As our community returns to a new normal post-pandemic, we are starting to see the impact COVID has had, not only on the health of our state's residents, but also on the health of Rhode Island's already struggling housing and rental market.
Currently, there are over 1,000 Rhode Islanders in need of housing placement. However, between skyrocketing housing prices and lack of available apartments, housing is largely inaccessible to this population.
"The solution to homelessness is housing and there is just no sufficient housing," said Crossroads' President Michelle Wilcox during her roundtable talk with WPRI this month. "We have to invest in more affordable housing."
As a result of housing costs going up, additional strain has been added to the rental market, which is what many of Crossroads' clients rely on to secure stable housing of their own.
"We need housing at all levels. You have folks who want to buy a home, and maybe two years ago could afford to buy homes, but they can't find that place to call home today. They're being forced into the rental market," shared David Salvatore of the R.I. Association of Realtors during the roundtable discussion. "This puts pressure on what Michelle and her [Crossroads] team are doing around addressing homelessness."
During the interview, Wilcox also elevated a recommendation for $500 million of ARPA funds to be invested in affordable housing to truly make housing accessible to all Rhode Islanders.
Full interview curtesy of WPRI 12.