PROVIDENCE, RI: Arleny Sanchez, along with her four daughters, was one of the first tenants of the new Maplewoods complex in the Manton section of Providence. She says the complex with its grassy outdoor space, community courtyard and supporting amenities really feels like home. It feels like a place her girls can grow, form friendships and be safe. The new 40-apartment complex developed and managed by SWAP has 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with rents priced for entry level mixed income housing. Homes that are affordable for families earning between $7,000 and $40,000. The demand for the housing is so great- the apartments are already fully rented- even before SWAP Executive Director Carla DeStefano and others officially cut the ribbon on the complex on May 20, 2019.
“Maplewoods is noteworthy because the apartments are targeted to families,” said DeStefano. “It is special because it is spacious for urban living and it is a mixed-income development for low and moderate income residents.”
On hand for the apartment tour and ribbon cutting, U.S. Senator Jack Reed who has made affordable housing one of his top priorities.
“Thanks to SWAP, Rhode Island Housing, and all the community partners here today, more families will have a safe and affordable home. Focusing on the basics like affordable housing and health care matters, and it’s why I’m proud to have helped secure federal funding for the HOME program, which contributed to the development of this project,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD). “I congratulate the residents on their new homes here. This is a smart investment in Maplewoods and a strong investment in families that will become a vital part of our community and help grow our economy.”
The $11 million Maplewoods complex is the most recent SWAP development. The non-profit has transformed South Providence and part of the West End of the City over the past two decades, investing over $118 million in entry level affordable homes.
“Creating access to safe, affordable housing is paramount to our goal to make Providence a stronger, more inclusive city for all,” said Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “The Maplewoods project not only helps us further this goal, but it also creates dozens of new affordable housing units in the heart of a growing community. I’m so proud that we at the City of Providence were able to support this project along with so many other partners who are dedicated to providing our residents with homes.”
“I am thrilled to welcome the residents of Maplewood Apartments to the 5th Ward,” stated Providence City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5). “These homes are the perfect example of the importance of working together to create homes for working families. I thank SWAP for its persistence and its partners for their dedication to the people of Providence.”
On a statewide level, more projects like Maplewoods are critical to economic development initiatives. Rhode Island is facing a significant shortage of housing at nearly every price point. Strong demand and an inadequate supply create an imbalance that often makes housing too expensive for many residents.
Homes that are within financial reach of families and individuals are essential if businesses are going to attract and retain workers.
“RIHousing is proud to be a part of the team that made the Maplewoods development project possible,” said Carol Ventura of RIHousing. “Capitalizing on this unutilized land has turned a once vacant lot into a beautiful, tree-lined community in the Manton neighborhood. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners on innovative financing strategies that allows us to increase housing options for Rhode Islanders.”
“Housing is not only fundamental to the health and vitality of our residents, but also to the economic resilience of our state,” said Jeanne Cola, Executive Director of Local Initiative Support Corporation. “SWAP is a valued and long-standing partner in this important work. They consistently create high-quality, beautifully designed and architecturally integrated homes that address the needs of our communities. The completion of the Maplewoods Development is an important step in strengthening our neighborhoods.”
TD Bank provided the construction loan and purchased the tax credits.
“As housing providers, funders and government officials we must work together to replicate this model all around the State to provide affordable, family housing to help support our economic growth,” said DeStefano. “It is through these efforts that Arleny Sanchez and 39 other families have new homes at Maplewoods at rents they can afford.”
“As a single mom of four, I know what it’s like to live from apartment to apartment, but Maplewoods has finally made it feel like home,” Sanchez said. “Our children have a safe and comfortable place to grow which helps form a strong community.”
About SWAP, Inc.
SWAP, Inc. is a private non-profit community development corporation committed to providing affordable housing opportunities for persons of low and moderate income, revitalizing urban neighborhoods and building new communities. Through historic restoration and new construction, SWAP creates affordable rental apartments and homes for sale. SWAP’s current focus is on the development of mixed-use residential and commercial spaces and creating newly vibrant commercial corridors.