Charlestown, RI State and local officials joined with representatives from RIHousing, Women’s Development Corporation (WDC), Washington County Community Development Corporation (WCCDC), and financial and community partners in celebrating the completion of new rental homes.
The affordable 43-unit apartment complex known as Shannock Falls is comprised of two separate locations in Charlestown and Richmond, and designed by Union Studios. The Charlestown site includes 11 apartments in four buildings with 32 units at the Richmond location. Located along the banks of the Pawcatuck River, the design of the new buildings conforms to the historic architectural details of the surrounding area.
“Housing development is integral to economic development, and these 43 new units represent 43 new opportunities for families and individuals to thrive in Rhode Island,” said Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce. “This impressive development adds to our growing portfolio of new homes. We are pleased that Governor Raimondo’s $ 40 million housing bond is helping support the development of new affordable housing such as Shannock Falls. Congratulations to everyone who participated in the project.
The Shannock Falls development has a total planned development cost of $ 15.6 million, will support 77 jobs (54 in construction) and create affordable apartments in an area with a limited supply of affordable rental housing. The project directly supports the Charlestown and Richmond affordable housing plans and meets the needs of both cities for additional affordable rental housing.
“Rural communities in Rhode Island are in dire need of affordable housing, especially for families. We are very pleased that Shannock Falls is providing high quality housing to the people of Richmond and Charlestown, ”said James Comer, CEO of WDC.
Shannock Falls funding includes a variety of federal and local resources, including $ 11.8 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, $ 500,000 in federal HOME funding , $ 2.1 million in Rhode Island State bond financing and $ 325,000 in municipal bonds. The balance of the capital stack includes a first mortgage from RIHousing and a seller’s loan.
“We are delighted and proud of our partnership with WDC and RIHousing to bring this project to fruition,” said Alice Buckley, Executive Director of WCCDC. “Efforts like Shannock Falls rely on the support and commitment of a range of partners and a variety of funding sources. We are delighted to welcome new families and to watch them grow and prosper.
The Charlestown property sits on a 7 acre site (of which 3 acres will not be developed) less than a mile from the Richmond site, across from the Pawcatuck River. Construction on the Richmond site is underway and is expected to be completed by summer 2020. The Richmond buildings sits on a 64-acre site, of which 56 acres have been placed in a permanent conservation area. Currently under construction, the property will include a community building containing a maintenance garage, community hall, laundry room, mailboxes and a property management office.
“It is gratifying to be able to provide affordable, well-built and designed and affordable housing for families at a time of rising housing costs,” said Virginia Lee, president of Charlestown City Council.
“The project has been in the works for 14 years,” said Rich Nassaney, Chairman of Richmond City Council. “But this is only the beginning. I see a great future for families and this community moving forward.
Single-family homes dominate the southern region of the state – with only about a quarter of its stock made up of multi-family dwellings. The projected housing need, according to the 2016 Projecting Future Housing Needs report, is for many more multi-family dwellings than single-family homes. In addition to the limited supply of rental housing, 53% of renters in the area are seen as burdened with costs, or spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs.
“Shannock Falls offers people the opportunity to afford high quality housing in the area where they grew up or may return to,” said Carol Ventura, Interim Executive Director of RIHousing. “We are delighted to welcome families to their new homes and look forward to the completion of new homes at the Richmond location in the near future. ”
The need and demand for affordable family housing is strong in both of these communities. All units will be available to households earning less than 60% of the region’s median income (MAI), or $ 49,700 for a family of four. The apartments at the Charlestown site are currently rented and applications for both sites are still being accepted.