AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 3, TITLE 22 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO MUNICIPAL ZONING REGULATIONS AND THE VOTING REQUIREMENT IN CASES INVOLVING A PROTEST OF FEDERALLY ASSISTED MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING FOR THE ELDERLY AND HANDICAPPED.
WHEREAS, the General Assembly finds that the need for housing for the elderly has been Increasing as the elderly population increases; and
WHEREAS, in certain cases, federal assistance for housing projects for the elderly also encompasses housing for the handicapped; and
WHEREAS, the construction of federally assisted multi-family housing for the elderly and handicapped will ease the tax burden on the citizens of Delaware because it will provide additional funding for needed housing through existing federal programs; and
WHEREAS, the construction of federally assisted housing for the elderly and handicapped will promote the health and general welfare of Delawareans by increasing the available stock of hcusing at the lowest possible cost to the citizens of the State; and
WHEREAS, the General Assembly has already expressly recognized that the quality of housing affects every aspect of an older individual's life, from the physical to the psychological. See 31 Delaware Code, Chapter 37; and
WHEREAS, the federal assistance provided to housing projects for the elderly and handicapped makes it possible for those citizens to live in adequate housing at lower cost; and
WHEREAS, the General Assembly recognizes the need for housing for the elderly and handicapped within the City of Wilmington and other large municipalities, where there is greater access to public transportation and other conveniences and necessities of life important to the elderly and the handicapped; and
WHEREAS, it is the Intent of the General Assembly, through this Act, to promote, for a limited time and under certain conditions, the construction of federally assisted multi-family housing for the elderly and handicapped; and
WHEREAS, the General Assembly finds that this legislation serves a valid and legitimate state interest, namely, increasing the available housing for the elderly and handicapped with the aid of financial assistance from the Federal Government; and
WHEREAS, the General Assembly finds that this legislation strikes a balance of the legitimate interests of the State and the interests of any affected municipality.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend §305, Chapter 3, Title 22 of the Delaware Code, by striking the period "." after the words "legislative body of the municipality" and adding at the end thereof the following:
"; provided, however, that in any municipality of this State with a population in excess of 50,000 persons, the foregoing provisions regarding a protest shall not be applicable to any such change which is proposed in connection with the construction of federally assisted multi-family housing for the elderly and handicapped, in all Instances of which such change shall become effective by the favorable vote of a simple majority of all the members of the legislative body of the municipality."
Section 2. This Act shall take effect immediately upon its enactment into law and shall be applicable to any pending zoning change in connection with a proposal for federally assisted multi-family housing for the elderly and handicapped in any municipality to which this Act applies.