SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of housing and community development shall establish a program to help businesses develop employer assisted housing funds; provided, a business’ employer assisted housing fund shall provide grants or loans for housing located in the state for all employees, including seasonal employees, of the business or any subsidiary thereof whose annual household income does not exceed 120 per cent of the area-wide median income as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; provided further, that not less than fifty per cent of the business’ employer assisted housing fund shall be for all employees whose annual household income does not exceed 80 per cent of the area-wide median income as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Businesses offering an employer assisted housing program may establish requirements for employee participation including incentives that encourage neighborhood revitalization or encourage employees to locate housing near their place of work, that are not inconsistent with the procedures adopted by the department. Grants and loans from the business’ employer assisted housing fund shall be spent in this state and may be used for (i) the cost to purchase housing that is to be a principal residence, including cooperative housing, and falls within price guidelines established by the department, including costs for down payments, mortgage interest rate buy-downs, closing costs and other costs determined to be eligible by the department, (ii) payments for security deposits and advance payments for rental housing, and (iii) to contribute to the production of housing units that fall within price guidelines and that meet other requirements that may be established by the department. The department, subject to appropriation, shall contribute to the business’ employer assisted housing fund $1 for every $2 expended by the business from the employer assisted housing fund as provided in this act. The assistance granted pursuant to this act to each business shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars annually. The total amount of assistance offered to all businesses under this act shall not exceed five million dollars annually. No assistance shall be granted to any bank, bank and trust company, insurance company, trust company, national bank, savings association, or building and loan association or any other business entity for activities that are a part of its normal course of business; provided, however, that such businesses may receive assistance pursuant to this act for employer assisted housing funds for their own employees. The department shall adopt written procedures for the establishment and operation of employer assisted housing funds eligible for the assistance provided in this act. Such procedures shall include provisions for employee eligibility and shall specify expenses for which grants and loans may be made and provide the documentation and procedures necessary for businesses to qualify for the assistance.
SECTION 2. For the purposes of funding the employer assisted housing program established pursuant to section 1 of this act ……………$5,000,000.
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