PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Housing reform was a big topic of discussion Thursday on Smith Hill.

Lawmakers discussed nine of the bills in House Speaker Joe Shekarchi’s 14-bill package of legislation to address Rhode Island’s housing crisis.

Shekarchi has continued to express his concerns over the state’s housing crisis and says those at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum are feeling it the most.

He introduced a package looking to achieve goals that the state can build upon in the coming years.

Among many, one bill would streamline the process of developing affordable homes while another updates zoning ordinances that could lead to more available housing. A third would ban rental application fees

“I want to emphasize this next point because it is very important, nothing, nothing in this package, forces communities to build more affordable housing and none of this legislation circumvents local decision-making ability,” Shekarchi said.

Shekarchi noted that the bill package wouldn’t cost any money to local cities and towns.