Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island's new housing secretary, speaks in Providence, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (WJAR)

Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island’s new housing secretary, speaks in Providence, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (WJAR)


The McKee administration says Rhode Island is making housing a priority for everyone, whether they’re living on the cold or trying to buy a home that’s affordable.

Stefan Pryor, a longtime state administrator, is taking on perhaps the biggest challenge of his career: running the Department of Housing when homes are expensive and when some say the homeless are not being helped enough.

Pryor and Gov. Dan McKee toured affordable apartments in Providence on Tuesday.

The project opened in 2021, and as much as they wish this was a ribbon cutting, those are few and far between. It’s taking too long for similar apartments and affordable homes to be built.

“We need to get out of the scenario where Rhode Island is bottom of the list or close to it for the rate of housing production compared to other states,” Pryor said.

Pryor is only two days into his new job as housing czar. He has more than a $250 million at his disposal, and the state’s letting him add 20 people to his staff.

There’s no lack of resources, and Pryor said he knows taxpayers are watching. He’s reviewing that spending.

“We’ll be undertaking an assessment of the expenditures, the contracts, the performance measures across the board,” Pryor said.