RI’s 38 in 100 Family Housing Challenge is designed to provide a targeted solution for 38 families experiencing homelessness by connecting them to rental assistance vouchers and supportive services and then matching them to available units within the next 100 days.
What is the 38 in 100 Family Housing Challenge?
The Providence Housing Authority (PHA), Crossroads Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Continuum of Care (RICoC) and the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless were joined today by Senator Jack Reed to announce the launch of the “38 in 100 Family Housing Challenge”, an innovative collaboration designed to help find housing for families experiencing homelessness before their Mainstream Housing Vouchers expire around the end of the year.
The Providence Housing Authority (PHA), Crossroads Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless (RICH), and the Rhode Island Continuum of Care (RICoC) all individually work to house Rhode Islanders in need. Earlier this year, they had a unique opportunity to pool resources and maximize their reach. Leveraging federal Mainstream Housing Vouchers awarded to the PHA and a grant from a private foundation to Crossroads RI to provide services to families, and housing navigation and support from the RI Continuum of Care including the Coalition for the Homeless, families in need would be able to receive a rare and scarce opportunity to leave an unstable housing option and move into a new home. But that is in jeopardy. Vouchers must be utilized within so many days of the time they are awarded and with a large number of families receiving assistance in a short time-frame, the already competitive housing market just got even tighter.
Partners hope to identify landlords across the state with vacant or soon-to-be vacant unit(s) to offer one of the 38 families awarded rental assistance. Landlords receive rental payments directly from the PHA (or other local housing authority) for some or all of the rent depending on the family’s situation. Units do not have to be in Providence to assist.
Every night there are 30 to 40 families in our state living in places not meant to be lived in or who are fleeing domestic violence. They have no safe place to go. Rhode Island doesn’t have enough shelter beds or housing options for them. This is an opportunity to put a roof over their heads and fill a vacant unit with a tenant. For landlords, its simple economics – help us now and get paid to fill your unit. Each tenant placed during this challenge will not only have rental assistance but they will also have social service supports in place to help them transition into their new home successfully.
Who are the partners?
Partners in this effort include:
- The Providence Housing Authority (PHA)- Founded in 1939, the PHA develops and maintains decent, safe and sanitary housing and addresses the economic and social needs of its residents. They operate 2,600 public housing units in Providence and administer more than 2,600 Section 8 vouchers, that allow low-income families to rent in the private market or project-based units throughout Providence. In total, the PHA serves of 12,000 Rhode Islanders with housing and social services.
- Crossroads Rhode Island – Currently celebrating their 125th anniversary, Crossroads Rhode Island is the leading provider of housing and services to the homeless in Rhode Island. Their mission is to help homeless or at-risk individuals and families secure stable homes. Those they serve achieve this by engaging in a range of services including housing, basic needs, shelter, case management, referrals and education and employment services.
- Rhode Island Continuum of Care (RICoC) – The RICoC serves as the state’s policy-making lead on issues related to ending homelessness and oversees administration of federal grant dollars locally to support this goal.
- Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless (RICH) – The Coalition works collaboratively to create and advance lasting solutions to prevent and end homelessness in Rhode Island.
More partners sign on every day to help recruit landlords and find available units as part of RI’s 38 in 100 Family Housing Challenge. Will you?
How to get involved
We are asking that interested property owners with available or soon-to-be available units contact Landlords@RIHomeless.org or 401-721-5685 ext.22. They can also visit the PHA’s Section 8 Page to learn more about the process of becoming an approved landlord for Rhode Island families in need.
Partners are also asking for assistance in spreading the word on social media using the hashtags: #38in100, #FamilyHousingChallenge, and #LandlordsWanted to help us find units for our families.