Letter: Vote yes on Question 7
To the editor:
There isn’t a need more basic than having a place to call home. Unfortunately, too many Rhode Islanders struggle to find a home or apartment that they can reasonably afford, along with paying for food, transportation and healthcare. Half of the people renting a home in Rhode Island cannot afford an average priced two-bedroom apartment in any city or town, and nearly a third of homeowners are also struggling to cover the high costs of housing.
A statewide shortage of housing that is affordable hurts all of us. When a family or individual spends more than a third, or in some cases as much as half of their income on housing, they can’t pay for other necessities and they are forced to rely on help. They also spend less locally and they can’t save money.
This election day, I invite you to join me in voting Yes on Question 7 to approve $50 million for the construction of 800 homes and apartments across Rhode Island, which will also create 1,700 jobs for building and construction trade workers. But that’s not all. The bonds will spur an additional $160 million in federal and private investments in our communities.
Rhode Island’s last two housing bonds (passed in 2006 and 2012) produced more than 1,900 affordable homes and apartments in 30 communities, created thousands of construction jobs, and leveraged more than $460 million in federal and private investments.
In Barrington, funding from previous bonds created 61 affordable units and more than $17 million in total investment. Many of these units are part of the Sweetbriar development in Bay Spring. All of the homes built to date represent a good start, but there is more to be done.
Investing in affordable homes creates jobs and stimulates our economy. That’s why approving Question 7 is so important for Barrington and for Rhode Island. Will you join me in voting yes on 7?