Rhode Island Becomes First State to Join ConnectHome Nation Initiative
PROVIDENCE, RI – RIHousing, in partnership with the RI Office of Innovation, has been selected to be part of the inaugural cohort of ConnectHome Nation, a program that aims to end the digital divide in public housing across the United States. Rhode Island is the first state to join the initiative.
The agency is one of 30 communities selected after an open application process and review by EveryoneOn, a national non-profit organization working to eliminate the digital divide by delivering free and affordable technology and training to all Americans.
“In today’s increasingly technological society, too many people are left behind when it comes to internet access–according to HUD statistics, less than half of our country’s lowest-income families have internet access at home,” said RIHousing Executive Director Barbara Fields. “Internet access opens a world of possibilities for families, and RIHousing is thrilled to partner with Connect Home to increase opportunity, equity and resources for Rhode Islanders.”
“ConnectHome and now ConnectHome Nation is a first of its kind, public-private partnership that is committed to ending the digital divide in public housing across the United States,” said Chike Aguh, chief executive officer of EveryoneOn. “We are so excited to welcome this new cohort of communities who are committed to changing the life trajectory of some of the most in need in our country. These communities’ commitment to ConnectHome Nation shows that when you collaborate across public and private sectors, you can solve any problem.”
In May 2017, EveryoneOn announced the expansion of the ConnectHome pilot initiative, which launched in 2015 in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and was created to bridge the digital divide in 28 pilot communities. Rebranded ConnectHome Nation, the goal of the initiative is to expand to 100 communities and connect 350,000 people living in HUD-assisted housing by 2020.
As part of this expansion, new communities will receive the following:
- Access to stakeholder commitments;
- Continued assistance with stakeholder negotiation by EveryoneOn as communities seek to add new partners to the initiative;
- Monthly webinars with EveryoneOn for help with local efforts and best practices;
- Access to a mentorship community to help guide progress; and,
- Access to the Digital ConnectHome Platform, which will include resources and collateral created for ConnectHome and would serve as a space for communities to connect, ask questions and collect data.
Over the course of the initiative, ConnectHome Nation expects to welcome more than 100 communities into its ranks, including the 30 communities announced today. These communities will be diverse in both size and geography. ConnectHome partners include EveryoneOn, Cox Connect2Compete, Mobile Beacon and PcsForPeople.
In addition, the current ConnectHome pilot communities will have the opportunity to serve as models and mentors for communities participating in ConnectHome Nation. All communities, both pilot and new, will be involved in a community of practice which will include mentorship meetings and a yearly ConnectHome Nation summit.
Participating communities include:
- Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA), OH
- City of Phoenix Housing Department, AZ
- ConnectHome Nation – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Alliance, NC
- Edinburg Housing Authority, TX
- Elm City Communities dba New Haven Housing Authority, CT
- Greensboro Housing Authority, NC
- Herkimer Housing Authority, NY
- Home Forward (f.k.a. Housing Authority of Portland), OR
- Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh (HACP); Allegheny County Housing
- Authority (ACHAP); City of Pittsburgh, PA
- Housing Authority County of San Joaquin (HACSJ), CA
- Housing Authority of Salt Lake City, UT
- Housing Authority of the City of Brownsville, TX
- Housing Authority of the City of Goldsboro, NC
- Housing Authority of the City of Wilson, NC
- Louisville Metro Housing Authority, KY
- Lumbee Tribe, NC
- MOWA Choctaw Housing Authority, AL
- North Little Rock Housing Authority, AR
- Northern Ponca Housing Authority, NE
- Pasco County Housing Authority, FL
- Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, WI
- Renton Housing Authority, WA
- Rhode Island Office of Innovation & Rhode Island Housing, RI
- Sanford Housing Authority, NC
- Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority, NV
- St. Louis County and City; Housing and Community Solutions, Inc., MO
- The Housing Authority of the City of Prichard, AL
- Tuskegee Housing Authority, AL
- Westmoreland County Housing Authority, PA
- Winnebago County Housing Authority, IL
To learn more, visit www.connecthomeusa.org.
Together with its partners, RIHousing works to ensure that all people who live and work in Rhode Island can afford a healthy, attractive home that meets their needs. RIHousing uses its resources to provide low-interest loans, grants, education and assistance to help Rhode Islanders find, rent, buy, build and keep a good home. Created by the General Assembly in 1973, RIHousing is a self-sustaining corporation and receives no state funding for operations..
EveryoneOn is a national nonprofit that creates social and economic opportunity by connecting everyone to the internet. Since 2012, EveryoneOn has connected more than 500,000 people in the United States, with the goal of connecting one million people by 2020. For more information, visit EveryoneOn.org.