(a) It is hereby declared that unsanitary or unsafe dwelling accommodations exist in urban and rural areas throughout the State and that such unsafe or unsanitary conditions arise from overcrowding and concentration of population, the obsolete and poor condition of the buildings, improper planning, excessive land coverage, lack of proper light, air and space, unsanitary design and arrangement, lack of proper sanitary facilities, and the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes; that in such urban and rural areas many persons of low income are forced to reside in unsanitary or unsafe dwelling accommodations; that in such urban and rural areas there is a lack of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations available to all the inhabitants thereof and that consequently many persons of low income are forced to occupy overcrowded and congested dwelling accommodations; that these conditions cause an increase in and spread of disease and crime and constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals and welfare of the citizens of the State and impair economic values; that these conditions cannot be remedied by the ordinary operation of private enterprise; that the clearance, replanning and reconstruction of such areas and the providing of safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations for persons of low income are public uses and purposes for which public money may be spent and private property acquired; that it is in the public interest that work on such projects be instituted as soon as possible; and that the necessity for the provisions hereinafter enacted is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination to be in the public interest.
(b) It is hereby further declared that there is a serious shortage of decent, safe and sanitary housing in North Carolina that can be afforded by persons and families of moderate income; that it is in the best interest of the State to encourage programs to provide housing for such persons without imposing on them undue financial hardship; and that in undertaking such programs a housing authority is promoting the health, welfare and prosperity of all citizens of the State and is serving a public purpose for the benefit of the general public. (1935, c. 456, s. 2; 1938, Ex. Sess., c. 2, s. 14; 1941, c. 78, s. 2; 1987, c. 464, s. 1.)