Rental Housing In Rhode Island

Rhode Island Rental Overview

The population of Rhode Island, according to the 2010 Census, is 1,052,567. The total number of households in the state is 413,600. The average household size for Rhode Island is 2.35. The total number of renter households in the state is 162,648 which means that 39.32% of households are renter households. Compared to all other U.S. States, Rhode Island is ranked 6th in percentage of renters. District Of Columbia is ranked first with 57.99% and West Virginia ranks last with only 26.55%.

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the median rent paid among all renter households and housing types and sizes in Rhode Island is $904 per month. Ranked against all other states in the country, Rhode Island ranks 17th for the highest median rent. Hawaii ranks first at $1,387 and West Virginia ranks last at $618. Though rents are set more locally, statewide median rents provide a basic outlook of housing costs for each state.

The number of vacant rental units in Rhode Island is 10,571 representing a vacancy rate of 6.9%. Among all U.S. states, Rhode Island ranks 20th for the lowest vacancy rates. New York ranks first with a vacancy rate of 4.5% and South Carolina ranks last with a vacancy rate of 12.9%. As lower vacancy rates are an indication of a healthier rental housing portfolio, Rhode Island’s rental housing portfolio is performing above the National average.

Project Based Section 8 152 13,811
Section 202 45 2,134
Section 811 39 425
Section 515 11 359
RDRA 10 319
LIHTC 174 9,662
Senior 100 6,854
Public Housing 416 31,552
Section 8 Voucher 28 10,638
Total 359 24,369
Note: The total does not necessarily equal the sum of each program as some properties may participate in multiple funding programs.

‡This program is not project based, instead Housing Authorities provide vouchers to individual renters. In the state of Rhode Island there are 28 independent Housing Authorities that may issue these vouchers.

The average number of units per property for affordable rentals in Rhode Island is 67.90. The largest market for federally assisted housing in the state is Providence at 7,860 units and the smallest is Warren at 10 unit(s). 100 apartment properties provide housing for seniors containing 6,854 units. Of the 24,369 units, 45,870 units include some form of rental assistance (like Section 8) to make rent more affordable for very low income families.

Affordable Housing by Counties in Rhode Island ranked by federally assisted units

There are 5 counties or county equivalents in Rhode Island. The county or county equivalent with the largest population is Providence County at 626,667 and the smallest is Bristol County at 49,875. The county or county equivalent with the largest percentage of renter households is Providence County at 46.07% and The county or county equivalent with lowest portion of renters is Washington County at 26.79%.

The density of Federal housing assistance at the county level in Rhode Island ranges from a low of 138.7 units per 1,000 renter households in Bristol County to a high of 230.2 units per 1,000 renter households in Providence County. The average Federal housing assistance density for all counties in Rhode Island is 194.2 units per 1,000 renter households.

The table below summarizes the Federally assisted housing located in each county in Rhode Island. All major affordable housing programs are provided on a county by county basis. Click on the name of the county to see a more in depth summary of affordable housing in that county.

CountyTotal Units
Providence County 17,705
Kent County 2,693
Newport County 2,151
Washington County 2,085
Bristol County 307

Affordable Housing by City in Rhode Island ranked by federally assisted units

We are tracking 46 cities in Rhode Island that have at least one Federally assisted housing community. With a population of 1,052,567, Block Island has the largest population of these cities. There are 1 Federally assisted housing communities in Block Island which are home to about 16 families, most of which are lower income families.

The table below provides a summary of all Federally assisted housing communities by city in Rhode Island. All the major affordable housing funding program breakdowns are provided. Click on the city name to get a full affordable rental housing report for each city in Rhode Island.

CityTotal Units
Providence 7,860
Woonsocket 1,699
Pawtucket 1,420
East Providence 1,293
Newport 1,284
Warwick 1,229
Johnston 1,064
Cranston 963
West Warwick 896
Cumberland 541
Central Falls 528
Westerly 494
North Kingstown 473
Middletown 427
Coventry 342
Tiverton 291
North Smithfield 288
Lincoln 278
E Providence 258
Smithfield 243
East Greenwich 226
Narragansett 192
Peace Dale 191
Bristol 190
North Providence 189
Hopkinton 176
Riverside 174
Wakefield 164
N Kingstown 156
Hope Valley 137
Portsmouth 117
Barrington 107
Pascoag 98
N Smithfield 83
Harrisville 53
Bradford 36
Jamestown 32
Manville 32
Foster 30
Scituate 24
South Kingstown 20
Wickford 18
Block Island 16
Burrillville 15
Southkingstown 12
Warren 10

Housing Authorities in Rhode Island ranked by assisted units and vouchers

Housing authorities are governmental (or quasi-governmental) entities that manage various Federal housing assistance programs on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These programs include Public Housing, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and other programs.

There are 28 housing authorities in Rhode Island. These housing authorities own and operate an aggregate of public housing units and administer Section 8 rental vouchers. Of the 28 housing authorities, 85.7% have both a public housing and Section 8 program.

The largest housing authority in Rhode Island by total housing assistance units managed is Providence Housing Authority with 5,006 public housing units under management (2,605 public housing units and 2,401 Section 8 vouchers).

The table below provides a list of housing authorities in Rhode Island and includes each housing authorities public housing and Section 8 voucher count. Click on the housing authority name to get more details on the housing authority.

NamePublic Housing UnitsSection 8 Vouchers
Providence Housing Authority 2,605 2,401
Woonsocket Housing Authority 1,208 734
Pawtucket Housing Authority 1,077 761
Rhode Island Housing - 1,660
The Housing Authority of the City of Newport 710 489
Central Falls Housing Authority 327 553
Cranston Housing Authority 611 257
Warwick Housing Authority 517 349
East Providence Housing Authority 419 445
Cumberland Housing Authority 176 384
Coventry Housing Authority 195 278
Bristol Housing Authority 192 251
Warren Housing Authority 153 224
Lincoln Housing Authority 252 124
Johnston Housing Authority 155 205
West Warwick Housing Authority 250 97
North Providence Housing Authority 144 193
Westerly Housing Authority 123 198
East Greenwich Housing Authority 27 292
South Kingstown Housing Authority 70 138
Narragansett Housing Authority 12 182
Burrillville Housing Authority 76 84
Portsmouth Housing Authority 40 85
Smithfield Housing Authority 50 53
Tiverton Housing Authority 45 51
Kent County Mental Health Center - 75
Gateway Healthcare, Inc. - 75
Jamestown Housing Authority 35 -

Federally Assisted Affordable Rental Housing

According to our affordable housing data, Rhode Island has a total of 359 rental properties that receive at least one form of Federal housing assistance and are at least partially reserved for low income persons. These properties contain an estimated 24,369 rental housing units. (Note: Some of the Federal source data we use does not include total unit count for a property -- most notably the LIHTC database -- so the number of units listed here may be less than the actual.)

The Public Housing Program is the largest assistance program by unit count. The program assists 31,552 in Rhode Island. The charts below lay out how each Federal program impact affordable housing in Rhode Island.

Federal Programs By Unit Count Hover over a bar to view




Average Household Size


Total Renters


Renter Households


Median Rent


Gross Rent Paid By All Renters


Vacant Units For Rent


Vacancy Rate


Federally Assisted Units


Federally Assisted Projects


Tax Credit Projects/Units


Project Based Section 8 Projects/Units


Section 515 Projects/Units


Section 202 Projects/Units


Section 811 Projects/Units


RD Rental Assisted Projects/Units


Senior Projects/Units


Units with Project Based Rent Subsidy


Average Units Per Property