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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 3: Purchase option for publicly-assisted housing by department

Section 3. (a) An owner shall offer the department an opportunity to purchase publicly-assisted housing prior to entering into an agreement to sell such property pursuant to the time periods contained in this section, but no owner shall be under any obligation to enter into an agreement to sell such property to the department.

(b) The department may select a designee to act on its behalf as purchaser of the publicly-assisted housing and shall give the owner and CEDAC written notice of its selection. The department shall promptly consult with the affected municipality before selecting a designee and shall immediately designate the affected municipality as its designee upon written request of the affected municipality, unless the department determines that such request is not feasible for reasons set forth in the department's regulations. The department shall enter into a written agreement with its selected designee providing that the designee, and any of its successors or assigns, agree to preserve the affordability of the publicly assisted housing. Once such an agreement is executed, the designee shall assume all rights and responsibilities attributable to the department as a prospective purchaser under this section and section 4. At any time prior to a sale under this section or section 4, the department may revoke its designation and assume the designee's rights and responsibilities, either in its own capacity or by selecting a new designee; provided, however, that no change in a designation shall operate to extend or alter any time periods for performance set forth in this chapter or in any purchase contract entered into pursuant to this chapter.

(c) The department may, within 90 days after it receives notice pursuant to subsection (c) of section 2 of the owner's intention to sell, submit an offer to the owner to purchase the publicly-assisted housing. Failure by the department to submit a timely offer shall constitute an irrevocable waiver of the department's rights under this section and the owner may sell the publicly-assisted housing subject to section 4. If the owner accepts the department's initial or any revised offer, the owner and the department shall enter into such other agreements as are necessary and appropriate to complete the sale. If the owner and the department have not entered into an agreement to sell the property to the department within 90 days after receipt of the notice pursuant to subsection (c) of section 2, the owner may enter into an agreement to sell the property to a purchaser of the owner's choice, subject to section 4.

(d) At any time after the notice in section 2 has been provided and within 10 days of receiving a request, the owner shall make documents available to the department for review and photocopying during normal business hours at the owner's principal place of business or at a commercial photocopying facility. Such documents shall include, but not be limited to: (1) any existing architectural plans and specifications of the development; (2) itemized lists of monthly operating expenses and capital expenditures in each of the 2 preceding calendar years; (3) any capital needs studies or market studies that have been submitted to a federal, state or local agency in the preceding 3 years; (4) utility consumption rates for the preceding year; (5) copies of the last 2 audited annual financial statements and physical inspection reports filed with federal, state or local agencies; (6) the most recent rent roll showing then current vacancies and rent arrearages; and (7) a statement of the approximate annualized vacancy rate at the development for each of the 2 preceding calendar years. Documents obtained pursuant to a request under subsections (c) and (d) shall not be considered public records, as defined in clause 26 of section 7 of chapter 4, and the department shall not make such documents available to the public without the written consent of the owner or pursuant to a court order; provided, however, that disclosure may be made to potential funding sources, regulatory agencies or agents or consultants of the department in connection with the transaction, subject to appropriate confidentiality agreements. Upon request and with appropriate notice, the owner shall permit reasonable inspections of the dwelling units, building systems, common areas and common grounds by agents, consultants and representatives of the department or its designee including, but not limited to, inspections related to environmental, engineering, structural or zoning matters; provided, however, that the owner and agents, consultants or representatives of the department or its designee shall execute an access and confidentiality agreement, in a form approved by the department, with respect to such matters as insurance to be carried by the investigators, indemnities of the owner, restrictions on invasive testing, restoration requirements, the timing of such inspections and the requirement to keep all matters discovered confidential.

(e) Not later than 30 days after the department submits an offer to purchase the publicly-assisted housing pursuant to subsection (c), the department shall notify tenants in the housing development of its plans.