Governor McKee Signs Package of Housing Legislation Aimed at Spurring Development Statewide

Published on Wednesday, July 05, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee today held a ceremonial bill signing for five bills passed by the General Assembly aimed at spurring housing development across Rhode Island. These bills – coupled with the historic investments made by the Governor in the FY23 and FY24 budgets – will help address the long-lagging housing production rates in Rhode Island, catalyze expanded housing supply, and mitigate upward pressure on rents and home purchase prices.

“This budget cycle and legislative session was a major step in the right direction for Rhode Island in terms of creating more affordable accessible housing for all,” said Governor McKee. “I want to thank the General Assembly for their leadership and for recognizing the importance of continuing to meet the needs of the housing market here in the Ocean State.”

“The bills we are signing into law today won't just build houses — they'll strengthen communities. From prioritizing transit hubs in our development strategies to transforming underutilized commercial spaces into thriving homes, this legislative package will help to create a space for everyone in Rhode Island,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos.

“This package fundamentally changes our state’s approach to the housing crisis, particularly for the moderate and affordable development we need most,“ said Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick). “The bills will help cut through a great deal of the frustrating red tape that is standing in the way of the development of new housing. The legislative package will move housing forward for Rhode Islanders in all our communities who need and deserve safe and affordable homes.”

“Our state continues to face a housing emergency,” said Senator Meghan E. Kallman (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket). “Too many individuals and families are unable to realize the dream of home ownership, and for those who are struggling, housing insecurity remains an all-too-common reality. This situation affects every community in Rhode Island. It disrupts lives, holds back our economy, and exacerbates longstanding inequality. Addressing this crisis requires innovative and urgent action, and I am grateful to all the partners who have made the important legislation being signed today possible.”

The following bills were signed by Governor McKee:

  • H 6081A/S 1037A by Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio amends the Low and Moderate Income Housing Act to streamline permitting processes
  • H 6060A/S 1053A by Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and Senator Mark P. McKenney creates a housing and land use court calendar
  • H 6061Aaa/S 1034A by Chairman Robert Craven and Majority Leader Ryan Pearson amends subdivision and land development permits
  • H 6090A/S 1035A by Representative Karen Alzate and Senator Meghan Kallman allows for the adaptive reuse of existing structures such as schools, factories, hospitals, etc.
  • H6084B/S 1052A by Representative Leonela Felix and Senator Meghan Kallman creates a transit-oriented development pilot program

“The 13 bills advanced by legislative leaders and spearheaded by Speaker Shekarchi will help to make the development process at the local level more efficient and predictable,” said Secretary of Housing Stefan Pryor. “The legislation signed by Governor McKee today represents significant progress. With the implementation of this legislation, we will work to develop more housing at every income level and across our state.”

“We need every tool available to address Rhode Island’s serious housing shortage. This package of bills will go a long way toward removing barriers to housing development and streamlining the approval process. We are grateful to the leadership of Speaker Shekarchi, Senate President Ruggerio and Governor McKee for making housing a priority,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing.