Homeownership still dropping from pre-recession high in RI

Fewer Rhode Islanders own their own homes in the wake of the Great Recession.

Rhode Island’s homeownership rate has fallen from a record high of 64.9% in 2007 to 62.1% in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancies and Homeownership Survey. The trend mirrors a decline in homeownership nationally following the housing bust, as this chart shows:


The Census Bureau’s alternative American Community Survey puts Rhode Island’s homeownership rate even lower. It shows a decline from 63% in 2007-09 to 60% in 2010-12, the 5th-lowest among the states.

2 thoughts on “Homeownership still dropping from pre-recession high in RI

  1. Home ownership is RI is slowly being replaced by renters in subsidized low income rental housing (the 10% goal of RI Housing).

    Things will only get worse without common sense in our leadership. The City of Woonsocket’s fiscal plight (and recent need for a “supplemental” property tax) is a canary-in-the-coal-mine for all of RI.

    This past November ex Mayor Leo Fontaine had to testify under oath in Superior Court on the matter of Woonsocket’s financial problems, due largely to over two decades of unchecked low income housing development. As reported in the November 27, 2013 Valley Breeze:

    “The city, Fontaine explained, faces economic challenges based on income alone: 20 percent of Woonsocket’s families live in poverty and 72 percent of the city’s school children qualify for subsidized lunch. Nearly one quarter of city households speak a language other than English at home.”

    “Clearly this has a number of impacts, first and foremost in our the school
    system,” the mayor said. “When you have a high number of students that speak a
    different language the school is required to have a number of additional
    programs to service those students.”

    “Population, Fontaine said has been decreasing rapidly in Woonsocket.” (note –
    population data from 2000 – 2010 shows it is not declining rapidly, but instead is shifting rapidly from long term homeowners moving out, being replaced by renters on the government dole).

    “This has a dramatic effect across many areas in the city. When your population leaves, you end up with a number of vacant houses and boarded up properties,” said Fontaine. “Neighborhoods decline and property values go down.”

    Businesses, he testified, have followed, notably with the departure of
    corporations like Walmart, Lowe’s and Staples.

    “The jobs that these businesses provided are no longer available, which leads to higher unemployment,” he said

    “All of these things created this perfect storm of problems that no matter what we tried to do were insurmountable,” Fontaine said.

  2. Our state and local elected officials don’t get it. RI has the largest individual tax burden and is the least business friendly state. This is the reason the private sector tax payers, college and high school grads and retirees are leaving the state and being replaced by people that need the safety net. If this trend is not corrected we will end up like Puerto Rico in the near future, they had the same population shift that we are now having.

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