§ 34-45-2. Legislative findings.
(a) The general assembly recognizes, finds and declares that:
(1) There exists a serious shortage of decent, safe, and sanitary rental units that are available at rents affordable to low and moderate income families in Rhode Island. Many families are denied access to decent housing because they are unable to meet the higher cost of rent. Rising housing costs in Rhode Island force low and moderate income families to live in unsafe, substandard units; commit such an unreasonably high percentage of their income for rent that they deprive themselves of the other necessities of life; or, worse, find themselves without housing. The inadequacy in the supply of decent, safe and sanitary affordable rental housing endangers the public health and jeopardizes the public safety, general welfare, and good of the entire state.
(2) Approximately sixty-seven hundred (6,700) units of housing in sixty-five (65) developments in Rhode Island which are presently affordable to low and moderate income families are in danger of becoming unaffordable due to expiring use restrictions on the property. Low income housing units insured or assisted under §§ 221(d)(3) and 236 of the National Housing Act, 12 U.S.C. § 1701 et seq., could be lost as a result of the termination of low income affordability restrictions; low income housing units produced with assistance under § 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(c), could be lost as a result of the expiration of the rental assistance contracts; and rural low income housing financed under § 515 of the Housing Act of 1949, 12 U.S.C. § 1701 et seq., are threatened with loss as a result of the prepayment of mortgages by owners. The loss of this privately owned and federally assisted housing, which would occur in a period of sharply rising rents on unassisted housing and extremely low production of additional low rent housing, would inflict unacceptable harm on current tenants and would precipitate a grave crisis in the supply of low income housing that was neither anticipated nor intended when contracts for these units were entered into.
(b) There is, therefore, a compelling need to preserve the affordability of these rental housing units to low and moderate income persons and families in Rhode Island in order to prevent the displacement of these persons and families and to assure an adequate supply of affordable housing for these persons and families in Rhode Island.
(P.L. 1988, ch. 508, § 1.)