McKee introduces new housing secretary, Stefan Pryor

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — After a brief tour of the of the affordable housing development on the King Street Commons, Gov. Dan McKee introduced the state Housing Secretary Stefan Pryor for the first time.

“This is a moment of opportunity,” said Pryor Tuesday. “There are enormous challenges in front of us, but it’s so clear that Rhode Island is united in the conviction that we need to do more.”

The new housing secretary outlined a three-step plan to address the housing crisis. This involves increased housing across every state community, continuing to shelter the homeless, and structuring the state’s housing department.

He added, “We have a quarter billion dollars that are applied to the task — that’s a lot of money. It’s also not sufficient. We need to create a coherent system that helps with the aforementioned activities. If we get all that going, it will be a very good start.”

HousingWorksRI reported an average two-bedroom apartment on average costs $1,771 a month. This would require an hourly wage of about $34 an hour.

“The housing market is overheated,” said Pryor. “It’s essential that we find the ways that we can work in concert with cities and towns to produce more housing.”

He finished, “Rhode Island is at the bottom of the list, or close to it, for the rate of housing production of other states. It’s predictable that winter will come next year.”

Pryor was named commerce Secretary in 2015 under former Gov. Gina Raimondo and stayed on under McKee. He resigned as commerce secretary in June 2021 to run for state treasurer.

Housing Secretary Josh Saal resigned from his position in January after just a year on the job, which came as Rhode Island deals with a growing issue of homeless.

Categories: News, Rhode Island