SECTION 1. Section 3 of chapter 23B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following three clauses:-
(w) develop specific housing authority board member training curriculum in consultation with the executive directors of housing authorities. Such training shall be provided by the department and shall include ethics, fiduciary responsibilities, compensation limitations and parameters. Training instructors shall have worked as either executive directors or board members of housing authorities;
(x) develop, promote and assist housing authorities with regional purchasing; and
(y) approve of a housing or redevelopment authority executive director pursuant to section 7 of chapter 121B.
SECTION 2. Section 1 of chapter 121B of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out the definition of “housing authority” and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-
“housing authority”, a public body politic and corporate created pursuant to section 3 or corresponding provisions of earlier laws; provided, that those housing authorities managing the dwelling units shall be categorized as follows: (1) “small housing authority”, a housing authority managing less than 200 dwelling units; (2) “medium housing authority”, a housing authority managing 200 or more but less than 500 dwelling units; (3) “large housing authority”, a housing authority managing 500 or more but less than 1,000 dwelling units; (4) “very large housing authority”, a housing authority managing 1,000 or more dwelling units.
SECTION 3. Chapter 121B of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 5 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 5. Every housing and redevelopment authority shall be managed, controlled and governed by 5 members, appointed or elected as provided in this section, of whom 3 shall constitute a quorum. Except as provided in section 7, no member shall serve as either a member or an executive director, or other employee, of any other housing or redevelopment authority.
In a city, 4 members of a housing or redevelopment authority shall be appointed by the mayor subject to confirmation by the city council; provided, that, the members shall be appointed to serve for initial terms of 1, 2, 4 and 5 years, respectively.
In a town, 5 members shall be elected by the town; provided, that of the members originally elected at an annual town meeting, the one receiving the highest number of votes shall serve for five years, the one receiving the next highest number of votes, for 4 years, the one receiving the next highest number of votes, for 2 years, and the one receiving the next highest number of votes shall serve for 1 year; provided, that upon the initial organization of a housing or redevelopment authority, if a town so votes at an annual or special town meeting called for the purpose, four members of such an authority shall be appointed forthwith by the selectmen to serve only until the qualification of their successors, who shall be elected at the next annual town meeting as provided above.
In a city or town, one member of a housing or redevelopment authority shall be appointed by the department for an initial term of 3 years.
Thereafter, as the term of a member of any housing or redevelopment authority expires, his successor shall be appointed or elected, in the same manner and by the same body, for a term of five years from such expiration. Membership in a housing or redevelopment authority shall be restricted to residents of the city or town.
In a city, one of the four members of a housing authority appointed by the mayor shall be a resident of that city and shall be a representative of organized labor who shall be appointed by the mayor from a list of not less than two nor more than five names, representing different unions submitted by the Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America of the city or of the district within which the city is included. If no such list of names is submitted within sixty days after a vacancy occurs, the mayor may appoint any representative of organized labor of his own choosing to the authority. In a city, one of the four members of a housing authority appointed by the mayor shall be a tenant in a building owned and operated by or on behalf of the local housing authority who shall be appointed by the mayor from lists of names submitted by each duly recognized city-wide and project-wide tenants’ organization in the city. A tenants’ organization may submit a list which contains not less than two nor more than five names to the mayor who shall make his selection from among the names so submitted; provided that, where no public housing units are owned and operated by the local housing authority and no such units are owned and operated on behalf of the local housing authority, the mayor shall appoint any tenant of the housing authority from lists submitted in accordance with this section. If no list of names is submitted within sixty days after a vacancy occurs, the mayor shall appoint any tenant of his choosing to the authority. The mayor shall notify in writing tenant organizations as specified herein not less than ninety days prior to the expiration of the term of a tenant member. Whenever a vacancy occurs in the term of a tenant member for any reason other than the expiration of a term, the mayor shall notify in writing the tenant organizations specified herein within ten working days after the vacancy occurs. The mayor shall make an appointment within a reasonable time after the expiration of sixty days after said notice.
Vacancies, other than by reason of expiration of terms, shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term, in the same manner and by the same body, except elected members in towns whose terms shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of section eleven of chapter forty-one. Every member, unless sooner removed, shall serve until the qualification of his successor.
As soon as possible after the qualification of the members of a housing or redevelopment authority the city or town clerk, as the case may be, shall file a certificate of such appointment, or of such appointment and election, as the case may be, with the department, and a duplicate thereof, in either case, in the office of the state secretary. If the state secretary finds that the housing or redevelopment authority has been organized and the members thereof elected or appointed according to law, he shall issue to it a certificate of organization and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the lawful organization of the authority and of the election or appointment of the members thereof.
