- Associated Press - Thursday, November 5, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Two Rhode Island cities have received over $2.2 million in federal grants to support efforts to provide housing services for low income and homeless persons.

East Providence and Woonsocket are getting the money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The funds will help the cities improve housing and expand economic opportunity; help homeless residents find shelter and access services; and support local programs that supply affordable housing.

Woonsocket and East Providence have been awarded $1,159,611 and $662,221, respectively.

The money comes from the Community Development Block Grant program, which works on increasing affordable housing and expanding local businesses in urban communities.

Housing advocates say half of all Rhode Island renters and a third of all homeowners devote more than 30 percent of their income to housing costs.

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