By Wheeler Cowperthwaite

Published on May 7, 2024

As the state faces a crushing housing crisis, Providence has the steepest rent increases in the country and the price of a single-family home is up 50% since the onset of the pandemic, why is there fierce opposition to new housing in Rhode Island?


That was the answer Boston real estate developer Adelaide Grady gave during a real estate symposium put on by Roger Williams University last week.

Grady is leading a 2,699-unit mixed-income housing project in Boston called Bunker Hill. Underneath the normal objections – density, wastewater, short-term rentals, traffic – there is the true problem.


One Neighborhood Builders CEO Jennifer Hawkins took a different tack on the issue, giving municipal leaders a little more grace.

“I don’t believe that municipalities are generally bad actors,” she said. “I think that they’re working in their own logical sort of interests, right? And I think that if you’re able to ask the questions and understand their motivations, I do think it’s incumbent upon developers to ask those questions, listen to the responses and then sort of address them.”

State leaders should start stepping in to address the concerns that cities and towns raise when they oppose housing, like funding for students or sewer capacity, something Hawkins said she is eager to see gain traction at the State House.


Read the full article on The Providence Journal, here.