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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 26B: Performance‐based monitoring program; assessment standards

Section 26B. (a) A housing authority shall participate in the performance‐based monitoring program as established by the department in accordance with this section.

(b) The department shall establish and implement a performance‐based monitoring program and develop and provide uniform assessment standards for evaluating housing authority operations. The assessment standards may incorporate public housing industry standards and measures and federal monitoring standards as applicable. The monitoring program and assessment standards established by the department shall be structured to enable the department to identify housing authorities that are failing to meet the minimum standards and to develop and implement corrective action plans and targeted assistance by the department to improve performance to a satisfactory level.

(c) The monitoring program and assessment standards established by the department under this section shall be developed and implemented by the department in consultation with representatives of housing authorities, municipal officials, public housing residents and public housing industry professional organizations. At a minimum, the department shall include assessment standards for: (i) executive director and senior staff training; (ii) board member training; (iii) senior staff certification in public procurement procedures; (iv) budget management; (v) minimum experience and education qualifications for the hiring of executive directors; (vi) maintenance and repair of existing units; (vii) vacant unit turnover procedures and timelines; (viii) capital project planning; (ix) resident services, including job training initiatives and family self‐sufficiency programming; and (x) participation in the capital assistance team program established in section 26C.

(d) The department shall establish guidelines for designating a housing authority as ''chronically poor performing'' under the monitoring program. The department shall develop these guidelines in consultation with representatives of local housing authorities, municipal officials, public housing residents and public housing industry professional organizations. If a housing authority is designated as ''chronically poor performing'', the department may appoint a chief administrative and financial officer, hereinafter referred to as CAFO, who shall be responsible for the overall administration of the housing authority. The department shall appoint the CAFO for a term of not more than 3 years. The CAFO shall be appointed solely on the basis of administrative and executive qualifications and shall be a person especially fitted by education, training and experience to perform the duties of the office. The CAFO shall not be required to be a resident of the commonwealth or of the same municipality in which the housing authority to be administered is located. The powers and duties of the CAFO shall include the following: (i) coordinating, administering and supervising financial services and activities; (ii) implementing and maintaining uniform systems, controls and procedures for financial activities; (iii) reviewing proposed contracts and obligations; (iv) reviewing the spending plan for each department; and (v) evaluating the housing authority's current annual plan under section 28A and implementing a written plan to meet the department's assessment standards established pursuant to this section, including, but not limited to, merging with another housing authority or regional housing authority. Annually not later than March 30, the CAFO shall submit a 4–year financial plan and a 5–year capital plan to the department that includes all capital needs of the housing authority. If the department finds clear and convincing evidence of a demonstrable threat to tenant safety attributable to the conduct of the executive director or financial misconduct or criminal activity by the executive director, the department may terminate the employment of the executive director in accordance with the executive director's employment agreement with the authority as approved by the department.