Sign the petition

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 9:15pm

Block Island keeps wrestling with its affordable housing situation, and now it can use some help from the Rhode Island General Assembly. House Bill 5451 is designed to increase the income ceiling for families and individuals so that more people may become eligible for affordable housing on Block Island. This bill will increase the income ceiling to 140 percent of the median income for island residents — up from 120 percent. This bill is written specifically for Block Island, and is necessary because our median income is higher than most communities.

“I don’t feel as though we’re asking for the moon,” said Cindy Pappas, Chair of the Housing Board, in the story published on page 1. And the Housing Board is not.

Housing is a very real issue on Block Island. Social media is flooded with messages from employers seeking long- and short-term housing needs for employees. There are fewer and fewer year-round apartments available, and zero affordable homes on Block Island outside specifically designated subdivisions. The homes proposed for the Cherry Hill Lane, available to the working class, will be a boon to middle income families.

Having a robust, happy, contributing working class with secure housing is essential for the economic and overall health of Block Island.

Sign the petition. It will be available at the Island Free Library starting Friday, May 17, and urge the House of Representatives to pass this bill (a version has already passed in the State Senate) so it can get to Gov. Gina Raimondo’s desk so she can sign it into law.