FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2022 | Download PDF
EAST PROVIDENCE PARTNERS WITH ONE NEIGHBORHOOD BUILDERS TO HIT STATE AFFORDABLE HOUSING GOAL
ONE|NB, elected officials, housing leaders will cut ribbon on newly rehabilitated Sutton Place apartments on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022.
PROVIDENCE, RI — Housing remains one of the most urgent issues in Rhode Island. Earlier today, ONE Neighborhood Builders (ONE|NB) hosted U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Lt. Governor Sabina Matos, East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva, state and local officials, and leading housing advocates for a press conference ribbon-cutting event marking the completed renovation of Sutton Place in East Providence. With the opening of the newly completed rehabilitation, East Providence is now the seventh municipality in the state to reach the 10 percent threshold for affordable housing.
“When communities invest in affordable housing, they are investing in a stronger economy. We would not be in a position to open the doors of Sutton Place without strong support from our partners in government, from the federal delegation all the way to the local and municipal leaders in East Providence,” said ONE|NB Executive Director Jen Hawkins. “East Providence is now the seventh municipality in Rhode Island to reach the state’s 10 percent low- and moderate-income housing goal. Mayor DaSilva doesn’t just talk about affordable housing. He walks the walk.”
The project is ONE|NB’s first Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) project. Sutton Place includes a total of 36 apartments in two identical buildings on Sutton Avenue in East Providence. ONE|NB purchased the property for $3.3 million. By rehabilitating the property, ONE|NB prevented the future displacement of existing residents, many of whom would likely experience severe hardship in trying to secure alternative housing. To qualify for the apartments, tenants must be at or below 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI).
In all, ONE|NB invested more than $6 million in the property, with funding coming from Rhode Island Housing, the state Housing Trust Fund, and the East Providence Waterfront Commission, among others. Many of the state funding resources were made available because of federal funding secured by Sens. Reed and Whitehouse.
“This renovated building preserves affordable opportunities for people from all walks of life to live together in modern, enhanced apartments with new amenities. Sutton Place is a great example of what can be accomplished when we work together to breathe new life into older buildings. It is a win for its residents and a win for the community,” said Senator Reed, the author of the law establishing the Housing Trust Fund, which contributed $1.19 million in federal funding to the renovation project.
“Rhode Island families are getting squeezed by high housing costs,” said Senator Whitehouse. “Solving this challenge is going to take a commitment from leaders at all levels of government. I commend Mayor DaSilva and state officials for seeing through the renovation of Sutton Place, and I’ll keep fighting down in Washington to secure funding to ensure every Rhode Islander has a safe, affordable place to call home.”
In June 2022, Governor Dan McKee signed a state budget that included $250 million for housing, including funding for low- and moderate-income housing developments similar to the rehabilitation of Sutton Place. ONE|NB Executive Director Jen Hawkins served on the Low- and Moderate Income Housing Act Commission which made recommendations to state leaders on how best to direct state funds to solve Rhode Island’s housing crisis.
“What ONE|NB has accomplished here is a model for communities across the state. They have created three dozen units of affordable housing in the midst of a crisis without displacing residents,” said Lt. Governor Matos. “Our administration will be looking to Sutton Place for inspiration as we put our historic, quarter-of-a-billion-dollar investment in housing to work in all 39 cities and towns.”
The City of East Providence has made housing a top priority and took intentional, proactive measures to reach the state’s affordable housing goals.
“There is a high demand for affordable housing units,” said East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva. “Despite this trend, only a handful of communities are welcoming new housing opportunities. With over 1,200 housing units currently under construction or permitted, East Providence is addressing this problem head-on. Sutton Place is a prime example of this.”
The Sutton Place properties were built in 1970 and required substantial renovation. ONE|NB’s rehabilitation included the installation of new windows and doors in common areas, landscaping, parking lot repairs, and a new roof at 54 Sutton. The roof at 60 Sutton was replaced in 2020. Individual apartments underwent substantial renovations, including new flooring, plumbing, kitchen and bath cabinets and countertops, new windows, doors, and fire and electrical code upgrades.
“As we create new units that support Rhode Islanders across the income spectrum, we must continue to invest in modernizing our existing housing stock,” said Rhode Island Secretary of Housing Josh Saal. “The newly rehabilitated Sutton Place is a prime example of how fixing our existing housing can ensure long-term affordability, create stable housing opportunities, and in doing so, promote vibrant and more resilient communities. I applaud ONE Neighborhood Builders for successfully executing this project, and thank our federal, statewide and municipal elected officials for their consistent and vocal leadership on the issue of housing.”
“Sutton Place represents a strategic and meaningful investment in homes, in communities and in Rhode Island,” said James Comer, RIHousing Deputy Director. “We’re thrilled to be celebrating the completion of a project that has created long-term affordable homes for Rhode Islanders in partnership with an innovative developer, a welcoming municipality and supportive state leadership. Financing these kinds of developments can be complicated, but they reap rewards for Rhode Island residents who need safe, affordable places to live and thrive.”
ONE Neighborhood Builders served as the developer of the rehabilitation project. The rest of the development and management team included:
- Property Manager – Peabody Properties
- Legal Counsel – Lynch & Greenfield
- Architect – Wojcik Architects
- Environmental Consultant – Redwood Environmental
- Engineer – Horsley Witten Group
ABOUT ONE NEIGHBORHOOD BUILDERS:
ONE Neighborhood Builders (ONE|NB) is a nonprofit community development leader in Rhode Island that is expanding its work to the broader Greater Providence area while maintaining its deep roots in its historic home of Olneyville. ONE|NB’s mission is to develop affordable housing and engage neighbors to cultivate healthy, vibrant, and safe communities. Since its founding in 1988, then as Olneyville Housing Corporation, ONE|NB has developed 466 affordable apartments; 130 for-sale homes for low- to moderate-income homebuyers; and nearly 34,000 square feet of commercial and community space—totaling more than $135 million of investments. ONE|NB is the convening entity of Central Providence Opportunities: A Health Equity Zone, which brings together residents, more than five dozen community-based organizations, health professionals, local businesses, elected officials, and others to address root causes of health disparities and to improve neighborhood conditions. As the convener, ONE|NB is the backbone organization of this collective-impact initiative to increase economic mobility for residents in Central Providence. ONE|NB also created the first free community wireless network in Rhode Island, providing high-speed broadband to more than 2,583 unique users in the Olneyville neighborhood.
Media Contact (for ONE|NB)
Mike Raia, Half Street Strategic Consulting
401-340-9425 | email@example.com