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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1016         FILED ON: 1/19/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1557

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Kevin G. Honan and Michael O. Moore

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act promoting accessible housing for people with disabilities.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Kevin G. Honan

17th Suffolk

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex

Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Thomas P. Kennedy

 

Thomas P. Conroy

13th Middlesex

Peter V. Kocot

1st Hampshire

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Kathi-Anne Reinstein

16th Suffolk

Chris Walsh

6th Middlesex

Karen E. Spilka

 

Jeffrey Sánchez

15th Suffolk

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

John J. Binienda

17th Worcester

Elizabeth A. Malia

11th Suffolk

Kate Hogan

3rd Middlesex

Christine E. Canavan

10th Plymouth

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

David B. Sullivan

6th Bristol

Alice K. Wolf

25th Middlesex

Linda Campbell

15th Essex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1016        FILED ON: 1/19/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1557

By Mr. Honan of Boston and Senator Moore,  a joint petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1557) of Kevin  G. Honan and others relative to further regulating the Architectural Access Board of the Department of Public Safety to promote accessible housing for people with disabilities.  Housing. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act promoting accessible housing for people with disabilities.
 

              Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to increase accessible affordable housing for people with disabilities, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience, therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public [Emergency Preamble Context].
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1.  To provide for a capital outlay program to support housing production and modification for persons with disabilities, elders, homeless individuals and families, and low and moderate income citizens of the commonwealth, the sums set forth for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in this act, are hereby made available subject to the laws regulating the disbursement of public funds.

              7004-0029.. For state financial assistance in the form of loans for the development of community-based housing for individuals with mental illness and intellectual disabilities; provided, that the loan program shall be administered by the department of housing and community development, hereinafter referred to in this item as the department, through contracts with the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency established in chapter 23G of the General Laws, the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation established in chapter 40H of the General Laws, operating agencies established pursuant to chapter 121B of the General Laws and the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency established in chapter 708 of the acts of 1966; provided further, that those agencies may develop or finance community-based housing, or may enter into subcontracts with nonprofit organizations established pursuant to chapter 180 of the General Laws or organizations in which such nonprofit corporations have a controlling financial or managerial interest or for-profit organizations; provided, however, that preference for the subcontracts shall be given to nonprofit organizations; provided further, that the department shall consider a balanced geographic plan for such community-based housing when issuing the loans; provided further, that the department shall consider development of a balanced range of housing models by prioritizing funds for integrated housing as defined by the appropriate housing and service agencies including, but not limited to, the department of housing and community development, the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission, the department of mental health and the department of developmental services, in consultation with relevant and interested clients, their families, advocates and other parties as necessary; provided further, that loans issued pursuant to this item shall: (1) not exceed 50 per cent of the financing of the total development costs; (2) be issued only when a contract or agreement for the use of the property for such housing provides for repayment to the commonwealth at the time of disposition of the property in an amount equal to the commonwealth’s proportional contribution from the Facilities Consolidation Fund to the cost of the development through payments made by the state agency making the contract; (3) only be issued when a contract or agreement for the use of the property for the purposes of such housing provides for the recording of a deed restriction in the registry of deeds or the registry district of the land court of the county in which the real property is located, for the benefit of the departments, running with the land, that the land be used to provide community-based housing for eligible individuals as determined by the department of mental health and the department of developmental services; provided, that the property shall not be released from such restriction until the balance of the principal and interest for the loan has been repaid in full or until a mortgage foreclosure deed has been recorded; (4) be issued for a term not to exceed 30 years during which time repayment may be deferred by the loan issuing authority unless, at the end of any fiscal year, cash collections from all sources in connection with a community-based housing project, except for contributions, donations or grant moneys, exceed 105 per cent of cash expenditures on behalf of the project, including debt service, operating expenses and capital reserves, in which event such excess cash shall be paid to the commonwealth within 45 days of the end of the fiscal year, payable first to interest due hereunder and thereafter to principal advanced pursuant to the loan; provided further, that if on the date the loans become due and payable to the commonwealth an outstanding balance exists, and if, on such date, the department, in consultation with the executive office of health and human services, determines that there still exists a need for such housing and that there is continued funding available for the provision of services to such development, the department may, by agreement with the owner of the development, extend the loans for such periods, each period not to exceed 10 years, as the department shall determine; provided, however, that the project shall remain affordable housing for the duration of the loan term, including any extension thereof, as set forth in the contract or agreement entered into by the department; and provided further, that in the event the terms of repayment detailed in this item would cause a project authorized by this item to become ineligible to receive federal funds which would otherwise assist in the development of that project, the department may waive the terms of repayment which would cause the project to become ineligible; and (5) have interest rates fixed at a rate, to be determined by the department, in consultation with the state treasurer; provided further, that expenditures from this item shall not be made for the purpose of refinancing outstanding mortgage loans for community-based housing in existence prior to the effective date of this act; provided further, that community-based housing projects developed pursuant to this item shall not be refinanced during the term of any loan issued pursuant to this item unless the balance of the principal and interest for such loan has been repaid in full at the time of such refinancing; provided further, that the community-based housing projects may be refinanced if the refinancing would result in a reduction of costs paid by the commonwealth; provided further, that a refinanced loan shall be due and payable on a date not later than the date on which the original loan was due and payable, except in accordance with clause (4) when necessary to effect extraordinary repairs or maintenance which shall be approved by the commissioner of developmental services or the commissioner of mental health, as the case may be, and the department; provided further, that the loans shall be provided only for projects conforming to the provisions of this item; provided further, that the loans shall be issued in accordance with a facilities consolidation plan prepared by the secretary of health and human services, reviewed and approved by the department and filed with the secretary for administration and finance and the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on housing; provided further, that no expenditure shall be made from this item without the prior approval of the secretary for administration and finance; provided further, that the department, the department of mental health and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation may identify appropriate financing mechanisms and guidelines for grants or loans from this item to promote private development to produce housing, to provide for independent integrated living opportunities, to write down building and operating costs and to serve households at or below 15 per cent of area median income for the benefit of department of mental health clients; provided further, that not more than $10,000,000 may be expended from this item for a pilot program of community-based housing loans to serve mentally ill homeless individuals in the current or former care of the department of mental health; provided further, that in implementing the pilot program, the department shall consider a balanced geographic plan when establishing community-based residences; provided further, that the housing services made available pursuant to such loans shall not be construed as a right or an entitlement for any individual or class of persons to the benefits of the pilot program; provided further, that eligibility for the pilot program shall be established by regulations promulgated by the department; provided further, that the department shall promulgate regulations pursuant to chapter 30A of the General Laws for the implementation, administration and enforcement of this item, consistent with the facilities consolidation plan prepared by the secretary of health and human services, and after consultation with the secretary and the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance......................... $60,000,000

