work.”

“I am once again impressed by the results of collaboration across the state of Rhode Island, especially when it comes to supporting our families,” said Angélica Infante-Green, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “The funding distributed through the preschool development grant will make a valuable and lasting difference in preparing children for success throughout their time in school and beyond — nothing could be more important.”

“As we build our birth-to-5 system, it is critical to have parents as our partners in this work, both for their input and because they are their child’s first teacher,” said Courtney E. Hawkins, director of the state Department of Human Services. “These HEZ programs will help us achieve this valuable partnership.”

Through these Preschool Development Grants, ONE Neighborhood Builders is partnering with The Autism Project to implement the trauma-informed, evidence-based Conscious Discipline© program to help families understand and support children’s social-emotional growth and development, and with Federal Hill House to expand the successful Providence Talks Playgroup Model that strives to increase parent talk, reading, playing, and teaching through modeling and coaching delivered to caregivers during playgroups.

“What distinguishes the HEZ model is the unprecedented coordination and shared vision of all the departments within the Governor’s cabinet, said Jennifer Hawkins, Executive Director of ONE Neighborhood Builders. “We are pulling in the same direction in order to ameliorate the social conditions that lead to unacceptable health inequities based solely on where you live.”

 

ONE Neighborhood Builders is a community development organization with a mission to promote equity, public health and community safety in Providence neighborhoods. It accomplishes its mission through strategic real estate development to increase the availability of affordable homes; engaging residents and community-based organizations to build trust and collective problem-solving; and helping to develop individuals’ financial capabilities so that they may realize their personal asset-building goals. To support young children and families we operate the 21st Century Community Learning School at William D’Abate Elementary in Providence.

 

RIHousing Creates More than 600 Homes, Supports Nearly 700 Jobs

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Press Release – RIHousing July 11, 2019

Over $34 million in private investments will create and preserve housing in communities across the state

Providence, RI – RIHousing’s Board of Commissioners approved investments at its June Board meeting that will attract private investments of more than $34 million, create 610 homes, significantly improve the neighborhoods where they are located, and support almost 700 jobs. Funding awards were approved for developments located in East Greenwich, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Scituate and Woonsocket.
“The success of these developments relies heavily on the utilization of every available funding resource and partnership at our disposal,” said Carol Ventura, Interim Executive Director at RIHousing. “We appreciate the support of our Congressional Delegation and state leadership in ensuring these resources are available to spur the production of housing in Rhode Island. These approvals represent our commitment to the state and its residents to create homes, jobs and thriving communities.”
The developments represent a diverse range of properties, from preservation to new construction, located in rural, suburban and urban communities across the state. When constructed, these developments will provide affordable apartments to families, seniors and those with special needs.
One of the developments approved at the meeting is Brookside Terrace in East Greenwich. Located on a 17-acre site, the development has an expected total development cost of approximately $14 million, will support 86 jobs and create 48 affordable apartments in a town with housing prices that are well above the median price of a home in Rhode Island. Financing for Brookside Terrace includes $12.4 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, a $1.2 million in financing and $1.5 million in Federal Housing Trust Fund and HOME Program funding.
“The lack of affordable housing is a critical issue for residents in every city and town in Rhode Island, whether urban, suburban or rural,” said Steve Kominski, Vice President of Acquisition and Development at Dakota Partners, Inc. “Recognizing the need for affordable rental homes for its residents, the Town of East Greenwich embraced our Brookside Terrace project and was extremely helpful in bring it to fruition.”
Located in the Olneyville and Elmwood neighborhoods of Providence, King Street Commons includes the preservation and new construction of 62 apartments and a child care center. The construction of new homes at the Olneyville location is strategically sited across from the recently developed 60 King mill redevelopment and adjacent to the Manton Heights public housing development. Financing for the project includes: $12.4 million in LIHTC equity, $1.6 million in financing and $2 million from the Building Homes RI program (the State’s affordable housing bond).
“100% of the units at King Street Commons will be affordable rental housing,” said Jennifer Hawkins, Executive Director of ONE Neighborhood Builders. “The project will build on existing and ongoing redevelopment efforts in these two neighborhoods. We are especially excited to redevelop a blighted stretch of land that has been a magnet of crime and nuisance – its redevelopment will connect the Manton Heights development to Riverside Park and produce critically needed housing for families.”
The child care facility will feature plenty of outdoor play areas. The new facility will allow the non-profit Children’s Friend to more than double the number of children they can accommodate in their Head Start programs.
Other approvals provide financing to rehabilitate Section 8 developments serving the elderly and disabled in North Providence, Providence and Woonsocket; the rehabilitation of 28 apartments in Pawtucket in partnership with the Pawtucket Housing Authority; and the conversion of the vacant Hope Mill in Scituate into a mixed-income development with 118 apartments.
The Board of Commissioners also reviewed and approved $4.7 million in Acquisition and Revitalization Program (ARP) funding for revitalization efforts in Providence and Pawtucket.
About RIHousing
RIHousing works to ensure that all people who live in Rhode Island can afford a healthy, attractive home that meets their needs. RIHousing provides loans, grants, education and assistance to help Rhode Islanders find, rent, buy, build and keep a good home. Created by the General Assembly in 1973, RIHousing is a self-sustaining corporation and receives no state funding for operations. For more information regarding RIHousing, visit www.RIHousing.com or follow us @RIHousing on Facebook and Twitter.
Media Contact: Kyrie Perry / kyperry@rihousing.com / 401-457-1276

