Tenants rally against Rhode Island
Housings process of development of the Barbara Jordan II housing project.
Specifically their concerns are the fact that tenants have been left out of the
planning process; some tenants being forced to move without plans for temporary
re-location until the project is completed.
Hence the tenants have banned together
with Dare and it’s Tenant and Homeowner Association to rally and protest
against the process that Rhode Island Housing has presented to them. In
addition support for rent control in Rhode Island to improve housing
opportunities for low-income families.
Rent Control limits rent increases to
once per year and no more than 4% or the rise in the cost of living. The rent
control process also creates a Rent Board with 3 tenants and 3 landlords who
are charged with resolving disputes between tenants and landlords. Assistance
is also offered in the event of forced eviction due to rent increases or sale
of home and tenants are guaranteed renewable one-year leases. The lack of housing
maintenance can result in rent refunds under the rent control system.
DARE leaders of the Tenant and
Homeowner Association learned that RI Housing had hired Camiros, a consulting
firm from Chicago, to conduct community engagement on the redevelopment of
Barbara Jordan II apartments, a recently foreclosed, 74 unit low-income housing
project in South Providence.
DARE and THA members have been
following the degradation of the buildings and units at Barbara Jordan II for
years, including supporting former residents to find new housing when they were
given mobile vouchers to move. Yet RI Housing did not invite DARE to the
meeting to discuss plans for community engagement with Camiros.
Additional actions are being planned by
the two organizations to shed light on this issue with the hope of improving
communication between tenants living in Rhode Island Housing units and the
Housing Authority itself.