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Emergency Assistance Funds

Heat Assistance
This innovative program enables Rhode Island Housing’s FirstHomes customers to defer $200 a month from their mortgage payments for up to four months during the winter season, with the understanding that they will pay an extra $100 a month after the heating season is over to make up the difference. The program is free and does not increase the interest customers pay on their mortgages.

Supportive Housing Program
The Supportive Housing Program (SHP) is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Each year, Rhode Island Housing applies for a grant in which partner service agencies are provided with funding for a wide array of programs. These programs provide housing with services to the homeless population along a “Continuum of Care.”

The three basic program types are:
• Safe Havens, housing for hard-to-reach homeless persons with severe mental illnesses who are on the streets and have been unable or unwilling to participate in supportive services;
• Transitional Housing, housing in which homeless persons live for up to 24 months and receive supportive services that enable them to live more independently and
• Permanent Housing, long-term community-based housing and supportive services for homeless persons with disabilities.

The intent of this type of supportive housing is to enable this special needs population to live as independently as possible in a permanent setting. 

Shelter Plus Care Program
The Shelter Plus Care Program (S+C) is designed to link rental assistance to supportive services for hard-to-serve homeless persons with disabilities (primarily those who are seriously mentally ill; have chronic problems with alcohol, drugs, or both; or have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and related diseases) and their families. The program provides grants to be used for rental assistance for permanent housing for homeless persons with disabilities.

Rental assistance grants must be matched by supportive services that are equal in value to the amount of rental assistance and appropriate to the needs of the population to be served. S+C is authorized by title IV, subtitle F. of the Stewart B. Mc Kinney Homeless Assistance Act (the McKinney Act).

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program
The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program addresses the specific needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. HOPWA, established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), makes grants to local communities, states, and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low income persons medially diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and their families.

HOPWA funding provides housing assistance and related supportive services as part of HUD’s Consolidated Planning initiative that works in partnership with communities and neighborhoods in managing Federal funds appropriated to HIV/AIDS programs. HOPWA grantees are encouraged to develop community-wide strategies and form partnerships with area nonprofit organizations. HOPWA funds may be used for a wide range of housing, social services, program planning, and development costs.

These include, but are not limited to, the acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction of housing units; costs for facility operations; rental assistance; and short-term payments to prevent homelessness. HOPWA funds also may be used for health care and mental health services, chemical dependency treatment, nutritional services, case management, assistance with daily living, and other supportive services.

Many beneficiaries receive supportive services that are funded by HOPWA or other related public and private programs. In fact, states and cities leverage approximately two dollars for every one dollar provided by the HOPWA program, according to HUD reports.

For more information on these programs, contact Lisa Sanchez or Erin Gorman at 401-457-1197 or email at lsanchez@rhodeislandhousing.org egorman@rhodeislandhousing.org.

Affiliated Sites

Rhode Island Housing Help Center HHFRI Rhode Island Housing Online Homebuyer Education HomeLocatorRI.net HousingWorksRI Fair Housing Rhode Island