As a renter for a number of years, I experienced firsthand how difficult it is to find a year-round rental in South County. We are seeing fewer families here and more out-of-towners who only come during the summer. The cost of everything: housing, gas, food, healthcare, childcare, is stretching many families’ budgets. I will work hard to make sure that people who have roots here can afford to stay here.
Recent bills introduced:
- Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) legislation that I sponsored would allow more homeowners to have ADU’s for family members or offer them as long-term rentals (see victoria4ri.com/affordable-housing-mar-2023 for more details)
- Airbnb legislation that I cosponsored will tax Airbnb’s at the same rate as the hotel tax (currently for whole houses it’s only 1% but the hotel tax is 6%)
- Airbnb legislation that I sponsored would allow towns to regulate Airbnb’s. Whether that’s limiting the number of Airbnb’s or requiring them to be owner-occupied, there’s a lot of ways that towns could approach it.
- Reduced consumer taxes by $35 million for electricity and natural gas bills
- Passed a bill to cap the cost of specialty prescription drugs at $150/month. Cost should not be a barrier to getting life-saving drugs and treatment.
Ongoing work in the community:
- Taking an inventory of vacant buildings and town or state-owned land in South County and working with affordable housing commissions and the RI Department of Housing to evaluate which ones can be repurposed for housing.
- Bringing federal and state housing funds down to South County so that we can work on housing needs down here, particularly senior housing.
- We can get more Rhode Islanders back to work by making sure that parents have affordable options for childcare. There are many ways to do this: offer loans or grants to reopen childcare centers and keep existing ones afloat; build more childcare centers to meet demand; and encourage more people to enter and stay in the childcare profession.