Help with rent in Rhode Island

Millions of dollars in federal government money is being sent to Rhode Island. The funding will be used to help pay rent and other housing expenses. State officials estimate the funds will be able to help as many as 15,000 people avoid an eviction and stay in their homes. Some money can also be used for people who are currently homeless. Some money will also be used to help move people from emergency shelters or living on the street into more stable housing, and money can pay for the first months rent.

The government program is very flexible and grants can be used for a variety of reasons. In addition to providing rental assistance money for monthly rent payments, the federal government stimulus money can also be spent on other expenses. The money can be used to pay for first months rent, it can be spent on security or utility deposits, free legal advice, debt and credit counseling, moving expenses, and even hotel and motel costs. The total amount of assistance provided can help someone from 3-18 months.

The rental assistance program was created to help those families and individuals who have been hurt by the weak economy and recent recession, including laid off workers or people who have had their income reduced, and if they are now unable to pay the rent while waiting for unemployment benefits. Those in apartments must be in danger of losing their housing immediately and be facing an eviction.

The money is part of the federal governments Rhode Island Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. Over twenty organizations across Rhode Island, including the state’s large community action agencies and charities, are working with other local organizations to identify individuals or families who may qualify for rental and housing assistance, and they are encouraging them to apply for aid.

Some of the various agencies that will be part of this program include the following

  • R.I. Legal Services - (401) 274-2652
  • Comprehensive Community Action 401.467.9610
  • Westbay Community Action - 401-732-4666
  • New Hope for Families - (401) 728-8490


Contact any of these agencies. If they are not in your area, or if they do not have funding, they should be able to redirect you to other agencies and programs in your area that may be able to help you. Funds are available to pay for rent and prevent evictions.




By Jon McNamara

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