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General Laws

Section 26A. The department shall have all the powers of a housing authority under this chapter and be subject to all the limitations on such powers, provided for in this chapter, in order to provide housing for the elderly and for families of low income in any city or town where no housing authority has been organized.

Upon the organization of a local housing authority in such city or town, or of a regional housing authority under section three A, which includes such city or town, all the rights, required or exercised by the department or exercised by the department with respect to such housing shall immediately vest in such local or regional housing authority and the department shall enter into a contract for financial assistance with such local or regional housing authority provided for in this chapter.

The state treasurer may borrow from time to time on the credit of the commonwealth such sums of money as may be necessary for the purpose of meeting payments as authorized by this section, and may issue and renew from time to time notes and bonds of the commonwealth therefor, bearing interest payable at such times and at such rates as shall be fixed by the state treasurer, provided that the annual payment for any one project shall not exceed eight per cent of the project cost, as determined by the department.

To finance the costs of any projects undertaken under section twenty-six, and annual contributions by the commonwealth, as provided for under this chapter, the state treasurer shall, upon request of the governor, issue and sell at public or private sale, notes or bonds of the commonwealth, in an amount to be specified by the governor from time to time, but not exceeding in the aggregate the difference between the amounts authorized, in section forty-one with respect to elderly persons of low-income and in section thirty-four with respect to families of low-income, and the amount of notes or bonds of a housing authority guaranteed by the commonwealth issued to finance the cost of project. The provisions and limitations relating to such notes and bonds, as provided for under this chapter shall apply to such notes and bonds in the same manner and to the same extent as if such notes or bonds had been issued by a local housing authority.

The department shall not exercise its powers herein granted without the approval of the city or town in which such a project is planned in the same manner as would be required if a local or regional housing authority were to exercise its authority.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the foregoing, in any city where the department finds that the purpose of providing adequate housing for families of low income and the need for neighborhood revitalization would best be served if the department acts as a housing authority, the department shall have all the powers of a housing authority under this chapter, including, the power to contract directly with any private non-profit corporation for the purpose of developing and managing housing projects for families of low income pursuant to section thirty-one of this chapter involving the purchase or acquisition of the right to use completed or remodeled dwelling units whether condominium units, individual buildings part of a larger development, or a portion of the units in a multi-family development, or the construction of new buildings; provided, however, that the department shall obtain the approval of the mayor and the city council; and provided, further, that such projects shall be subject to rules and regulations promulgated by the department, in the event said department acts as a housing authority in a city pursuant to this paragraph, which regulations shall include, but not be limited to, a procedure for providing public notice of the availability of funding and a ranking of priority for projects according to criteria for selection; and provided, further, that such projects shall be subject to any applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations of the city in which the project is located, relating to the construction and repair of buildings, zoning and the protection of public health in accordance with the provision of section twenty-eight of this chapter.

Said department shall annually provide for an evaluation of the effectiveness of its actions as a local housing authority pursuant to this section. Said evaluation shall be filed, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry into effect any recommendations the department might make, with the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives, the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on urban affairs on or before the first Wednesday in December.

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