Five Questions With Jennifer Hawkins by Providence Business News

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Interview by Mary MacDonald, Providence Business News – July 10, 2019

 

PBN: What is King Street Commons and who will it provide housing for?

HAWKINS: In 2013, we issued a neighborhood revitalization plan called the Build Olneyville plan. It was funded by the [Department of Housing and Urban Development] Choice Neighborhoods initiative.

The idea was how do we connect the Providence Housing development called Manton Heights, which is in the neighborhood, along with the next of the neighborhood. It was physically isolated. The only way to access Riverside Park and that area was through this street that had been closed with Jersey barriers for years because of illegal dumping and crime.

The idea was how do we strategically redevelop this blighted part of the neighborhood that cuts off this public housing from the rest of the neighborhood. We will be constructing 30 apartments and 8,500 square feet of an early childhood education center. It will be four Head Start classrooms. The provider we have selected is Children’s Friend.

King Street Commons has two components: new construction of 30 new apartments and the 8,500-square-foot early childhood center, plus the renovation and re-syndication of 32 apartments that were originally constructed in 2001 in the Elmwood neighborhood. In total, it is 62 units.

PBN: For the new construction portion of this project, are the Head Start classrooms part of the building itself?

HAWKINS: Yes. There are actually going to be four apartments above. It’s a mixed-use [project]. There are seven distinct buildings. It’s townhome-style. The total project is $17.2 million.

PBN: Is the lease for Children’s Friend the first time you’ve worked with them? Why a Head Start use, is there demand for that in the neighborhood?

HAWKINS: Exactly. It came out of that neighborhood revitalization plan, really identifying a lack of high-quality, early childhood care. Across the street, Children’s Friend has been operating a Head Start program, really successful but over-subscribed.

PBN: When does the construction start?

HAWKINS: We hope to close in December and start construction in the first quarter of 2020. HUD has allowed this program for income averaging, and that’s how we do it.

Normally, for low-income housing tax credit projects, the income of any household cannot exceed 60% of area median income. What this allows you to do is as long as the average is 60%, you can go a little over. That really helps from a marketing standpoint. We have a wider swath of people that we can offer apartments to.

PBN: When the PBN last interviewed you, you identified the scarcity of affordable housing as the most pressing issue facing Providence. Has it gotten worse or better since 2017?

HAWKINS: It has only gotten more acute. The wage stagnation and the increased rental prices, wages just aren’t keeping pace with that. It continues to be a very severe problem and we are just not able to produce at that level.

 

Read the interview on PBN’s site, here.

 

Join ONE|NB as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the fall!

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Home. The four-letter word that can make all the difference in the world. Join ONE|NB to help individuals overcome barriers to financial and housing stability through counseling and education.

About our organization:

ONE|NB focuses on sustainable community revitalization achieved through affordable housing development, financial literacy counseling and education, homeownership promotion, health equity programming, targeted community-building projects, and resident engagement/leadership development. These efforts are 100% essential to the communities that we serve, especially considering that many Rhode Island residents, like other Americans, struggle with financial challenges such as substantial student loan debt, credit card debt, bad credit, and insufficient savings. This economic insecurity further compounds residents’ ability to maintain high quality of life due to the limited availability of affordable housing. In 2018, more than 145,000 Rhode Island households (35%) were housing cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing. ONE|NB is part of a national program in which VISTAs will be placed at community-based organizations (NeighborWorks Organizations or NWOs) around the country. Working together through NeighborWorks America, more than 80 VISTAs will build on a 30-year track record of working with communities to spur reinvestment and bring program expertise, research, and infrastructure support to maximize and replicate successful strategies. The VISTAs will help build the capacity of NeighborWorks organizations (NWOs) to stabilize communities and protect and build personal and community assets in low- and moderate-income communities.

About the position:

The Financial Opportunity Program Associate at ONE|NB will primarily help to develop new systems and initiatives to strengthen and broaden the impact of existing financial literacy and homebuyer education and counseling services. The ultimate goal of this work is to improve the financial literacy and housing insecurity of individuals residing in extremely low-, low-, and moderate-income households in Rhode Island.

