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Public Records Requests

Public Records

The Providence Housing Authority has developed the following procedures to provide you with access to public information and records in an expeditious and courteous manner.

In order to ensure that you are provided with the information you seek in a timely fashion, we ask that you complete a Records Request Form.  Requests can be returned by email to records@provhousing.org or paper copies can either be mailed to or left in the dropbox at our Administrative Offices (address below).

Providence Housing Authority – Administrative Offices
100 Broad Street
Providence, RI 02903

Our Access to Public Records Act (APRA) Policy

last updated in September of 2020

The Providence Housing Authority (“PHA”) provides public records upon request in the ordinary course of business.  To request public records, please submit a written or email request to the Records Request, Providence Housing Authority, 100 Broad Street, Providence, RI  02903, specifying the records requested and including contact information or records may be requested anonymously.  The “PHA APRA Public Records Request Form” may be used, or you may email your APRA request to records@provhousing.org.

Pursuant to R.I. General Laws Section 38-2-3(d), the Providence Housing Authority has established the following procedure for responding to requests for public records:

1. Response

If the records requested are public (as defined in RIGL 38-2-2) and are readily available, we will swiftly provide them. There are times when the records will not be available at the time you make the request and/or we require legal clarification as to whether they are public. Records we can release can either be mailed or emailed to you or you may pick them up on a designated date. The Access to Public Records Act grants a public body ten (10) business days to respond to your request per R.I. General Laws Section 38-2-7(a). The Act further provides that “for good cause, this limit may be extended … up to an additional twenty (20) business days”. This provides for a total period not to exceed thirty (30) business days. We thank you in advance for your understanding if it is necessary, for good cause, to request this extension. Improper release of certain information could compromise the civil rights or personal safety of your fellow citizen, and we must review documents to prevent such harm.

2. Costs

The APRA offers you the opportunity to view and/or copy public records. The cost per page of written public documents is $.15 for documents copied on business or legal-size paper. You may elect to obtain public records in any and all media in which we are capable of providing them. The Act permits a reasonable charge for search and retrieval of documents. After the first hour, the hourly cost for such a search and retrieval is Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) per hour. If you request, we will provide a detailed itemization of the costs charged for search and retrieval. Multiple requests from any person or entity to the PHA within a thirty (30) day period shall be considered one request.

3. Public Records

A “public record” is defined as documents, papers, or other material regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency. A number of records are exempt from public disclosure by the Act.

4. Redaction

Although a document may constitute a public record, there may be some information contained in the document that may be redacted or deleted as it is exempt from disclosure. The Rhode Island Supreme Court stated that “in passing the APRA, the General Assembly intended to limit access to certain documents in order to avoid disclosure of confidential information to protect individuals from invasion of their privacy”. “There is no public interest to be weighted in disclosure of nonpublic records”. A “balancing of interest arises only after a record has first been determined to be a public record”.

5. Exemptions

The APRA exempts some records from public disclosure. For a full list of these exemptions, please see R.I. General Laws Section 38-2-2(4)(A)(I) and (II)(B) through (AA).

6. Denial of Access

If the PHA denies your APRA request in whole or in part, within ten (10) business days it shall provide to you its specific reasons for the denial and specify the procedures for you to appeal the denial. To appeal a denial, please contact Melissa Sanzaro, Executive Director, Providence Housing Authority, 100 Broad Street, Providence, RI 02903 for review of the determination made. This final determination shall be made within ten (10) business days after you submit your request to review the denial.

Requesting Records

How to request information under APRA

Public Records Request Form

Once complete, mail or return to the dropbox at the Providence Housing Authority Administrative Offices, 100 Broad St. Providence, RI 02903. Requests can also be returned electronically to records@provhousing.org.

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