Municipal Technical Assistance Program

The Municipality Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) may be used for technical assistance for cities and towns to support increased local housing production.

Program Overview

Rhode Island is facing a critical shortage of housing as a result of decades of underproduction of rental housing as well as homeownership opportunities. This has resulted in rapidly increasing housing costs and an extremely low inventory of available homes and apartments, putting safe and affordable housing out of reach for too many Rhode Islanders.

To help address this problem the General Assembly created the Housing Production Fund capitalized with an initial appropriation of $25 million. Of the initial allocation, $4 million has been made available for municipal technical assistance through the Municipality Technical Assistance Program. The Program is administered by RIHousing according to guidelines approved by the RI Housing Resources Commission’s Coordinating Committee and in collaboration with the Department of Housing. Participation is subject to funding availability. 

 

Eligible Activities

  • Needs analysis: Assistance in identifying where affordable housing could/should be built in the community. Municipalities may target areas of the community and/or specific properties.
  • Updating land use and permitting requirements: Assist municipalities with updating/improving their zoning/land use requirements and/or permitting process to remove barriers to housing development.
  • Developing model zoning ordinances: Assistance in developing model zoning ordinances that increase density, promote a mix of housing types and otherwise remove barriers to housing development.
  • Infrastructure capacity assessment: Assistance in evaluating the capacity of a municipality’s infrastructure (such as water and sewer service) to serve existing and planned development and/or determine infrastructure needs to serve future development.
  • Public engagement and education: Share techniques and tools to respond to resident opposition that is preventing residential development and engage the community in support of proposed affordable developments or proposed zoning/land use changes that would facilitate housing development.

Community and Project Eligibility

  • Applicant must be an incorporated Rhode Island city or town
  • Applicants must have support from key municipal leaders
  • The proposal must fall within the categories of eligible activities
  • The scope of work must be carried out by a consultant approved by RIHousing to participate in the MTAP
  • Cost per project may not exceed program caps: $100,000 for individual municipalities or the lower of $100,000 per community up to $500,000 in total consultant services for communities applying in partnership
  • The proposed timeline for completing the scope of work may not exceed 18 months.

Application Process

Step 1: Submit a pre-application to RIHousing

Municipalities interested in receiving assistance through MTAP must first complete the pre-application form to confirm eligibility for the proposed scope of work.

Step 2: Select consultant and secure budget and timeline

RIHousing will notify municipalities if their pre-application has been approved. At that time, municipalities will assess the consultant(s) from the approved list to identify those that best meet their needs. Municipalities must directly reach out to the consultant(s) with their proposal to receive a cost estimate and timeline to complete the project, and then choose the consultant they would like to engage. Municipalities may reach out to one or more consultants for information.

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Step 3: Submit application to RIHousing

Upon approval of the pre-application, RIHousing will provide a formal application. Municipalities should complete the application, attaching the full scope of work, budget and timeline provided by their selected consultant and letters of support on municipal letterhead from the chief municipal authority (Mayor, Town Administrator or Town Council Chair as appropriate).

Step 4: RIHousing review and approval

RIHousing staff will review the proposal to ensure that it meets the eligibility criteria including the activities proposed, project cost and anticipated timeline. Once the project is approved, both the municipality and consultant will enter into an agreement with RIHousing. The consultant will be paid directly by RIHousing.

Questions? 

Stacy Wasserman
swasserman@rihousing.com
401-457-1242