Interview by Mary Macdonald at Providence Business News – March 25, 2020

Jennifer Hawkins is the executive director of ONE Neighborhood Builders in Providence. She spoke to the Providence Business News about the upcoming lottery for net-zero and passive-house homes that will be sold in the Olneyville neighborhood. The homes will be sold at prices starting at $140,000. The application period for the first homes should be opened in about a week.

PBN: Remind our readers, what is available?

HAWKINS: Five passive-certified, zero-energy homes. They are small. The average square footage is 725 square feet. They achieve zero energy because they’re all electric and have solar panels. And they are two-bedroom, 1½ -bathroom homes. Two of them will be sold to households not earning more than 80% of area median income. And three will be sold to households not earning more than 120% area median income.

PBN: On those income ranges, can you provide a range for a family of three?

HAWKINS: So for 120% AMI, we’re saying these homes are ideal for one- to four-person households. On the low end, one person who is earning 75% of AMI, that’s about $40,000. A four-person household at 120% AMI, that actually goes all the way up to $95,000. It’s a broad range.

PBN: So these are not necessarily aimed at low-income families but middle-income families?

HAWKINS: Totally. Officially, low income is less than 60% of AMI. And moderate is 80 to 120.

PBN: How will the lottery for the homes work?

HAWKINS: We will have an application that will collect income information, [such as] the last two months’ worth of pay stubs, employer verification form, the typical information you would request to verify someone’s income. They also have to attach a prequalification letter from a lender saying they have the opportunity to get a mortgage.

We are going to have a preference for people who live in the area. We’re trying to figure out if that’s going to be by a ZIP code, 02909, or Olneyville, but we will have the residency as a priority. We are going to have two lotteries. The first lottery will be for the first three homes coming online later this year. There will be another lottery for the last two homes.

PBN: Are you getting a lot of inquiries already?

HAWKINS: Yes, we are, through emails and through word-of-mouth.