Affordable homes celebrated in Central Falls

Loretta Johnson wields scissors, surrounded by dignitaries, including Gov. Lincoln Chafee on her right, at the ribbon cutting of her new affordable home in Central Falls Nov. 14, 2014. (Photo by Brian Butler, WPRI-TV)

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — The public agency Rhode Island Housing hosted a ribbon-cutting for two new affordable homes in Central Falls Friday morning, in celebration of putting roofs over the heads of low- and moderate-income Rhode Islanders.

Governor Lincoln Chafee, Mayor James Diossa, State Senator Elizabeth A. Crowley, and other local dignitaries crowded into the living room of one of the homes on Beacon Street, which Loretta Johnson will be taking over after putting aside money towards a home.

“I’m glad that my family’s dreams were able to come true,” Loretta told the assembled group as part of Friday’s speaking program of congratulations.

“It’s a great pleasure to celebrate good things happening in Central Falls,” said Gov. Chafee. After he called for a round of applause for Johnson’s achievement — alongside the funding efforts of local nonprofit organizations, including Pawtucket Central Falls Development Corporation (PCFDC) — he noted the improvements that have happened over the past four years in distressed communities, including Central Falls. “The change, of what was occurring four years ago, to the Pawtuckets, Central Falls, Woonsockets, West Warwicks, even our capital city of Providence,” has been turned around by everybody working together, he said.

After the speeches, the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on the lawn: Chafee, Mayor Diossa and others holding the symbolic ribbon, while Johnson was handed a pair of oversized scissors, as long as your arm. The snip — “one, two, three!” — was met with cheers and applause.

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