Speaker Shekarchi’s legislation to amend Low and Moderate Housing Act passes House
WARWICK, RI – Legislation sponsored by House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi to amend Rhode Island’s Low and Moderate Income Housing Act was passed by the House today. The legislation is part of Speaker Shekarchi’s 14-bill package of legislation to address Rhode Island’s housing crisis.
“Rhode Island is in dire need of more housing. The package of legislation my colleagues and I have put forth will make it easier to develop housing by eliminating unnecessary barriers, and this bill is one more tool in our toolbox,” said Speaker Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick). “When it comes to the development process, time is money. Streamlining the permitting process will cut some of the costs associated with building more homes, while expediting the timeframe for those new homes to be built.”
The bill (2023-H6081A) would provide amendments relative to low- and moderate-income housing and modify and clarify the procedure for review of applications to build housing. It would streamline the process of permitting from three steps to two steps, not including pre-application, to follow the purpose of the comprehensive permit process, and sets forth necessary submission items at each stage of the permitting process. The legislation retains current standards, but provides greater clarity for the review of applications.
The legislation does not alter the Low and Moderate Income Housing Act’s requirement that cities and towns maintain 10 percent of their year-round housing stock as affordable. According to data from HousingWorksRI’s 2022 Housing Fact Book, only six municipalities in Rhode Island have achieved the goals set forth in the Act.