              7004-0030.. For state financial assistance in the form of loans for the development and redevelopment of community-based housing for persons with disabilities who are institutionalized or at risk of being institutionalized, who are not eligible for housing developed pursuant to item 7004-0029; provided, that the loan program shall be administered by the department of housing and community development, hereinafter referred to in this item as the department, through contracts with the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency established in chapter 23G of the General Laws, the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation established in chapter 40H of the General Laws, operating agencies established pursuant to chapter 121B of the General Laws and the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency established in chapter 708 of the acts of 1966; provided further, that the agencies may develop or finance the community-based housing, or may enter into subcontracts with nonprofit organizations established pursuant to chapter 180 of the General Laws or organizations in which such nonprofit corporations have a controlling financial or managerial interest or for-profit organizations; provided, however, that preference for such subcontracts shall be given to nonprofit organizations; provided further, that the department shall consider a balanced geographic plan for such community-based housing when issuing the loans; provided further, that all housing developed with these funds shall be integrated housing as defined by the appropriate state housing and service agencies including the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission in consultation with relevant and interested clients, their families, advocates, and other parties as necessary; provided further, that loans issued pursuant to this item shall: (1) not exceed 50 per cent of the financing of the total development costs; (2) be issued only when a contract or agreement for the use of the property for the purposes of such housing provides for repayment to the commonwealth at the time of disposition of the property in an amount equal to the commonwealth’s proportional contribution from community based housing to the cost of the development through payments made by the state agency making the contract; (3) only be issued when a contract or agreement for the use of the property for the purposes of such community-based housing provides for the recording of a deed restriction in the registry of deeds or the registry district of the land court of the county in which the real property is located, for the benefit of the departments, running with the land, that the land be used to provide community-based housing for eligible individuals as determined by the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission or other agency of the executive office of health and human services; provided further, that the property shall not be released from such restrictions until the balance of the principal and interest for the loan has been repaid in full or until a mortgage foreclosure deed has been recorded; (4) be issued for a term not to exceed 30 years during which time repayment may be deferred by the loan issuing authority unless, at the end of any fiscal year, cash collections from all sources in connection with a community-based housing project, except for contributions, donations or grant moneys, exceed 105 per cent of cash expenditures on behalf of the project, including debt service, operating expenses, and capital reserves, in which event such excess cash shall be paid to the commonwealth within 45 days of the end of the fiscal year, payable first to interest due hereunder and thereafter to principal advanced pursuant to the loan; provided further, that if on the date the loans become due and payable to the commonwealth an outstanding balance exists, and if on that date, the department, in consultation with the executive office of health and human services, determines that there still exists a need for such housing, the department may, by agreement with the owner of the development, extend the loans for such periods, each period not exceed 10 years, as the department shall determine; provided, however, that the project shall continue to remain affordable housing for the duration of the loan term, including any extensions thereof, as set forth in the contract or agreement entered into by the department; and provided further, that in the event the terms of repayment detailed in this item would cause a project authorized by this item to become ineligible to receive federal funds which would otherwise assist in the development of that project, that commissioner may waive the terms of repayment which would cause the project to become ineligible; and (5) have interest rates fixed at a rate, to be determined by the department, in consultation with the state treasurer; provided further, that expenditures from this item shall not be made for the purpose of refinancing outstanding mortgage loans for community-based housing in existence before the effective date of this act; provided further, that community-based housing projects developed pursuant to this item shall not be refinanced during the term of any loan issued pursuant to this item unless the balance of the principal and interest for such loan is repaid in full at the time of such refinancing; provided further, that the community-based housing projects may be refinanced if the refinancing would result in a reduction of costs paid by the commonwealth; provided further, that a refinanced loan shall be due and payable not later than the date on which the original loan was due and payable, except in accordance with clause (4) of this item or when necessary to effect extraordinary repairs or maintenance which shall be approved by the commissioner of the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission or other agency of the executive office of health and human services, as appropriate, and the department; provided further, the loans shall be provided only for projects conforming to this item; provided further, that the loans shall be issued in accordance with an enhancing community-based services plan prepared by the secretary of health and human services, in consultation with the department and filed with the secretary for administration and finance and the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on housing; provided further, that no expenditure shall be made from this item without the prior approval of the secretary for administration and finance; provided further, that the department shall promulgate regulations pursuant to chapter 30A of the General Laws for the implementation, administration and enforcement of this item, consistent with the enhancing community-based services plan prepared by the secretary of health and human services after consultation with the secretary and the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance........................................... $30,000,000

