RI affordable housing could get a boost with United Way program

Rhode Island’s next housing secretary — whomever that ends up being — will take over with state housing policy in flux.

The affordable housing program, that since 1991 has told Rhode Island cities and towns that at least 10% of their homes should have subsidies and income restrictions, could face its biggest rewrite ever this year.

Even in the seven communities that have hit that target, housing seems unaffordable for many residents and a legislative commission that has been debating changes to the law — called the Low and Moderate Income Housing Act — is expected to make a series of recommendations this fall.

How might Rhode Island increase its affordable housing stock?

Those recommendations could include a set of proposals from the United Way of Rhode Island, which wants to greatly expand the incentives for developers to build apartments to rent at below market rate.