Whenever the membership of an authority is changed by appointment, election, resignation or removal, a certificate and duplicate certificate to that effect shall be promptly so filed. A certificate so filed shall be conclusive evidence of the change in membership of the authority referred to therein.
Any member appointed or elected pursuant to this section shall attend a board member training as proscribed by the department pursuant to section 3 of chapter 23B.. The department shall certify such attendance.
SECTION 4. Said chapter 121B of the General Laws is hereby further amended by striking out section 7 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 7. A housing or redevelopment authority shall elect from among its members a chairman and a vice-chairman, a treasurer who may be a member of the authority, may employ counsel and may delegate to one or more of its members, agents or employees such powers and duties as it deems necessary or proper for the carrying out of any action determined upon by it. So far as practicable, a housing or redevelopment authority shall make use of the services of the agencies, officers and employees of the city or town in which such authority is organized, and such city or town shall, if requested, make available such services, except, that in the city of Boston, the housing authority may contract with said city for the assignment of thirty-seven police officers of the police department of said city to police the buildings and grounds owned by said authority with the proviso that said authority shall reimburse said city for one third of the cost thereof.
A housing authority may compensate its members for each day spent in the performance of their duties and for such other services as they may render to the authority in connection with projects commenced prior to July first, nineteen hundred and sixty-five. Such compensation shall not exceed fifty dollars a day for the chairman and forty dollars a day for a member other than the chairman, provided that the total sum paid to all the members in any one month or year shall not exceed two per centum of the gross income of the housing authority during such month or year, respectively, nor shall the total sum paid in any year exceed twelve thousand five hundred dollars in the case of the chairman or ten thousand dollars in the case of a member other than the chairman. Such compensation shall be allocated by the housing authority among its various projects commenced prior to July first, nineteen hundred and sixty-five, in such manner and amounts as it deems proper. Members of a housing authority shall be allowed, or be reimbursed for, all expenses properly incurred by them within or without the city or town in the discharge of their duties. Such expenses shall be allocated by the housing authority among its various projects in such manner and amounts as it deems proper.
For the purposes of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight A or paragraph (7) of section forty-four D of chapter one hundred and forty-nine, each housing and redevelopment authority shall be considered a municipal agency and, without limiting the power of a city council or board of aldermen or board of selectmen to classify additional special municipal employees pursuant to said chapter, each member of such an authority, and any person who performs professional services for such an authority on a part-time, intermittent or consultant basis, such as those of architect, attorney, engineer, planner, or construction, financial, real estate or traffic expert, shall be considered a special municipal employee.
Any compensation paid to a tenant member of a housing authority for services as a member shall be included as income in determining rent, and the tenant shall be subject to appropriate rent increases, as provided for in authority policy and as regulated by the department; provided, however, that such compensation shall not be considered income for purposes of determining continued occupancy.
A housing authority may employ an executive director, agents and employees subject to the following limitations and qualifications: (1) approval by the department of any executive director; (2) approval of a salary or compensation schedule for an executive director to be developed by the department using a formula based solely upon the number of units under supervision, program responsibility with one base salary and one benefit package as authorized by the department; and (3) no motor vehicle may be provided to the housing authority executive director and to housing authority clerical personnel, unless authorized by the department.
A full-time director is to be considered one who directs a medium sized housing authority or larger. No full-time director shall serve as a part-time director in any other housing authority.
Cities and towns with a small housing stock lesser may have a part-time director or may share a director with another community as long as the total number of units under supervision is approximately medium in size as determined by the department. Communities must be reasonably geographically co-located and approved by the department.
Directors of more than one housing authority shall be compensated according to the number of housing units under supervision and program responsibility as authorized by the department.
SECTION 5. Subsection (a) of section 20 of chapter 268A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the seventh paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
This section shall not prohibit an employee of a housing authority in a municipality from holding any elective office, other than the office of mayor or board member of a housing or redevelopment authority, in such municipality nor in any way prohibit such employee from performing the duties of or receiving the compensation provided for such office; provided, however, that such elected officer shall not, except as otherwise expressly provided, receive compensation for more than 1 office or position held in a municipality, but shall have the right to choose which compensation he or she shall receive; provided further that no such elected official may vote or act on any matter which is within the purview of the housing authority by which he or she is employed; provided further that no such elected official shall be eligible for appointment to any such additional position while he or she is still serving in such elective office or for 6 months thereafter; and provided further that no executive director of a housing authority shall be a member of any housing or redevelopment authority, a violation of which shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years, or in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2½ years, or both. Any violation of the provisions of this paragraph which has substantially influenced the action taken by the housing authority in any matter shall be grounds for avoiding, rescinding, or cancelling the action on such terms as the interest of the municipality and innocent third parties may require.
SECTION 6. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, within 90 days of the effective date of this act, the department of housing and community development shall promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this act.
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