PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — R.I. Senator Jack Reed joined Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien Tuesday to outline the new programs to boost safe, high-quality affordable housing in the state.

A growing number of households in Rhode Island are spending a disproportionate amount of their income on housing due to increasing rent prices and number of rentals available that are considered affordable, according to Reed.

“A safe and affordable home may be the single most effective and available form of personal protective equipment against COVID-19,” he said.

The American Rescue Plan allocated $23 million in HOME Investments Partnership Program funds for Rhode Island to develop affordable housing and prevent homelessness.

“This federal funding will prevent homeless and will be leveraged to help increase or maintain the supply of affordable rental units so that high-quality homes can be within reach of more families,” Reed said.

The program provides $5.9 million to Providence, $1.6 million to Woonsocket, more than $2 million to Pawtucket and $13.5 million statewide.

Pawtucket received a nearly $573,000 in HOME funding in February as well.

“This federal funding will help our residents stay safe and healthy, reducing COVID transmission through stable, affordable housing,” Grebien said.

Reed’s national Housing Trust Fund will also provide the state an additional $3.1 million to create new affordable housing.

“We’ve got to make a sustained commitment to developing high-quality affordable housing opportunities so that workers can afford to live and raise a family in the communities they serve,” he said.