New Homes in Warwick for Rhode Islanders with Disabilities
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New Homes in Warwick for Rhode Islanders with Disabilities

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Warwick, RI – November 8, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Jack Reed and U.S. Representative Jim Langevin joined the House of Hope CDC, Rhode Island Housing and their community partners for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Thomas Wilbur Homestead this morning.

“This development is a wonderful example of both preserving our past and building a better future. I applaud everyone who worked together to make this project a success and turn this historic property into new, affordable homes,” said Senator Reed, a member of both the Banking Committee, which oversees federal housing policy, and the Appropriations subcommittee, which oversees federal spending for HUD programs.

Originally a Baptist meeting house established in 1744, the Thomas Wilbur Homestead, which was designed to preserve the historic character of the property, now offers five families permanent homes and supportive services such as case management, benefits assistance and life skills classes. Located at 3188 Post Rd. in Warwick, the property also includes the House of Hope CDC’s administrative offices and headquarters.

“This project brings us closer to ensuring that every Rhode Islander has access to safe and affordable housing,” said Representative Langevin. “In the face of serious cutbacks, we must continue to support accessible and affordable housing initiatives like Thomas Wilbur Homestead by combining federal, state and private resources to create positive improvements in our communities.”

A carriage house that was already on the property was rehabilitated and converted into two single-bedroom apartments. In addition, a new building was constructed on the site which consists of three two-bedroom apartments. Each of these apartments incorporates universal design, and focuses on comfort, function and accommodating disabilities. The lower level apartments have been retrofitted to include all necessary ADA adaptations.

The Thomas Wilbur Homestead offers residents a place to call home as well as access to an array of services. These services help the residents enjoy improved physical and mental health; enrich their lives; and assist them to become better integrated into the community – a model that has had a proven track record of success.

“This is an example of what is achieved when we work together to reuse historic buildings and turn them into good, healthy homes that are conveniently placed near retail and commercial activities,” said Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. “We have added more vibrancy to our community, and this underscores our mission to ensure that all people who live and work in Rhode Island can afford a safe, healthy home that meets their needs.”

The apartments at the Thomas Wilbur Homestead are available to Rhode Islanders with disabilities and their families, who earn up to $21,950 for a family of four. The apartments allow residents to easily move about their homes.  These homes are not far from Kent Hospital, Kent County Mental Health Services and other medical services.

“Expanding housing options for individuals with disabilities has become an important part of the mission and vision of this Department,” said Craig Stenning, Director of the state Departmentof Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH). “Recovery cannot take place without a decent place to live and some type of employment opportunity. Each new project such as the Thomas Wilbur Homestead gives hope to new individuals and a path to recovery.”

Several partners contributed the financing that made this development possible. Among them:

  • HUD Section 811 Supportive Housing program, $832,800;
  • Rhode Island Housing HOME funds, $275,000;
  • Housing Resources Commission Neighborhood Opportunities Program (NOP) funds, $250,000;
  • City of Warwick Office of Housing and Community Development funds, $60,000
  • Rhode Island Housing and the state Departmentof Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) Thresholds funds, $280,000;
  • West Bay Community Action Program and the state Office of Energy Resources  Weatherization Funds, $10,000; and
  • Corporation for Supportive Housing and LISC with critical pre-development loans.

Contact:
Faye Zuckerman, 401 277-1564, fzuckerman (at) rhodeislandhousing (dot) org
Amy Lanctot, 401 450-1309, alanctot (at) rhodeislandhousing (dot) org

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