PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — What was once the site of a deadly house fire in Providence is being converted into a new opportunity for residents in search of an affordable place to live.
Four years ago, 110 Bowdoin Street was reduced to rubble by a massive inferno that left one woman dead and forced 20 others out into the freezing cold. Three neighboring homes also sustained significant damage, and were ultimately demolished.
ONE Neighborhood Builders began breathing new life into the property earlier this week. The nonprofit organization is installing an eight-unit apartment development that will be made up of two one-bedroom apartments and six two-bedroom apartments. The new development will also offer off-street parking.
“We worked with the city to obtain site control,” ONE Neighborhood Builders Executive Director Jennifer Hawkins explained. “It was a very long and complicated process. They we able to designate us a developer, we acquired the lots, and then we started applying for financing.”
While it took the nonprofit four years to acquire the property, Hawkins said the entire construction process will only take about five months from start to finish. That’s because the apartment development consists of modular homes that have been stacked on top of one another on their respective lots.
Hawkins tells 12 News that they received $2.2 million from the city and state for this project, adding that the apartments are for renters with an income between 50-80% of the area’s median income.
“It’s extraordinary,” she said. “There’s such a dire housing crisis and any opportunity to develop affordable housing we have to take advantage of.”
Hawkins estimates that the one-bedroom apartments will cost renters $550 per month, while the two-bedrooms will cost $1,200 a month. She expects the apartments to be available for rent starting in May.
“There’s a scarcity of land, and identifying land so that we can build affordable housing is a priority I think we can all agree on,” Hawkins said.
Anyone interested in renting one of these apartments can find more information on eligibility, as well as the application process, on ONE Neighborhood Builders’ website.