be_ixf;ym_202007 d_14; ct_50 Learn more about City Year’s response to COVID-19

Whether you are relocating from across the country or just across town, you will benefit greatly if you have a budget and housing plan in place well before service begins.

Secure housing before you start service

We highly encourage our AmeriCorps members to secure housing and move prior to the first day of service to allow you to focus on building relationships with your teammates, immerse yourself in training, and adjust to your new neighborhood before the school year begins.

Many leases begin on July 1 or August 1, which is a great time to move and get settled. The service year runs from early August 2020 to mid-June 2021, so you will want to consider the timing of the end of your lease as well.

Because of the large number of college students in Providence, many leases also begin on September 1. While you may find an August sublet and move on September 1, be aware that it is a busy moving day/weekend in the city.

We recommend beginning your roommate search soon after accepting your offer to serve, and looking for housing three months before you want your lease to begin.

Deciding where to live

Finding housing within their budget and reducing daily travel time are the considerations which have been top of mind for City Year AmeriCorps members. We highly recommend that before you begin your housing search, you review Living on a Budget and create a budget which reflects your financial situation and priorities.

Some members choose to live with family in the Providence area. If this is an option for you, it may allow you to save money on relocating to the area and your monthly living expenses. Depending on where family are located, in Providence or in a surrounding town, your daily travel may be longer than members who live in neighborhoods closer to their schools.

The AreaVibes provides an overview of our diverse neighborhoods. Trulia provides a map of rental prices which is also helpful to visualize typical costs.

While you will not receive your school assignment until a couple of weeks after you begin service, focusing your housing search to specific neighborhoods will likely reduce your daily travel time. School partners are located in the Lower South Providence, Federal Hill, Mount Pleasant, Manton, Elmwood, West End, Hartford, and Olneyville areas. Most members live in Federal Hill and recommend the area to others.

All Providence schools supported by City Year can be accessed using Rhode Island Public Transportation (RIPTA). The City Year Providence Headquarters is in downtown Providence and can also be accessed by RIPTA.

If you are bringing a car to Providence we highly recommend double-checking to see if your apartment has off street parking. In some cases, you will have to pay an additional fee for parking while in other housing situations, you may only be allowed one or two parking spots per apartment. You may also be eligible to apply for a resident parking permit. Information about the process can be found online. Permits are provided to both residents and nonresidents of Providence; however, the cost for nonresidents is $100 more. Please plan ahead if you will be unable to do this when you first arrive in your car.

Finding roommates

If you are hoping to live with another City Year member, the confirmed member Facebook group is the best way to find a roommate. Craigslist is another common source to find roommates in Providence, or apartments with open rooms who are seeking new roommates to join them.

City Year fraternization rules prohibit first-year and second-year members from living together unless they had a personal relationship prior to joining.

When you identify roommate(s) and begin your housing search, also discuss how you will share expenses (rent, utilities, internet, food) and what common items (furniture, television, kitchen items, etc.) you are each willing to contribute.

Housing search resources and tips

Members find housing through online posting sites, word of mouth, and sometimes on the City Year Facebook group (current members advertising their apartments). Postings should outline who to contact to learn more about the property, costs, and lease terms.

Working with a broker or agent who is familiar with the Providence rental market, and the specific neighborhoods you are focused on may help expedite your housing search. Many landlords work with an agent to lease their properties. There are usually costs to use an agent for your search, or rent a property shown by an agent. Whenever working with an agent, ask if there are fees for you if you sign a lease using them. City Year does not work with specific brokers or agents.

Explore listings on:

· Craigslist
· Lovely
· PadMapper
· Renthop
· Trulia
· Zillow

Some utilities are included in the price of rent, so be sure to ask your landlord. When viewing apartments, most landlords or current tenants will gladly tell you the average price of utilities, so don’t be afraid to ask. It is also helpful to ask what utilities the house uses, such as gas or electric heat. Some units and buildings include laundry, for free or a cost, while others are located near laundromats.

The Providence area is a very competitive rental market, so rents are generally not negotiable. Communicating to the realtor/landlord that you are an AmeriCorps member may result in a discount, but we recommend doing your research and finding housing within your budget rather than relying on negotiations.

Relocation and housing costs

The costs to relocate to Providence, or within Providence, will vary based on the distance you are traveling and how much you are moving with you. The table below represents expenses you may incur to secure housing in the Providence area.

Typically, you will be required to pay first and last month’s rent upon signing your lease. Not all apartments require a broker/agent fee, so this expense may not apply. A security deposit may not be required. If you do have a security deposit, it will be returned to you at the end of your lease if the apartment’s condition is maintained.

Due upon signing lease
Minimum: first month

Security deposit
Due upon signing lease
Typical: one month’s rent

Broker/Agent fee
Due upon signing lease
Typical: one month’s rent

Utilities setup (cable/internet)
Due upon moving in
Typical: $40-$60

Due upon moving in
Typical: $150

Settling-in supplies
Due upon moving in

Other incidentals and fees
Expenses within the first month

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