Rhode Island

  • State Data Overview

    Across Rhode Island, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.

    Renter households that are extremely low income
    Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters
    Average income limit for 4-person extremely low income household
    Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.
    Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
  • State Level Partners

    NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer

    Lindsay Duvall

    Lindsay Duvall

    202-662-1530 x206 | [email protected]

    State Partners

    Housing Network of Rhode Island

    1070 Main Street

    Pawtucket, RI 02860

    P 401-721-5680


    Melina Lodge, Executive Director

    [email protected]

    Katie West, Manager, Homes RI

    [email protected]

    Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness

    225 Dyer St., 2nd floor

    Providence, RI 02903

    P 401-721-5685


    Caitlin Frumerie, LCSW, Executive Director

    [email protected]

    Margaux Morisseau, Deputy Director

    [email protected]

    Become an NLIHC State Partner

    NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.

    Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]

    Become a Member
  • Housing Trust Fund
    HTF Implementation Information

    NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Tori Bourret with any questions.

    NHTF logo
    Current Year HTF Allocation
    NLIHC Point Person for HTF Advocacy

    Melina Lodge

    Executive Director

    Housing Network Rhode Island

    401-721-5680 x 38

    [email protected]

    State Designated Entity:

    Carol Ventura

    Deputy Director

    Rhode Island Housing


    [email protected]

    Official Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:

    Lauren Farley

    Rhode Island Housing

    Program Coordinator/Home


    [email protected]

    State Entity Webpage

    Rhode Island Housing

    NHTF-specific page

    Housing Trust Fund Resources

    Annual Action Plans

  • Resources

    Housing Profiles

    State Housing Profile

    State Housing Profile: Rhode Island (PDF) (JPG)

    Congressional District Housing Profile

    Congressional District Profile: Rhode Island (PDF)

    Research and Data

    National Housing Preservation Database

    The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.

    Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing

    Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. In Rhode Island and Nationwide

    The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes

    The Gap represents data on the affordable housing supply and housing cost burdens at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. In Rhode Island and Nationwide

  • Take Action
    Urge Congress to Enact Historic Housing Investments!
    Urge Congress to Pass a Budget with Increased Investments in Affordable Homes
  • COVID-19 Resources
    COVID-19 Resources

    NLIHC has estimated a need for no less than $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and broke down the need and cost for each state (download Excel spreadsheet). 

    In response to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, many cities and states are creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by the pandemic, and NLIHC is tracking in-depth information on these programs.  

    You can use the interactive map and searchable database to find state and local emergency rental assistance programs near you. You can also see the latest news on rental assistance programs through the state-by-state news tracker. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all rental assistance programs as we continue to update frequently. If you are aware of a program not included in our database, please contact [email protected]

    COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

    Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.

    Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:

    No information at this time.

    RIHousing announced on May 3 that RentReliefRI will stop accepting applications on June 1 because all remaining funds will soon be spent. More than 27,000 Rhode Island households have been approved for assistance since the program launched in March 2021.

    Updated on May 16, 2022

    The Boston Globe reports that as winter approaches, Rhode Island’s homelessness crisis continues to worsen. The waitlist for shelter in Rhode Island has 1,000 people on it. There is no quarantine and isolation site for unhoused people who test positive for COVID-19, and a new site set to open on November 1 has been delayed.

    Advocates and residents gathered in downtown Providence on October 23 to call for action on evictions, homelessness, and the housing crisis – all of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. The Rhode Island-based group Direct Action for Rights and Equality called on state and local leaders to take action to prevent evictions and ensure housing for all, including by enacting an eviction moratorium and declaring a State of Emergency for homelessness.

    Updated on November 03, 2021

    Governor Dan McKee announced on October 5 that $50 million in federal rental assistance has been approved in Rhode Island, with nearly 4,600 rental households receiving aid.

    Updated on October 19, 2021

    Governor Daniel McKee and the Rhode Island Housing Authority on August 31 approved a new policy to speed the distribution of emergency rental assistance (ERA). Under the new policy, RI Housing will approve applications even if they are missing nonessential information or have minor errors. The department will work to address the missing information after the application is approved. Governor McKee believes this policy change will increase accessibility to all eligible renters. Learn more at: RentReliefRI

    Updated on 14, 2021

    RentReliefRI is asking residents to share information about the emergency rental assistance (ERA) program with clients, community members, and partners to ensure this information reaches those who need it most. Check out RentReliefRI’s outreach tools and resources
    Updated on August 30, 2021

    Rhode Island’s new statewide rental assistance program, RentReliefRI, has officially opened. The $200 million rent relief program is funded through Treasury's Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. Check out the following resources:

    Updated on April 17, 2021

    Crossroads Rhode Island opened an emergency shelter at a former YMCA building in Providence with 30 additional beds allowing for appropriate social distancing. Crossroads used COVID-19 relief funds to renovate the building, which has been vacant for the last two years.

