Mayor Jorge Elorza today announced EveryHome, a suite of tools to put local businesses to work rehabilitating and filling every boarded and abandoned property in the City of Providence.
“Abandoned properties have been bringing the quality of life in our neighborhoods down for too long,” said Mayor Elorza. “The EveryHome program gives us the tools to put local businesses to work filling every vacant and abandoned home in Providence.”
The Mayor’s program will address abandoned properties and produce local jobs for these projects through utilizing an expansion of the receivership program, withholding vacant properties from tax sales to promote rehabilitation and aligning federal investments with the goals of the initiative.
EveryHome brings to scale a program where court appointed receivers oversee the rehabilitation of abandoned properties. If neither a home owner nor the bank takes responsibility for a vacant home, a judge can appoint a receiver who is skilled in turning these homes around.
To facilitate the receivership program, the Mayor and Rhode Island Housing have teamed up to develop a revolving loan fund that will offer small loans to receivers at lower interest rates so more of their budget can go to renovation and not high short-term interest payments.
“Rhode Island Housing is pleased to be a part of Mayor Elorza’s proposed solution for putting blighted, abandoned properties back to productive use,” said Barbara Fields, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. “Rhode Island Housing’s $3 million revolving loan could help the City encourage strategic investments in every neighborhood in Providence.”
The $3 million revolving loan from Rhode Island Housing is expected to leverage additional private capital.
Another tool by which EveryHome is addressing vacant property is through an innovative tax foreclosure process.
In the past, vacant properties have been included in the City’s tax sale process, where they are very unlikely to be rehabilitated. Rather than suffer this fate, the city will now divert the tax sale of properties it knows to be vacant to a buyer who is capable and motivated to fill the home.
EveryHome rethinks the way that Providence uses certain federal funds for community development. It allocates $1 million in Community Development Block Grants to address vacant and abandoned properties this year.
Finally, EveryHome will create jobs in Providence and put local contractors to work rebuilding homes in their city. We are working closely with local and minority owned business contractors to connect them with EveryHome projects.
In the next six years, Every Home has the capability of filling every vacant and abandoned property in the City of Providence and to do so while creating local jobs and strengthening neighborhoods.