              7004-0036.. For the purpose of state financial assistance in the form of grants or loans for the Housing Innovations Trust Fund established in section 2 of chapter 121E of the General Laws; provided, however, that not less than 25 per cent shall be used to fund projects which preserve and produce housing for families and individuals with incomes of not more than 30 per cent of the area median income, as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development........... $75,000,000

              SECTION 2.  Section 13A of chapter 22 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out the words “physically handicapped,” “physically handicapped person,” and “handicapped person” wherever they appear and replacing said words with the following:- “person with disabilities”.

              SECTION 3. Section 13A of chapter 22 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out the fourth paragraph in its entirety and replacing it with the following new paragraph:-

              The board shall make and from time to time alter, amend, and repeal, in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A, rules and regulations designed to make public buildings accessible to, functional for, and safe for use by persons with disabilities.  Such rules and regulations of the board shall also establish standards and procedures designed to make readily accessible and usable, or adaptable for persons with disabilities (1) all dwelling units in multiple dwellings equipped with an elevator and (2) all ground floor dwelling units in multiple dwellings not equipped with an elevator, including the public use and common use portions of such dwellings; provided, however, that the dwelling is constructed for first occupancy after March thirteenth, nineteen hundred and ninety-one.  Said rules and regulations shall include, but need not be limited to, detailed architectural standards further defining adaptable dwelling units, and such other provisions necessary to provide rights and remedies substantially equivalent to or greater than the rights and remedies provided by the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, and regulations promulgated to implement said Act that pertain to multiple dwellings. 

