NP among more affordable towns, but still out of reach for many

NP among more affordable towns, but still out of reach for many

NORTH PROVIDENCE – This town is among the top ones in Rhode Island for best affordability when it comes to buying a home or renting an apartment, but housing remains a significant obstacle for many here and across the state due to incomes not keeping up with housing prices.

According to the findings of the 2020 HousingWorks RI Fact Book released last week, North Providence is:

• The ninth most affordable Rhode Island community to buy a home in, with someone needing to earn a household income of $77,076 to affordably purchase a median-priced home in the community;

• And the 11th most affordable place to rent a two-bedroom apartment in the community, with the annual income needed to affordably rent such an apartment being $61,760.

Those numbers make housing of any kind unaffordable for many residents, as the median household income in North Providence is $53,863, with 56 percent of the town’s 32,459 residents owning homes and 44 percent renting.

North Providence is at about 6.9 percent affordable housing, or about 475 units short of meeting the state’s standard of 10 percent for low-income and moderate-income housing.

According to the fact book released last week, only Central Falls would accommodate someone earning the state’s median household income of $63,296, with the annual income needed to buy a median-priced home there being $49,338. Others that are more affordable for purchasing a home are Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Warwick, West Warwick, East Providence, Coventry, Burrillville and Johnston, in that order.

Those that are more affordable for renting are Burrillville, at the most affordable, Smithfield, Woonsocket, Barrington, Bristol, Pawtucket, Newport, Central Falls, Westerly and North Smithfield.

The booklet released last week states that the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated residents who were already having trouble earning enough for housing, with wages in a number of occupations not keeping up with costs.