    Updated on December 9, 2020

    One in four Rhode Islanders is unable to provide enough food for themselves and their families. “We’re coming up against that moment when bankruptcy, eviction, and hunger” break out, says Andrew Schiff, chief executive officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

    Updated on November 30, 2020

    The NBC 10 I-Team reports the number of eviction cases filed in Rhode Island district court during the pandemic jumped once again in September. A total of 1,226 eviction cases were filed from June through August. The number of filings jumped to 1,667 by the end of September, marking the fourth month in a row that filings increased since courts reopened.

    South Coast Today discusses renters’ frustrations with accessing Rhode Island’s rental assistance programs. Governor Gina Raimondo acknowledges that the programs, Housing Help RI and the Safe Harbor Housing Program, face procedural hurdles that have slowed the distribution of the funds.

    Updated on October 5, 2020

    Evictions in Rhode Island have been rising since the moratorium expired in June. More than 12,000 new evictions were filed in August, which is up from about 800 in July and 549 in June. 

    Updated on September 10, 2020.

    Rhode Island launched its Safe Harbor Housing Program, an eviction diversion initiative designed to help landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process. 

    Updated on August 4, 2020.

    Providence announced nearly $1 million for eviction legal defense and emergency housing assistance. The program will be funded through $769,756 of Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG-CV), $170,000 in Community Development Block Grant - Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds, and $300,000 from the Providence Housing Trust Fund.

    Updated on July 7, 2020.

    Rhode Island advocates are concerned about a rise in evictions and homelessness as a result of COVID-19, noting that the demand for rental assistance is far exceeding the supply. While the looming housing crisis is a threat to the entire state, it is also a reminder that disasters have a disparate impact on certain groups. “COVID is far from being the greater equalizer. It’s exacerbated so many inequalities and disparities, and that comes through in stark light when you look at access to basic, secure affordable housing,” said Kristina Contreras Fox of the Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness, an NLIHC state partner.

    Governor Gina Raimondo announced that Rhode Island will allocate $500,000 to provide financial incentives for landlords to rent to people experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness. Landlords will receive a $2,000 signing bonus for the first unit that they rent to people experiencing homelessness and $500 for each additional unit.

    Updated on June 22, 2020.

    Governor Gina Raimondo announced on May 28 that the state will make available an additional $5 million in funding for the Housing Help RI emergency rental assistance fund.

    Housing advocates in Rhode Island urged state legislators to include affordable housing in their recovery plans. Advocates also urged Governor Gina Raimondo to protect the dedicated revenue stream to produce affordable housing that she pledged to include in her budget earlier this year.

    Governor Gina Raimondo announced that her administration is seeking permission to use $5.1 million in federal Medicaid funds to pay for food, rent, and mobile phone numbers for people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. 

    An interactive model from researchers at Boston University School of Social Work, University of Pennsylvania, and UCLA projects that at any given point in time, nearly 800 Rhode Islanders experiencing homelessness will require emergency COVID-19 accommodations.

    Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.

    Courts will resume evictions on June 2.  Eviction hearings are being conducted remotely. 

    Updated: July 31.

    In the third week of July, 1 in 4 adults in Rhode Island reported they had missed their previous housing payment or had little confidence they would make their next one on time, according to a weekly survey conducted by the Census. In the same survey, 28,978 renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment.

    Updated: July 29

    As of early July, 4,512 people have filed for rental assistance through the state’s Housing Help RI rental assistance program. Due to its significant restrictions and high barrier application process, many are excluded. So far, the program has only distributed funds to 25 applicants. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released a report in May that suggests 13% of renters and 33% of homeowners in Rhode Island are at risk of missing housing payments when federal unemployment aid expires at the end of July. According to a weekly survey by the Census, nearly 1 in 4 adults in the state either missed their last housing payment or have little/no confidence of being able to make next month’s housing payment.

    Updated: July 16

    COVID-19 Resources Other

    National Media

    What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d

    Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb