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Affordable housing in Rhode Island

National Grid supports United Way of Rhode Island in its affordable housing project, Housing for All. Community and Customer Manager Marisa Albanese explains why.

Affordable housing is a basic need, like food. We know it contributes to the stability and growth of communities. So we invest in these communities through people, businesses and community partners like United Way of Rhode Island. 

It’s important to us that our customers can afford safe and healthy homes. People should not be forced to choose between running a household and buying groceries. But that’s what working families and individuals face in some of the communities we serve in Rhode Island. 

A shortage of affordable housing is an ongoing problem here in this area. That’s why United Way of Rhode Island stepped in with Housing for All, which we support.

Root causes of the problem

Our work with United Way takes various forms. We match any donations our people make through fund-raising campaigns. Some of us also volunteer on United Way projects. For example, Tim Horan, our company president, serves on their board and I work with three committees. 

Housing for All came out of a United Way summit to find solutions to the root causes of the housing problem in Rhode Island. As one of the state’s energy suppliers, we directly touch the lives of people struggling with their household bills. We see the need to be part of the discussion and the solution. So we gave United Way $50,000 to help fund four projects to address some of the issues raised at the summit. 

We’ll be working with United Way to help monitor the work of the four successful agencies, to evaluate the projects and to offer our expertise when it’s needed. 

This by itself won’t solve the problem of housing costs in Rhode Island. But it’s a step in the right direction. Helping make housing affordable will benefit everyone.

Published: June 2017