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Ribbons Cut on New Affordable Apartments in Barrington

Published on September 23, 2019 by Rhode Island Housing
Ribbons Cut on New Affordable Apartments in Barrington

Partners and elected officials gather to celebrate the completion of 46 new rental homes

PROVIDENCE, RI – Congressman David Cicilline recently joined state and local officials, representatives of RIHousing, East Bay Community Development Corporation (EBCDC), and funding and community partners to celebrate the completion of new rental homes in Barrington.

Known as Palmer Pointe, the development includes 46 affordable apartments at two locations: 40 apartments on the Sowams Road site (former home of Sowams Nursery) and six units on three vacant lots at the Sweetbriar development on Washington Street in West Barrington. Both sites feature homes designed using traditional building styles along roads lined with sidewalks. Parking is situated beside or behind buildings to help strengthen the pedestrian network of the community.

“Important projects like Palmer Pointe are made possible when organizations like EBCDC and RIHousing work with elected officials at the local, state, and federal level to give folks the tools they need to get ahead,” said Congressman David N. Cicilline. “I commend both EBCDC and RIHousing for their continued efforts to provide hardworking families with high-quality, affordable housing and their tireless dedication to making our state a better place to call home.”

Initiatives like Palmer Pointe are integral to solving Rhode Island’s affordable housing crisis and providing well-paying jobs while creating vibrant communities with good homes. Whether living in an urban, suburban or rural setting, Rhode Islanders need rental options that they can afford, and in communities where they want to live.

“I am excited to welcome our newest Barrington residents,” said Michael Carroll, Barrington Town Council President. “They will find that they’ve moved to a very welcoming place. We’ve learned that developments like Palmer Pointe enrich our community in many ways.”

The six units at the Sweetbriar site complement the 47 affordable apartments previously completed by EBCDC in 2011. Originally envisioned as homeownership units, due to changes in the economy it was more financially feasible to continue with rental apartments using existing infrastructure, and the new buildings were able to be constructed quickly.

“The Palmer Pointe project is the latest demonstration of the EBCDC’s commitment to the communities we serve,” said Diane Mederos, Executive Director of the East Bay Community Development Corporation. “We take pride in the homes we’ve developed and in creating communities where families can thrive.”

The creation of new homes at Palmer Pointe supported 83 jobs, 58 of which were in the construction trades. Funding for Palmer Pointe came from a variety of funding sources, including a construction loan and mortgage from RIHousing, $1 million in HOME Program funding, $9.7 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, $2.2 million from Building Homes Rhode Island (BHRI) state bond funding and a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

Anne Nolan, Chair of the Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission (HRC), spoke at the event, representing the BHRI and CDBG investments in the development.

“The need and demand for affordable family housing is strong in Barrington, where only 7% of the town’s housing stock is multifamily,” said Carol Ventura, Interim Executive Director of RIHousing. “Palmer Pointe provides much needed affordable homes in a highly desirable community with only limited affordable apartment options.”

Palmer Pointe completes the Sweetbriar development on Washington Street and adds new homes on the former nursery site on Sowams Road, which reflect the architectural character of the surrounding community and maintain the scale of a single-family neighborhood. The landscaping includes common greens and shared space to create a strong sense of community for families.

“Red Stone Equity Partners congratulates our partner East Bay Community Development Corporation (EBCDC) on the completion of Palmer Pointe, our second affordable housing collaboration with EBCDC. We are pleased to provide over $9 million of tax credit equity for the newly constructed affordable housing development in the City of Barrington,” said Rob Vest, Managing Director of Acquisitions for Red Stone Equity Partners. “This project provides 46 units of affordable housing to local families and continues our commitment to being a part of affordable housing solutions in Rhode Island and across the nation.”

Apartments will be affordable to families earning less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), $49,140 for a family of four.

The event also included a dedication of the new road at Palmer Point in honor of Coach Frank Murgo, who passed away in January 2019 at age 95. A long-time Barrington resident, Coach Murgo was the former coach of the Peck Junior High School basketball team and coached football in Barrington for many years. In 2017, the Barrington High School gym was named after him. Members of the Murgo family were in attendance at the dedication ceremony.

About RIHousing
RIHousing works to ensure that all people who live in Rhode Island can afford a healthy, attractive home that meets their needs. RIHousing provides 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. For more information regarding RIHousing, visit www.RIHousing.com or follow us @RIHousing on Facebook and Twitter.

About East Bay Community Development Corporation (EBCDC)
It is the mission of the East Bay Community Development Corp to preserve the quality of family and community life in the East Bay by insuring that a full range of safe, attractive and affordable housing opportunities are available to meet the needs of all our residents.

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