Johnston-based agency awarded contract to help locals with rent and utilities


As part of a statewide effort to prevent homelessness once the eviction moratorium is lifted in July, Tri-County Community Action Agency, located on Hartford Avenue, Johnston, has been awarded a contract from Rhode Island Housing to provide application assistance to residents seeking funds for rent and utilities.

An estimated $200 million is available statewide to pay for past due rent, past due utilities, or future rent for any Rhode Island renter who was affected financially by the COVID pandemic and shutdown.

The Program is called RI Rent Relief and it provides up to 15 months of past utilities and/or past rent.

Families who are homeless or in need of new housing may also apply for a security deposit and up to 12 months of future rent.

There is no requirement to owe past rent in order to receive utility assistance.  Landlords may apply also for funding for any tenant who has past due rent.

Households must have a loss of income or financial hardship that is related to the COVID pandemic and meet income requirements.  Household earnings must be less than 80% of Area Median Income, which means that a family of four in most areas can earn up to $69,200 and still qualify.  A family of four in Westerly, Hopkinton, and New Shoreham can earn up to $75,050.  

“We are excited to work with Rhode Island Housing to bring this program to the families in Tri-County’s service area who are desperately in need of this type of assistance,” said Joseph R. DeSantis, President and CEO of Tri-County.  “The families we serve have suffered enough during COVID-19 and we are committed to ensuring that every eligible family gets the assistance they need to keep a roof over their head and to help their children and loved ones get back to normal.”

Tri-County has Housing Specialists available to provide application assistance in a number of convenient locations throughout their service delivery area, which spans 16 municipalities across the state.

Washington County residents can apply in Westerly, North Kingstown, and South Kingstown.  Residents from other towns can apply in North Providence, Johnston and Burrillville.  Applications can also be completed over the phone or through virtual meetings.

For more information, contact Tri-County’s Housing Department at 401-583-0075 or email them at


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