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Central Falls City Council creates Affordable Housing Fund



City Council President Maria Rivera notes that this is the first affordable housing fund in the city’s history.

The Central Falls City Council approved Monday night, by a unanimous vote, the creation of an Affordable Housing Fund.  Developers who receive tax stabilization benefits from the city will either have to create affordable housing units within their development or pay a fee into this new Housing Fund to build new affordable housing in the city.

Central Falls Council President Maria Rivera sees a “win-win” with this new public policy.

“Investment is very important to our city – especially around the train station and the Landing which are both on the path to development,” said Rivera. “This new legislation will ensure that no Central Falls resident gets left behind as we see additional investment.”

Rivera stated that the new Affordable Housing Fund was co-sponsored by Council members Jessica Vega and Jonathon Acosta and involved collaboration with Mayor James Diossa, the Planning Department, the Law Department and community organizations.

“This historic Affordable Housing Fund ensures that all Central Falls residents will see the benefits and that we ensure that our housing stays affordable,” said Rivera. “That is because we are requiring that new development must be accompanied by requirements to further increase economic development in the city; preference for local suppliers and vendors, the use of WBE and MBE businesses and the local hiring of Central Falls residents.”

The stated purpose of the ordinance says that the, “City of Central Falls is committed to the development of a comprehensive housing strategy that addresses the housing needs of the different populations that live in our community.” Furthermore, “when the city participates in the development of housing by approving [a tax stabilization], the applicant must commit to developing affordable housing units in accordance with the provisions of this section.”

“I applaud the leadership of Council members [Jessica] Vega and [Jonathan] Acosta, who deeply appreciate the seriousness of the affordable housing crisis in Rhode Island and in our city,” concluded Rivera. “Only by working together can we continue Central Falls on a path moving forward, ensuing opportunity for all.”

[From a press release]

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