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5/7/2024 Legislation from Speaker Shekarchi’s housing package passed by House
STATE HOUSE – An additional bill from House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi’s 2024 package of housing legislation was passed by the House today. Sponsored by Speaker Shekarchi, 2024-H 7978A is legislation for municipalities to use electronic permitting for building permits.

The legislation builds upon the platform established and created by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, which is currently in use and required for building permits for applications and submissions for planning and zoning. The legislation would provide greater transparency and efficiency, streamlines processes and makes timelines and submission requirements more clear. It utilizes an existing state database to be adapted to fit these applications.

The bill is part of a 15-bill package of legislation regarding housing issues that Shekarchi announced in March, his fourth comprehensive suite of housing bills since becoming Speaker in 2021, and they continue his efforts to address Rhode Island’s housing crisis and expand upon initiatives outlined in his previous legislative packages. Thus far, 13 of the bills in the package have been passed by the House.

“I want Rhode Island to be a state where families can have a good life and raise their children, where young people can live near their parents and hometowns, and where seniors can age in place with dignity,” said Speaker Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick). “Unfortunately, Rhode Island does not have enough housing supply to keep up with demand. Too many years of being dead last in the country for new housing permits have caught up with us.

“Our housing and homelessness crisis has been decades in the making and will take a long-term, sustained effort to fix. Although we’ve already introduced and passed three packages of housing legislation – approximately 30 bills – we still have a great deal of work left,” continued Speaker Shekarchi. “I am committed to seeing this through until all Rhode Islanders have a good, safe home. I am thankful to everyone who has partnered with me to raise the dialogue and develop viable solutions to create more housing.”

The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.

For more information, contact:
Emily Martineau, Deputy Director of Communications for the Office of the Speaker
State House Room 323
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2466