              SECTION 4.  Section 13A of chapter 22 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after the fourth paragraph the following new paragraph:-

              The board shall make and from time to time alter, amend, and repeal, in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A, rules and regulations designed to make publicly assisted housing accommodations, and lodging or residential facilities for hire, rent, lease or sale readily accessible and usable, or adaptable for use by persons with disabilities.  Said rules and regulations shall include, but need not be limited to, detailed architectural standards further defining adaptable and accessible dwelling units, including the public use and common use portions of such dwellings, and such other provisions necessary to provide rights and remedies substantially equivalent to or greater than the rights and remedies provided by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to implement said Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Justice to implement said Act. Said rules and regulations shall be available to the public at no cost. 

              With respect to any multiple dwelling, the rules and regulations of the board shall incorporate any safe harbor standard adopted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, except as specifically modified by the board to provide greater access for persons with disabilities.  With respect to any publicly assisted housing accommodations, or lodging or residential facilities for hire, rent, lease or sale consisting of fifteen or more dwelling units, the rules and regulations of the board shall incorporate standards adopted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Department of Justice pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, including any applicable referenced standards set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines adopted from time to time by the United States Access Board, except as specifically modified by the board to provide greater access for persons with disabilities.

              The code structure in the rules and regulations adopted by the board shall utilize the same code structure as the state building code adopted by the state board of building regulations and standards pursuant to chapter one hundred and forty-three of the General Laws. 

              SECTION 5.  Section 13A of chapter 22 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out paragraphs seven and eight in their entirety and inserting the following new paragraphs:-

              There shall be no construction, reconstruction, alteration or remodeling of a public building, publicly assisted building, publicly assisted housing accommodation, or a lodging or residential facility for hire, rent, or lease containing fifteen or more dwelling units, except in conformity with said rules and regulations, nor shall the use of any building be changed to a residential use or a use in which the building is open to and used by the public as defined in this section until such building so conforms, and a copy of the plans and specifications have been approved as provided in this section and in section three W of chapter one hundred and forty-three, showing compliance with said rules and regulations; provided that with respect to any publicly assisted building or a lodging or residential facility for hire, rent, or lease containing fifteen or more dwelling units, the rules and regulations shall provide for rights and remedies substantially equivalent or greater than the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, as applicable; provided further, however, that if the board determines that compliance with said rules and regulations is not feasible,  or would result in excessive and unreasonable costs without any substantial benefit to persons with disabilities in a particular case, it may provide for modification of, or substitution for, such rule or regulation. In all petitions for variance, the burden of proof shall be on the party requesting a variance to justify its allowance.

              Unless otherwise specified, five per cent but not less than one of the units for hire, rent, lease, or sale in publicly assisted buildings, publicly assisted housing accommodations, or lodging or residential facilities for hire, rent, or lease containing fifteen or more units shall be readily accessible and usable, or adaptable for persons with mobility disabilities, and no less than two per cent but not less than one of the dwelling units shall be readily accessible and usable, or adaptable for persons with hearing or visual disabilities. In the event that the board determines that the need, in certain areas of the commonwealth, for such units either exceeds or does not require said percentages, the board may require that, in said areas a lesser percentage of units, or a greater percentage not to exceed ten percent be fully adaptable and safe for persons with disabilities. The board may make such determination only if there is sufficient factual basis to establish with a reasonable degree of certainty the present and future needs for said adaptable units in certain areas of the commonwealth. A percentage of less than the amounts set forth herein shall not be established unless such adaptable units, which are not needed by persons with disabilities, cannot be readily hired, rented, leased, or sold to other persons.

              SECTION 6. Section 13A of chapter 22 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after the definition of “public building” the following:- 

              “Publicly assisted housing accommodations,” shall have the same meaning as set forth in subsection ten of section one of chapter one hundred and fifty-oneB of the General Laws.

              SECTION 7.

              Section 13A of chapter 22 of the General Laws is hereby amended by deleting the following phrase from paragraph ten of the definitions:-

              "with a capacity of fifteen or more automobiles"

                SECTION 8.

              The architectural access board shall no later than three hundred days after the effective date of this Act promulgate regulations implementing the provisions herein.

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