City council holds first meeting in 2022



City council holds first meeting in 2022

• Council Chairman John Igliozzi delivers unprecedented speech and calls for independent audit to oversee disbursement of $ 124 million in federal relief funds

• Council asks RI DOT to reduce speed limit on Allens Ave to 25 mph

• Council calls on Providence Housing to stimulate more affordable housing

• A final decree has been adopted banning the storage of liquid propane gas (LPG) in the city.

• The advisers ask the administration to hire a consultant to understand the true status of all real estate owned by the city for the possibility of developing affordable housing or other public services.

Providence, RI – At the Providence City Council meeting tonight, President John Igliozzi (Ward 7) set out a serious and circumspect agenda for 2022, which includes maintaining the tax line, supporting the police and public safety, as well as the importance of both in a decade of legislative process involving the Charter Review Board and the Ward Boundaries Committee. COVID-19 has decimated local restaurants, hotels and small businesses in Providence. Many people have lost their jobs and cannot find housing. The city has the enormous responsibility of dispersing $ 124 million in American Rescue Plant Act recovery funds. “Therefore, as part of ARPA’s budget, I will recommend that the Board retain the services of an independent auditor to track, monitor and prepare bimonthly reports on ARPA expenditures. This will allow the Board and the public to monitor the progress of every ARPA dollar, ”Igliozzi said.

Liquid propane gas
The municipal council adopted the ordinance of the president pro tempore Pedro Espinal (district 10) prohibiting the storage of liquid propane gas (LPG) in Providence. The legislation comes after Pro Tempore Espinal and community activists continued to advocate that outside companies not be allowed to increase the storage of highly combustible LPG in the port of Providence. While liquid natural gas has long been banned in Providence because of its high risk of combustion, Espinal has led efforts to extend that ban to liquid propane gas. “Tonight’s ordinance is a great victory for the protection of the environment and the areas of the port of Providence. Families in South Providence have too often had the short end of the stick, as an environmentally damaging industry is allowed to flourish freely in their backyards. This ordinance gives priority to residents of Providence and takes a stand against environmentally harmful business practices. I am grateful to my fellow councilors and the many tireless community advocates who have joined me in the continued fight for public health and environmental protection in our city, ”said Espinal.

Housing need
City Councilor and Finance Committee Chair Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) introduced and passed a resolution calling on the Providence Housing Authority to act urgently and maximize its Project Voucher Allocation (PBV) to promote development affordable housing in the capital. The Federal Housing Act of 2001 allows public housing agencies like the PHA to convert up to 20% of their housing choice vouchers (HCV) portfolios into project-based vouchers. What is the difference? HCVs travel with the family, usually in single private units. PBVs remain rooted in Providence and, when combined with other housing support resources, provide essential top-up funding for otherwise unsustainable affordable housing developments. “The PHA is underutilizing this essential tool that creates affordable housing for disabled, elderly and low-income households. Only 100 project-based vouchers exist under the PHA. That’s about 4% of his wallet and way too low. The PHA has a long way to go in stimulating construction and meeting the needs of residents looking for a place to call home, ”said Ryan.

Vacant property
Tonight Councilor David Salvatore (Ward 14) and City Council passed Resolution 35044, calling for a detailed analysis of all city-owned real estate to identify possible areas for developing affordable housing. In September 2020, the council requested a list of all real estate owned by the city and the Providence Redevelopment Agency (PRA). Initial estimates show more than 150 vacant lots belonging to the City. “Right now our city has an unprecedented need for affordable housing. With this resolution and our real estate valuations, we can begin to use untapped resources to provide housing for the people of Providence, ”said City Councilor Salvatore. “I am delighted to begin to explore potential avenues for the dynamic and much needed development of these otherwise unused plots and buildings. The council is now calling for immediate site assessments of all real estate owned by the PRA and the city.

Full Board file
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