Dozens of local dignitaries, residents and town employees gathered in the sweltering heat on Wednesday morning to celebrate the official opening of Coventry Meadows, a 44-unit complex of affordable housing.
The complex, located on Edith Street, is made up of one, two and three bedroom units designed as attached single-family dwellings equipped with energy efficient appliances and heat pumps for heating and cooling. There are on-site laundry facilities, a playground and the Julie A. Leddy Community Hall, named for Coventry Housing Authority Executive Director Julia Leddy who has devoted over 15 years of selfless service to meet the needs of Coventry families.
Leddy was joined by many honorable guests during the ceremony including Coventry Housing Associates Board President Harold Trafford Jr., representatives from the offices of Sen. Jack Reed and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Senator Glen Shibley, Representative Lisa Tomasso, Human Services Director Pat Shurtleff and more.
"This opportunity to provide an additional 44 units of affordable housing, at it's finest mind you, is not just a fulfillment of a mission we, the housing associates have, it's an achievement of providing 44 families with a place to call home," said Leddy at the start of the ceremony.
She thanked General Contractors Ron Caniglia and Craig Sutton of Stand Corporation for having the vision to build housing on the property instead of storage units or warehousing and went on to acknowledge everyone who made Coventry Meadows possible.
Board President Harold Trafford gave thanks to many who helped the development come to fruition and also praised Leddy for her hard work before unveiling the sign on her namesake community hall.
"I have to correct one thing," said Trafford. ", I said that she was the best executive director on this side of the Mississippi. I want to correct that - I think that she is the best damn executive director east of the Pacific Ocean."
The $9.1 million development was financed by Rhode Island Housing, the Low Income Tax Credit program with investor, Redstone Capital, BuildingHome RI funds from the Housing Resource Commission, HOME funds and Community Development Block Grant funds.
“Their commitment and partnership has facilitated our five-member volunteer, community board the creative means to accomplish our goals and fulfill our mission to seek, utilize, and capitalize on available resources for the creation of affordable housing opportunities," said Leddy. “We have led this community in providing affordable housing opportunities, we actively assist the Town of Coventry in meeting its goals, and there is no greater accomplishment but when we turn the keys over of a new home to a family in need.”