EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A local non-profit housing developer is turning a vacant piece of property in the city into new apartments.

The city and ONE Neighborhood Builders broke ground on the Residences at Riverside Square, which will be located on Bullocks Point Avenue near the Providence River and East Bay Bike Path.

Once complete, it will include 16 one and two-bedroom apartments meant for families whose income is between $20,000 to $70,000 a year, depending on household size.

The city said three of the 16 units will be set aside for teens transitioning out of the foster care system.

“Without proper support, young people aging out of foster care in this country, more than a quarter of them will experience homelessness within one year of leaving the foster care system,” Foster Forward Director Lisa Guillette said. “But that’s not going to happen here in East Providence because of this incredible partnership.”

Rep. Matthew Dawson said the property has been vacant for well over a decade.

“It’s been a blight,” Dawson said. “The fact that two needs — getting rid of an empty building and housing — can coalesce here is a real testament to everybody involved.”

“We’re not where we need to be as a state,” R.I. Housing Secretary Stefan Pryor added. “Our housing production level is one of the lowest in the country. We compete for the very lowest rate of production. That’s not where we ought to be competing.”

Construction is set to be completed in early 2024.

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