Raimondo unveils expanded housing and infrastructure bonding
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Gov. Gina Raimondo on Monday announced increases to her proposed housing and infrastructure and recreational bond recommendations for the upcoming state budget as part of her plan to boost Rhode Island’s post-pandemic economy.
The Housing and Infrastructure Bond, which the new proposal increases from $87.5 million to $310.5 million, includes a $40 million increase in the Housing and Community Revitalization Fund to help design, develop, or repair about 2,000 housing units statewide, the Democratic governor said in a statement.
Another $183 million will go toward boosting the offshore wind industry, repairing the state’s roads and bridges, and building a new health laboratory for disease prevention and management to improve health care infrastructure and ensure that the state is prepared for future pandemics.
A $5 million increase in the Beach, Clean Water and Green Bond will help fund improvements to the state’s recreational facilities, protect the environment and invest in tourism.
“As we look to build a more resilient and equitable Rhode Island beyond this pandemic, it’s critical that we make significant, long-term investments in our future,” Raimondo said. “These updated bond proposals reflect the urgency of this moment and our need to spur economic growth and create jobs while supporting communities hit hardest in our state.”
NURSING HOME GRANTS
Rhode Island is providing $100,000 in grants to the state’s nursing homes to help residents remain digitally connected to family and friends during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gina Raimondo said.
Under the plan, eligible facilities will receive up to $3,000 to purchase smart devices and related accessories for residents, the Democrat said in an emailed statement Sunday. Facilities can apply for the grants at the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services website.
The state is also opening what the governor called a “virtual community center” for older residents. The site, agefriendlyri.org, includes educational and wellness programming, technology training, and live chat times to give residents a way to connect.