To the editor:
In recent weeks, a lot of public attention has been understandably focused on the Low and Moderate Income Housing Act and its impact on the decision-making process of the Warren …
To the editor:
In recent weeks, a lot of public attention has been understandably focused on the Low and Moderate Income Housing Act and its impact on the decision-making process of the Warren Planning Board regarding the proposal for 119 Water St.
The LMIH Act was passed in 1991 to encourage the development of housing for low and moderate income Rhode Islanders in communities where supply of such housing was low. Given the current state of things, with low supply, high rents and high home prices, the Act has clearly not achieved its goals. It is under review as I write, and changes will be made this legislative session.
In the meantime, though, it is important to be clear on what the current legislation does NOT do. It is does not make municipal regulations irrelevant, as Mr. Blitefield claims in his letter of Dec. 12, 2022. Affordable housing proposals do not supersede all local legal concerns. Height and parking restrictions can and are be applied. There will be no 10-story apartment building in Touisset. And the State Housing Appeals Board does not routinely decide in favor of developers.
The SHAB website provides data on SHAB’s caseload and decision-making. As the reader can see, in the surprisingly few cases that it has heard since 2003, the Board upheld the municipality seven times, and reversed the municipality’s ruling 13 times.
At the Dec. 18 Planning Board meeting, Chairman Massie suggested that you contact me regarding your concerns about the impact of state law on local decision-making. Feel free to do so at June.email@example.com.
And, to facilitate that conversation, I will be hosting an information session on the legislation in early January. Watch this space for date and time.
Best wishes for a peaceful, healthy and happy new year.
Representative, District 68