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HOUSE DOCKET, NO.                 FILED ON: 1/25/2012

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3672

 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Twelve

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An Act promoting accessible housing for persons 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.
 

              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. The Architectural Access Board shall promulgate regulations pursuant to section 13A of chapter 22 of the general laws no later than January 1, 2012 that shall be 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, to make applicable dwelling units readily accessible, usable, and/or adaptable for persons with disabilities.

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