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ONE|NB & Taunton Avenue Collaborative Close on Purchase of Vacant Taunton Avenue Property, Plans Underway for Transformative Housing Initiative in East Providence

Crossroads Rhode Island, Foster Forward, Family Service of Rhode Island to join ONE|NB to create 160 affordable apartments and provide on-site social service for key populations.

April 07, 2023

EAST PROVIDENCE, RI – ONE Neighborhood Builders (ONE|NB) recently purchased three contiguous vacant and blighted properties - for a total acquisition of 2.95 acres of land - on Taunton Avenue in East Providence and will transform the site into a mixed-income residential community, featuring 160 new apartments and plentiful amenities. This significant project is the brainchild of the Taunton Avenue Collaborative, a unique partnership of four proven organizations:

  • ONE|NB, one of the state’s leading non-profit housing developers and community development corporations;

  • Crossroads Rhode Island, the state’s leading provider of housing and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness;

  • Foster Forward, Rhode Island’s leading organization that empowers lives impacted by foster care;

  • Family Service of Rhode Island, a comprehensive statewide human service organization that advances equity, opportunity, and hope.

Together these partners will bring their expertise in housing development and supportive service delivery to create a vibrant and diverse apartment community for extremely low-income households, youth aging out of foster care, and low- to moderate-income families. Initial funding for the Taunton Avenue Collaborative has been provided through the Rhode Island Foundation and federal grants secured by the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation, among other funding partners.

“This unprecedented partnership represents one of the most ambitious and most impactful housing initiatives in all of Rhode Island. The creation of 160 new affordable apartments on its own would be game-changing. Coupling that development with service partnerships from three of the state’s most effective and most respected nonprofits gives Rhode Island an opportunity to be held up as a national leader in developing integrated supportive housing,” said Jennifer Hawkins, President and Executive Director of ONE|NB. “Our team is prepared to work as quickly as possible to bring this urgently needed housing to market.”

The Collaborative will redevelop the blighted and vacant three-acre property and create a dynamic, mixed-use campus that includes 160 residential units, 6,000 square feet of commercial space earmarked for a new early learning center, 1,500 square feet of community amenity space, and plentiful playground areas. The project includes the rehabilitation of an existing 4-story building that will include 54 residential units and the construction of two new buildings that will create 106 additional residential units.

“We know that housing is the only proven solution for homelessness. The Taunton Avenue Collaborative is a creative and unprecedented collaboration that provides access to affordable housing and supportive services that will help low-income individuals and families maintain their housing and live healthy lives,” said Crossroads RI CEO Karen Santilli. “I’m proud to stand with the other women leaders from ONE|NB, Foster Forward, and Family Service of RI who have shown that a shared vision can be turned into reality. This partnership is groundbreaking in Rhode Island and I hope this model is replicated throughout the state in the years to come.”

The apartments constructed will be affordable for extremely low- to moderate-income households. Approximately 40 percent of the units will be designed as permanent supportive housing (PSH) which pairs housing with case management and supportive services provided by ONE|NB service partners. PSH is a proven solution to homelessness.

  • 25 apartments will be managed by Crossroads which will provide ongoing support to individuals and families who have experienced homelessness.

  • Foster Forward will manage 20 apartments and provide housing and services for foster youth who have aged out of foster care programs.

  • Family Service of Rhode Island will support 20 units and provide supportive services to families who have been involved with the Department of Children, Youth and Families (or at risk of being involved).

The remaining 60 percent of units will be designated as affordable for households earning a low- to moderate-income (60 to 120 percent of AMI).

“Foster Forward is thrilled to be part of this innovative partnership” said Lisa Guillette, Executive Director of Foster Forward. “This Collaborative is demonstrating that public/private partnerships rapidly accelerate affordable housing production while building communities where individuals, families and young adults who are leaving foster care can thrive.”

“Family Service of Rhode Island is deeply committed to partnerships that advance real solutions to the most pressing needs in our community,” said Margaret Holland McDuff, CEO of Family Service of Rhode Island. “This project will, on a significant scale, provide affordable housing and supportive services to Rhode Island’s children and families. We’re proud to be part of this dynamic Collaborative.”

ONE|NB has built a meaningful relationship with the City of East Providence in recent years. The Taunton Avenue development will be the organization’s fourth project in the City.

"The Taunton Avenue Collaborative is an innovative approach to housing that will further strengthen the East Providence community,” Said Mayor Bob DaSilva. “As Mayor, I am proud of the progress we've made in East Providence to provide residents at all income levels with more access to affordable housing. The partnership between these four dynamic and respected organizations will have a positive impact on hundreds of lives. I hope other mayors across Rhode Island see what we're doing in East Providence and commit to replicating our success."

  • Last fall, ONE|NB completed the renovation of the Sutton Place apartments which preserved 36 affordable apartments and helped make East Providence the seventh community in Rhode Island to meet the state’s goal of having 10 percent of their housing stock set aside as affordable.

  • Next week, ONE|NB and other partners will break ground on the development of 16 new apartments in Riverside Square. Three of these units are reserved for youth aging out of foster care in partnership with Foster Forward

  • ONE|NB is currently in predevelopment for a project with Aldersbridge Communities in East Point that will create 39 new affordable apartments for Rhode islanders 55 years old and older. It will be the state’s first development specifically designed for the LGBTQ+ community.

“The key to ending Rhode Island’s housing crisis is building more housing. Community collaborations like this one show that we are capable of rising to the challenge. I will continue to support efforts in the House that invest in housing and promote forward-looking policies that strengthen East Providence and our entire state,” said Representative Katherine Kazarian.

“Housing is one of the most urgent issues facing our community and our state. This exciting project will create 160 new housing units and provide necessary relief for families in East Providence and across Rhode Island. Thanks to ONE|NB and the other nonprofit partners, this project has the opportunity to make an immediate and meaningful impact on the housing crisis we are experiencing and will provide the entire region with a replicable model to produce more housing,” said Senator Valarie Lawson.

To date, the Collaborative has secured $7.1 million for the project, including:

  • $2 million Congressional earmark for development;

  • $3.8 million from LISC for acquisition and predevelopment;

  • $1 million from Rhode Island Housing for land acquisition;

  • $154,000 from the City of East Providence for land acquisition;

  • $135,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation for acquisition deposits and predevelopment; and

  • $20,000 from Housing Ministries of New England for predevelopment.

ONE|NB and its partners are pursuing an aggressive development schedule to provide necessary relief in Rhode Island’s housing market. Should key funding support be made available by state and federal partners, ONE|NB can complete this development and provide individuals and families with keys to their new apartments by Summer 2025.

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