§ 42-55-2. Legislative findings.
(a) It is hereby found and declared as follows: there exists a serious shortage of safe and sanitary residential housing and shelter in the state available to and affordable by persons and families of low and moderate income, the elderly and workers, and their families; this condition is conducive to disease, crime, environmental decline, and poverty, and impairs the economic development of the state and communities and the economic value of large areas, which are characterized by depreciated value, impaired investments, and reduced capacity to pay taxes and is a menace to the health, safety, morals, and welfare of the citizens of the state; this condition results in a loss of population and further deterioration accompanied by added costs to communities in the creation of new public facilities and services elsewhere; it is difficult and uneconomical for individual owners independently to remedy this condition; it is desirable to encourage joint efforts to clear, re-plan, rehabilitate, and reconstruct these areas; it is necessary to create inducements and opportunities for private and public investment in these activities in these areas with appropriate planning, land use, and construction policies; it is also necessary to assist owners of residential housing to retain and operate these units; these activities on a large scale are necessary for the public welfare and are public uses and purposes for which private property may be acquired; one major cause of this condition has been recurrent shortages of funds from private sources; these shortages have contributed to reductions in construction of new residential units, have resulted in the sale of existing housing owned by persons and families of low and moderate income, and have made the purchase of existing residential units a virtual impossibility in certain parts of the state; hospital and other health care services provided at reasonable cost are of vital concern to the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the state, and existing hospitals and other health care facilities are no longer adequate to meet the needs of modern medical care; the ordinary operations of private enterprise have not in the past corrected these conditions; the reduction in residential and health care facility construction has caused substantial unemployment and under-employment in the construction industry which results in hardships, wastes human resources, increases the public assistance burdens of the state, impairs the security of family life, impedes the economic and physical development of the state, and adversely affects the welfare, health, and prosperity of all the people of the state; a stable supply of adequate funds for residential and health care facility financing is required to encourage new housing and health care facilities in an orderly and sustained manner and thereby reduce these results; it is necessary to create a state housing and mortgage finance corporation to encourage the investment of private capital and stimulate and assist in the construction, rehabilitation, operation, retention, and maintenance of residential housing and health care facilities through the use of public financing, to provide construction and mortgage loans, to make grants to shelters for the homeless, and to make provision for the purchase of mortgage loans and otherwise; it is further necessary that the corporation be provided with the power to acquire and operate housing projects on an individual or partnership basis in order to meet the housing demands of the state; and all of the foregoing are public purposes and uses for which public moneys may be borrowed, expended, advanced, loaned, or granted.
(b) It is further found and declared as follows: Rhode Island has distinctive historical development patterns and natural systems, which are critical to public health, welfare, community and neighborhood identity and functionality, and quality of life, and which merit preservation, protection, and enhancement; state and local government have planning and regulatory processes that have as their purposes the accomplishment of this preservation, protection, and enhancement; it is necessary that the corporation exercise its powers and administer its programs and responsibilities in a manner that is consistent with and advances the purposes of duly adopted state plans, including specifically the state guide plan, adopted pursuant to § 42-11-10, and with local comprehensive plans, prepared and adopted pursuant to chapter 22.2 of title 45, that have been approved as consistent with the state guide plan.
(P.L. 1973, ch. 262, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 295, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 287, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 286, § 2; P.L. 2004, ch. 324, § 2.)