Section 5. CEDAC may, subject to appropriation by the general court or funds made available from any other public or private source and pursuant to rules and regulations adopted by it, provide technical and financial assistance to particular eligible organizations or projects intended to contribute to the public purposes of this chapter generally; provided, however, that preference shall be given to projects in which community controlled organizations or community action programs have, or will have, an ownership interest; and provided further, that before providing technical and financial assistance to a particular eligible organization, CEDAC shall find and incorporate in its minutes that: (1) the eligible organization is devoting a substantial part of its efforts to activities intended to contribute to the redevelopment and economic well-being of target areas and to increase or retain primary employment and capital in target areas or to activities intended to preserve existing or create new units of affordable housing; and (2) technical and financial assistance shall be used solely for a particular project which meets the following standards:
(i) the project is within a target area and may reasonably be expected to contribute to the redevelopment and economic well-being of the target area within which it is located and to increase or maintain threatened primary employment and capital within such target area, or if the project may reasonably be expected to preserve existing or create new units of affordable housing;
(ii) the project has provided reasonable assurance that it will conform to all applicable environmental, zoning and building laws;
(iii) the benefits of the project, including the addition or retention of primary employment and of capital in the project’s target area, shall primarily accrue to the residents of such target area, or a portion of the dwelling units in the project shall constitute or otherwise qualify as affordable housing;
(iv) there is a reasonable expectation that the project will be successful and that the eligible organization and project participants are responsible parties;
(v) the private sector has not provided sufficient primary employment opportunities in the project’s target area;
(vi) alternative sources, including other agencies and subdivisions of the commonwealth and of the federal government, for technical and financial assistance have been sought and are either insufficient or unavailable to meet the needs of the project;
(vii) the technical and financial assistance to be provided is essential to the success of the project; and
(viii) provision has been made for the active participation of residents of the target area in the project; and
(3) adequate provisions have been made for reporting by the eligible organization and the project concerning the manner in which the technical and financial assistance is used and the extent to which it achieves its intended results.
Such findings by CEDAC shall be conclusive.
In providing technical and financial assistance to eligible organizations, CEDAC shall give preference to projects that provide potential benefits in addition to those listed herein.