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PBN: Will business on Block Island always be seasonal?

By Emily Gowdey-Backus

August 18, 2017 5:30 am

Sven Risom and his wife, Laura, became enamored with the beauty of Block Island long ago. After summering there for many years, they became full-time residents in 2009. That’s when they began putting into action a plan to prove “a year-round business can work” on the island, said Sven.

Today, North Light Fibers, an 8-year-old micro yarn mill, employs six ­workers year-round. Its yarn is spun from alpacas and yaks at The 1661 Inn’s farm, a neighboring hotel, as well as from fibers from across the country.

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September 20, 2017 in Local Interest

The Block Island Times: Affordable housing development approved

By Cassius Shuman Fri, 06/30/2017 - 10:00am

The Housing Board’s Cherry Hill Lane affordable housing project is one step closer to becoming a reality. That’s because the New Shoreham Zoning Board granted unanimous approval of the project, clearing the way for five qualified year-round residents and their families to enter a lottery to secure affordable housing on Block Island.

In its decision, the Zoning Board noted that abutting opposition to the project “lacked focus, and specific details” necessary to influence the board’s approvals. None of the abutters who had voiced opposition to the project throughout the application process were present at the meeting. The State of Rhode Island mandates affordable housing at 10 percent of housing development.

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Block Island Times: Affordable housing project sparks further debate at Zoning Board meeting

By Cassius Shuman, Fri, 06/02/2017 - 11:00am

The Block Island Housing Board’s Cherry Hill Lane development sparked an impassioned discourse between two parties on opposite sides of the issue at a recent Zoning Board meeting. The Housing Board is seeking a special use permit from the Zoning Board to proceed with construction of the development to address the island’s need for affordable housing. The project has received the approval of the Planning Board.

While Housing Board Chair Cindy Pappas expressed the need for affordable housing on the island at the meeting, noting that the development’s footprint would not be altered, and that the board “wanted to be good neighbors,” abutters opposing the project said it raised “density” concerns and would “create suburbia.”

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The Block Island Times: Rental housing survey planned by Housing Board and BI Economic Development

By Pat Tengwall, Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:45am

The two island-based organizations with the mission of developing affordable housing will cooperate on a survey to document island residents' need for both year-round and seasonal rental housing units.

Two representatives of the Block Island Economic Development Foundation took part in the Block Island Housing Board's March 15 meeting to refine a draft questionnaire and begin planning for the survey's implementation.

“We want to know: Is there a need for rental housing on Block Island?” began Housing Board Chair Cindy Pappas. “What data are we looking for [and] what questions will elicit the data?”

And, “Who is our audience for this survey?” asked member Millie McGinnes.

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The Block Island Times: Next step: Affordable rental apartments

The Block Island Planning Board has spent a considerable amount of time performing a delicate balancing act. They have been considering two proposals of inordinately different sizes and intents, yet the sensitivity of the members showed that Block Island has the capacity to accommodate almost – almost – everyone’s needs.

The two projects are the Hammarskjold proposal for the 16.7-acre Champlin’s Farm property, located on the shore of the Great Salt Pond, and the 4.5-acre affordable housing proposal located just off Cooneymus Road.

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2013 Housing Fact Book municipal data now available online

What is the average rent for a two bedroom apartment in Johnston? How about the median price for a single-family home in Cumberland? Do you earn the income needed for either of these homes to be affordable? The answers to these questions can be found in the City and Town data pages of HousingWorksRI.org.

These annual data points offer a sneak preview to an even more in-depth affordability analysis of 2012 data that HousingWorks RI will offer in the 2013 Housing Fact Book. The 2013 Housing Fact Book will be released Friday, September 27th.

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Q1 2013 Foreclosures in RI

PROVIDENCE, RI – June 20, 2013 – HousingWorks RI today released its analysis of foreclosures in Rhode Island for Q1 2013. The report looks at the number of residential foreclosures in each of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns and offers regional comparisons.

Quick Glance Findings:

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Ownership: the goal of affordable housing candidates

An article by Judy Tierney in The Block Island Times reads:

Island residents hoping to qualify for future affordable housing attended a forum hosted by the Block Island Housing Board last Saturday, January 12. They were joined by Cooneymus Road homeowners and other interested townspeople, to discuss options for the Brown/Smith property, a 4.5-acre parcel off Cooneymus Road the town purchased to add to the island’s affordable housing stock.

In a rare show of unity, there was an apparent consensus among the prospective residents that the property should hold home-ownership units, not rentals.

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Election Day is tomorrow: Vote Yes on 7!

The countdown is over, and Election Day is tomorrow! You can show your support for homes, for jobs, and for Rhode Island by voting Yes on 7!

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Partnership for Community Development - Registration open!

The Partnership for Community Development program at the School of Continuing Studies of Roger Williams University is now accepting registrations for the upcoming Fall 2012 semester.

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August 8, 2012 in Events