Member Duties:

The NeighborWorks VISTA will support the research and development of new systems and initiatives to strengthen and broaden the impact of these services. Specifically, the NeighborWorks VISTA will help to develop/implement the following: • Online first-time homebuyer course •              New line of business to provide financial literacy and homeownership education and counseling as an employee benefit for local businesses •  New CRM software • Diversified funding stream for the financial opportunity department •    Performance management system

Program Benefits : Health Coverage* ,    Relocation Allowance ,   Childcare assistance if eligible ,  Training ,  Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend ,             Living Allowance

Interested individuals please mail a resume to Allyson Plantz, Chief of Staff, at plantz@onenb.org before June 28th. Visit the AmeriCorps job listing for more information.

Seeking Assistant Director of Asset Management

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ONE Neighborhood Builders is in search of a talented individual to support management of our growing real estate portfolio (see job description below).

Interested candidates must submit a resume, thoughtful cover letter, and compensation requirement to Jennifer Hawkins, hawkins@onenb.org.

ONE Neighborhood Builders (ONE|NB), formerly Olneyville Housing Corporation, is a community development organization with a mission to promote equity, public health and community safety in Providence’s neighborhoods. We accomplish our mission through:
• Strategic real estate development to increase the availability of affordable homes, spur economic development, and protect our natural resources;
• Engagement of residents and community-based organizations to build trust and collective problem-solving; and
• Development of individuals’ financial capabilities so that they may realize their personal asset building goals.

Background
The organization is headquartered in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence and, when at full complement, has a total of seventeen full and part-time employees. The annual operating budget is approximately $2.5 million. The agency has an affordable rental portfolio of 377 affordable apartments, of which 348 units are part of 10 LIHTC projects. The portfolio also includes one stand-alone commercial building, five storefront commercial spaces, and four community spaces – totaling over 50,000sf. The agency also serves as the management agent for two condominium developments, with a total of 30 homes.

The Assistant Director of Asset Management (ADAM) is a newly created position. The ADAM will report to the Director of Asset Management and will work directly with the Executive Director on new initiatives. The ADAM will co-supervise the part-time Maintenance Technician.

Responsibilities
The ADAM will have two broad responsibility areas, with approximately equal time spent between these two areas.

I. Asset Management
Serve as an apprentice to the Director of Asset Management for up to 18 months, during which time the ADAM will obtain the necessary skills and qualifications to assume the role of Director.
• Work with Director of Asset Management to learn the NeighborWorks Multi Family Initiative reporting metrics and how these metrics are calculated, reported, and evaluated;
• Help oversee third party property management company to ensure optimum property performance according to these metrics;
• Attend property inspections with Director of Asset Management, as conducted by funding agencies and ensure inspections result in no findings;
• Help Director of Asset Management to identify small capital repair projects, seek funding to complete the work, procure contractors, and oversee work of contractors on job site to ensure these projects are completed on-time and with-in budget;
• Support the Director of Asset Management with oversight of commercial/community spaces, which includes leasing these spaces and overseeing maintenance of the standalone commercial building (66 Chaffee).

II. New Initiatives
The following pilot projects reflects innovations for the organization. As a result, the ADAM will report to the Executive Director on these new initiatives.
Property Management
Provide property management services (leasing, rent collection, maintenance) for six apartments located in four buildings in Providence. Supervise the Maintenance Technician to perform the required maintenance work.
Minor Home Repair
Work with the Chief of Staff to launch a discrete home repair program as part of the agency’s new Central Providence Village initiative. Supervise the Maintenance
Technician to perform the required “chores.” Assess and procure contractors on behalf of Village members.
Supportive Housing
Oversee, and troubleshoot, as needed, the effort to allocate five apartments to
chronically homeless and disabled individuals; this work will require close coordination with the referring agency (RI Housing) and the social service partner (Providence Community Health Center).
Resident Services
For the past several months, ONE|NB has provided eviction prevention services via an independent contractor. We are evaluating whether to expand and formalize this work via the creation of a Resident Services Coordinator position. The ADAM will be responsible for learning best practices in resident services delivery and impact measurement. Using research and evidence produced from the independent contractor, the ADAM will help to make the economic case that an investment in this position will result in improved outcomes for residents and the financial performance of the apartments in which they reside.
Other Work To be Determined
ONE|NB is a dynamic and growing organization. The ADAM will be asked to take on additional work as the needs of the organization shift. The opportunity for professional growth is tremendous.

Qualifications
Minimum Qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree
• Five years related work experience, preferably in the housing development,
construction management and/or property management fields
• Verifiable financial management experience
• Advanced knowledge of Excel
• Strong project management skills (ability to develop and implement complex work plans)
• Strong writing and verbal communication skills

Attributes:
• Commitment to the mission of the organization
• Available to work occasional evenings, with overtime as needed to during intense work periods
• Comfortable working in urban neighborhoods
• Celebrates diversity of workstyles, cultural backgrounds, and job tasks
• Solid sense of humor and ability to quickly change course