The General Assembly hereby finds and declares that as a result of the spread of slum conditions and blight to formerly sound urban and rural neighborhoods and as a result of actions involving highways, public facilities and urban renewal activities there exists in the State of North Carolina a serious shortage of decent, safe and sanitary residential housing available at low prices or rentals to persons and families of lower income. This shortage is severe in certain urban areas of the State, is especially critical in the rural areas, and is inimical to the health, safety, welfare and prosperity of all residents of the State and to the sound growth of North Carolina communities.
The General Assembly hereby finds and declares further that private enterprise and investment have not been able to produce, without assistance, the needed construction of decent, safe and sanitary residential housing at low prices or rentals which persons and families of lower income can afford, or to achieve the urgently needed rehabilitation of much of the present lower income housing. It is imperative that the supply of residential housing for persons and families of lower income affected by the spread of slum conditions and blight and for persons and families of lower income displaced by public actions or natural disaster be increased; and that private enterprise and investment be encouraged to sponsor, build and rehabilitate residential housing for such persons and families, to help prevent the recurrence of slum conditions and blight and assist in their permanent elimination throughout North Carolina.
The General Assembly hereby finds and declares further that the purposes of this Chapter are to provide financing for residential housing construction, new or rehabilitated, for sale or rental to persons and families of lower income.
The General Assembly hereby finds and declares further that in accomplishing this purpose, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, a public agency and an instrumentality of the State, is acting in all respects for the benefit of the people of the State in the performance of essential public functions and serves a public purpose in improving and otherwise promoting their health, welfare and prosperity, and that the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, is empowered to act on behalf of the State of North Carolina and its people in serving this public purpose for the benefit of the general public.
The General Assembly hereby further finds and declares that it shall be the policy of said Agency, whenever feasible, to give first priority in its programs to assisting persons and families of lower income in the purchase and rehabilitation of residential housing, and to undertake its programs in the areas where the greatest housing need exists, and to give priority to projects and individual units which conform to sound principles and practices of comprehensive land use and environmental planning, regional development planning and transportation planning as established by units of local government and regional organizations having jurisdiction over the area within which such projects and units are to be located if such government agencies exist in an area under consideration. However, no area of need shall be penalized because government planning agencies do not exist in such areas.
The General Assembly hereby also further finds and declares that private enterprise and investment have not been able to provide, without assistance, the needed installation of energy saving materials in owner occupied residences of persons and families of lower income. It is imperative for the health, safety and welfare of these persons and the general public that their residences be suitably heated at affordable cost in order to provide decent housing; and that the consumption of nonrenewable sources of energy be reduced. Therefore, the General Assembly finds that one of the purposes of this Chapter is to assist persons and families of lower income to obtain loans for the purpose of heating their homes at affordable cost and at the same time to significantly reduce the amount of consumption of nonrenewable sources of energy.
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