Neighborhood Opportunities Program

Overview

The Neighborhood Opportunities Program (NOP) began in 2001 and was designed to provide homes to low-wage working families and those with disabilities.  $5 million was initially allocated to NOP.  Annual funding for this program has varied from a low of $1.5 million to a peak of $7.5 million. 

Since 2012, Rhode Island Housing has supported and administered NOP.

Since its inception, the NOP has had three main components:

  • Family Affordable Housing - housing for very low income families.
  • Permanent Supportive Housing - housing for disabled  and special needs persons to be coupled with essential services.
  • Building Better Communities (this portion is of the program is currently inactive)- renovation, demolition, community development and homeownership opportunities in targeted neighborhoods. 


Prior to 2007, NOP supported capital (construction) costs associated with affordable housing development in these categories.  In more recent years, NOP has been used to provide gap subsidies to affordable housing projects.   A gap subsidy is the difference between the actual rent and the amount necessary to operate the unit.  Developers are generally unable to set the actual rents at levels low enough to be affordable to very low income populations earning below 40% of Area Median Income.  Essentially, this program allows for projects to serve lower income populations than could otherwise be reached.

All units assisted have income and affordability restrictions for a minimum of 30 years, some in perpetuity.  Projects have assisted a broad spectrum of populations, including the homeless, veterans and the elderly.  Funds have been used to redevelop foreclosed and abandoned structures, contributing the revitalization of communities and neighborhoods.  New units have also been built, assisting the economy, especially the residential construction industry.

Accomplishments

As of 2009, NOP has assisted in the creation of 1,207 affordable homes in 180 developments in 27 communities in Rhode Island.

For more information on NOP funding, please visit the Rhode Island Housing website.