Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 3 of chapter 23B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1986 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 125, the word "fifty-one B." and inserting in place thereof the following:- fifty-one B;
(u) establish, conduct and maintain a program of pet ownership by elderly residents of state-aided public housing for the elderly.
SECTION 2. (A) The department of community affairs is hereby authorized and directed to establish a program to grant waivers to elderly residents of state-aided public housing for the elderly to allow ownership of pets in such public housing. Applications for such waiver shall be attached to each lease for such housing. In order to qualify for a waiver such elderly resident shall comply with all the terms and conditions set forth herein and established by the department in its rules and regulations and upon such compliance a waiver shall be granted. A waiver may be granted by the department or by a local pet committee or by the management of such housing, or its duly appointed designee, as determined in the rules and regulations of the department. Said waiver shall not be deemed to create any right of pet ownership in such an elderly resident and nothing contained in this section shall create any right to pet ownership in any tenant of such state-aided public housing for the elderly.
(B) To qualify for such waiver the elderly resident of such housing shall:
(1) file all necessary information relating to pet ownership as determined by the department; provided, however, that said information shall in no way preclude an applicant from applying for such waiver who does not own a pet at the time of such application;
(2) post a security deposit of one hundred and sixty dollars or one month's rent, whichever is less, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the department;
(3) agree to maintain reasonable standards of cleanliness concerning the pet, including pet care and cleanliness in the apartment of such residence and in any common areas or grounds; and
(4) agree to comply with all terms and conditions established by the department.
(C) The department shall not prohibit the management of any such state-aided public housing for the elderly from reasonably refusing to allow ownership of a specific pet or from limiting the number of pets any resident may own. The department shall: (1) establish a procedure to resolve complaints arising hereunder; (2) provide for the creation of local pet committees; (3) require the management of such housing to maintain complete and accurate records of pet ownership in such housing; and (4) establish a procedure to appeal a denial of a waiver.
(D) The department shall establish rules and regulations to implement and enforce this program under the provisions of this section.
SECTION 3. The department of community affairs shall monitor the progress of the pet ownership program established under the provisions of section two and report its results to the governor and the general court, annually, beginning December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and eighty-nine.
SECTION 4. The department of community affairs shall promulgate rules and regulations pursuant to section two on or before September first, nineteen hundred and eighty-nine and shall file the same on or before September first, nineteen hundred and eighty-nine with the clerks of the senate and of the house of representatives who shall forward said rules and regulations to the joint committee on housing and urban development.