PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A lack of affordable housing in Rhode Island is causing major issues statewide, according to a report recently released by the Commission of Health Advocacy and Equity.
The report shows there are no communities in the Ocean State that have enough low-to-moderate income housing units, with most having one unit for every five eligible households.
The lack of affordable housing is projected to get worse over time, according to Joe Luca, the former president of the Rhode Island Realtors Association.
Read More: Full Housing Report »
“Economics 101: Supply and demand,” he said. “There’s a lot of demand for properties and we don’t have the supply.”
Luca explained that multiple-bedroom units usually have higher rental rates than single-bedroom units, making it difficult for families to find appropriate housing they can afford.
He said the average sales price of a single-family home jumped 17% statewide this year, with multi-family home sales price increasing $107,000 since 2016.
The report also found having high rent or a large mortgage can force families to forgo other basic necessities.
“They have to choose between not only those necessary needs, but putting food on the table, paying for healthcare expenses,” United Way Rhode Island’s director of strategic initiatives Larry Warner explained.
The lack of affordable housing is also causing homelessness to skyrocket.
“There’s a significant homelessness crisis within our student populations in many communities,” Warner said. “The impact of homelessness or housing instability plays a role in students’ academic success as well.”
But there is hope: the report will be utilized in finding solutions to the state’s housing crisis.
“There’s definitely an opportunity to look at what investments or opportunities, what supports can be put in place to support students and families, so they have a better opportunity at success,” Warner said.