PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Public Housing is looking for an outside consultant to help come up with a comprehensive statewide housing plan.

The plan will outline the strategic priorities of the department, which was created by legislation passed earlier this year.

R.I. Secretary of Housing Josh Saal said the plan will be crafted using data and community outreach.

The consultant team selected will be tasked with assessing the state’s current and future housing needs, identifying barriers to meeting those needs and establishing two-year, five-year and 10-year housing production and preservation goals.

“Rhode Island is still challenged with clear and severe gaps in the affordability and accessibility of quality housing,” Saal said. “Far too many Rhode Islanders, in every city and town and at every income level, are struggling to find and afford the housing they need.”

“As we continue the day-to-day work of investing immediately available funds in impactful projects and initiatives, we must also ensure we remain focused on building a more sustainable housing strategy that benefits all Rhode Islanders,” he continued. “This type of long-term, evidence-based research and planning has never been done at a centralized, statewide level in Rhode Island, and it is critical to our mission of strengthening the state’s housing future.”

The solicitation for consultancy services was officially issued Thursday. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 2.