This City Is the Worst in Rhode Island to Live in

Rhode Island, known for its picturesque beaches, vibrant food and music scene, and numerous cultural landmarks, is home to various cities with diverse characteristics. However, not all cities in the state enjoy the same level of prosperity and livability.

Central Falls, despite its modest size, has been identified as Rhode Island’s least favorable place to live, according to a comprehensive index evaluating two dozen social and economic indicators​​.

Central Falls faces significant challenges that contribute to its unfavorable standing. Key among these is the city’s economic struggles, characterized by high unemployment rates and poverty, particularly in its most vulnerable areas. These economic hardships lead to a cascade of issues, including increased crime and a diminished quality of life.

Furthermore, the city’s crime rate poses a particularly alarming issue, significantly contributing to its reputation as one of Rhode Island’s least desirable places to reside​​​​​​.

Adding to these challenges is a shortage of amenities in Central Falls. Despite being a city, it lacks sufficient recreational opportunities, which impacts the quality of life for its residents and potentially fuels other issues, such as crime​​.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that these issues are not insurmountable. Central Falls has been undertaking targeted interventions and strategic planning to address these problems and enhance the residents’ quality of life. In recent years, several initiatives and improvements have been underway:

  1. The $4.5-million regeneration of Dexter Street, which included resurfacing about a mile of the street, replacing sidewalks and curbing, and installing new traffic signals and crosswalks​​.
  2. The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank awarded $1 million in Municipal Infrastructure Grant Program funds to Central Falls for Broad Street affordable housing​​.
  3. Central Falls Mayor Rivera’s proposed budgets for Fiscal Years 2022, 2023, and 2024 focused on recovery from the COVID crisis, easing the burden of inflation with targeted tax rate cuts, and investing in new affordable housing and building the city’s new community center, El Centro​​​​​​.
  4. Legislation authorized Central Falls to issue bonds for financing the construction, renovation, and improvement of schools and school facilities​​.
  5. Utilization of the state’s American Rescue Plan funds to invest in housing in Central Falls and the growth of the City’s new Housing Trust, launched in early 2021, to prioritize the city’s infrastructure and housing needs​​.

These efforts reflect Central Falls’ commitment to overcoming its challenges and improving the living conditions for its residents. While the city may currently hold the label of Rhode Island’s least desirable city, it is actively working towards transforming this image, showcasing its potential for growth and change. Every city has its strengths and weaknesses, and it is essential to conduct thorough research and visit a city before forming an opinion or making judgments.