3/19/2019 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed announced today that three Rhode Island-based affiliates of NeighborWorks America (NeighborWorks) will receive a total of $662,000 to support their ongoing efforts to provide affordable housing opportunities, build strong neighborhoods and communities, create new jobs, and stimulate the state’s economy.  This flexible funding can be used for a variety of activities driven by the on-the-ground needs of the communities.

NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, West Elmwood Housing Development Corp., and ONE Neighborhood Builders will each receive grant funding from NeighborWorks.  NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley will receive $265,000, West Elmwood Housing Development Corp. will receive $195,000, and ONE Neighborhood Builders will receive $202,000.  These grants are the latest of many that Senator Reed has advocated for over the years to allow each organization to further its mission of providing affordable housing for Rhode Islanders and making lasting impacts in their communities. 

“These needed federal funds will strengthen our neighborhoods and help more Rhode Islanders afford quality housing, while also creating jobs and stimulating our local economy.  I commend NeighborWorks and these organizations for continuing to enrich their communities.  I will continue working on a bipartisan basis to help organizations like NeighborWorks provide more housing opportunities and move our economy forward.” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD).  Despite President Trump’s budget request, which attempted to eliminate funding for NeighborWorks last year, Senator Reed worked to successfully secure $152 million for NeighborWorks in the fiscal year 2019 THUD Appropriations bill, a $12 million increase from the previous year. 

“We are thankful to Senator Reed for his great support for NeighborWorks America (NWA),” said Joe Garlick, Executive Director of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley.  “The NWA’s flexible funds are the ‘venture capital’ that allow us to get projects and initiatives off the ground, and they help fill the gaps in our affordable housing and community economic development efforts. In 2018, they’ve helped NWBRV leverage over $30.8 Million to help create/support over 150 jobs in Northern Rhode Island.”

“NeighborborWorks funding is leveraged 46 to 1,” said Jennifer Hawkins, President and Executive Director of ONE Neighborhood Builders.  “This grant of $202,000 will result in over $9 million of investment in the Providence neighborhoods in which ONE Neighborhood Builders works.  Thank you, Senator Reed, for supporting public health, community safety and equity!”

NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (NWBRV) enriches neighborhood life in Northern Rhode Island by creating affordable housing opportunities.  With the help of this federal funding, the organization will continue to expand the Millrace Initiative, a comprehensive community development project that has strengthened Main Street Woonsocket through a variety of economic development, housing, entrepreneurship, creative place-making, and earned income activities, transforming this formerly vacant area into a vibrant, artistic hub.  NWBRV is also re-developing two more mills into 58 affordable housing units, along with live-work space and areas for commercial development.  Additionally, NWBRV recently completed the Greenridge development in Burrillville, which resulted in 96 affordable housing units at two sites and a new development that includes a community center.

West Elmwood Housing Development Corp. seeks to promote the development of healthy, sustainable communities by providing housing services and helping people meet their affordable housing needs in Providence’s West End neighborhood.  The organization has expanded the Sankofa housing and garden project, which improves nutritional, economic, and social opportunities for the community.  This project offers affordable, convenient, healthy, and locally-produced food, while connecting customers with West End craftspeople, artists, and entrepreneurs.  In addition, the project has grown to include job training, a commercial kitchen, and a Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office in order to assist low-income women and young children who could be at nutritional risk.

ONE Neighborhood Builders engages in comprehensive community development in the Olneyville and Elmwood neighborhoods of Providence through the construction of affordable housing, along with community building, individual asset building, and neighborhood stewardship.  ONE Neighborhood Builders completed an affordable rental housing project, Amherst Gardens, and launched its Elmwood Financial Center, which provides both financial and homeownership counseling.

NeighborWorks is a Congressionally-chartered nonprofit that supports a network of almost 250 nonprofit organizations located in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  NeighborWorks provides grants, technical assistance, and best-in-class training that assists those organizations’ efforts to build and maintain affordable housing and to engage in community development initiatives.  In fiscal year 2018, organizations in Rhode Island received a total of $1,111,500 in NeighborWorks funding, which leveraged an additional $46 for every dollar invested, resulting in $50,874,100 in direct investment.  These organizations then utilized that funding to assist 2,882 families with affordable housing services, including providing counseling to 1,368 individuals, creating 148 new homeowners, and repairing 363 homes, as well as to create and maintain 219 jobs in their communities.