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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVII PUBLIC WELFARE
  • CHAPTER 121B HOUSING AND URBAN RENEWAL
  • Section 39 Power to provide housing for elderly and handicapped persons of low income; priorities in placement

Section 39. The housing authority of each city or town organized under section three shall have power to provide housing for elderly persons of low income and handicapped persons of low income either in separate projects or as a definite portion of any other projects undertaken under sections twenty-five to forty-four, inclusive, of this chapter, or in remodeled or reconstructed existing buildings, or through the purchase of condominium units, and the provisions of sections one to forty-four, inclusive, of this chapter shall, so far as apt, be applicable to projects and parts of projects undertaken under sections thirty-eight through forty-one except as otherwise provided in section forty or elsewhere in this chapter. The power to provide such housing shall include the provision of facilities for congregate living, either in separate projects or as a definite portion of any other projects so undertaken. A housing authority with the approval of the department may in addition to, and to the extent not inconsistent with this section or section forty-one provide that on project sites which include convenience stores or ancillary commercial facilities housing projects may be planned and designed so as to permit the continued operation of such stores or facilities. Such stores or facilities may be rented or leased by such housing authorities. The provisions of the preceding two sentences shall apply also to any low rent housing project for families of low income undertaken pursuant to this chapter.

In any town in which a veterans’ housing project or project for the housing of elderly persons has already been constructed or established, the local housing authority shall not be empowered to erect a new housing project for elderly persons nor shall a contract for financial assistance applicable to the construction of a new project for the housing of elderly persons be entered into pursuant to the provisions of section forty-one until there shall have been submitted to, and approved by vote of, an annual town meeting or a special town meeting called therefor, the question whether the local housing authority should be empowered to erect such new housing project, for one of the purposes authorized by law, as said authority should thereafter determine to be reasonably necessary and feasible.

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a housing authority which manages units provided under this section and section forty shall give priority in placement to non-elderly handicapped persons of low income, who are eligible to receive such housing and who are qualified under the criteria established in regulations promulgated by the department, in thirteen and one-half percent of said units. If a local housing authority determines that there are insufficient numbers of eligible and qualified non-elderly handicapped persons of low income to fill thirteen and one-half percent of the housing units, the local housing authority shall then place eligible and qualified elderly persons of low income in said units. The thirteen and one-half percent of units for which eligible and qualified non-elderly handicapped persons of low income receive priority in placement shall include the percentage of units for which handicapped persons of low income without regard to age, and their families, are given priority pursuant to subsection (f) of section forty, when such units are occupied by non-elderly handicapped persons of low income.

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a housing authority which manages units provided under this section and section forty shall give priority in placement to elderly persons of low income, who are eligible to receive such housing and who are qualified under the criteria established by regulations of the department, in eighty-six and one-half percent of said units. If a local housing authority determines that there are insufficient numbers of eligible and qualified elderly persons of low income to fill eighty-six and one-half percent of said units the local housing authority shall give priority in placement to eligible and qualified handicapped persons of low income who are on a waiting list for housing developed pursuant to this section or section forty, and who have attained the age of fifty, but who are less than sixty years old. If a local housing authority determines that there are insufficient numbers of elderly persons of low income and handicapped persons of low income who have attained the age of fifty but who are less than sixty years old, who have applied for occupancy in housing developed pursuant to this section and section forty to fill eighty-six and one-half percent of said units, the local housing authority shall place other non-elderly handicapped persons of low income who have applied for occupancy in said housing in said units.

Preference for accessible or modified units pursuant to subsection (f) of section forty may be given to handicapped persons of low income, without regard to age, who need one or more of the special design features of said units.

Among non-elderly handicapped persons of low income who are eligible and qualified for housing pursuant to this section a preference shall be given in the community in which they reside to eligible and qualified non-elderly handicapped persons of low income who are veterans, and among elderly persons of low income who are eligible and qualified for housing pursuant to this section a preference shall be given in the community in which they reside to eligible and qualified elderly persons of low income who are veterans.

The numerical percentages stated herein shall be deemed policy objectives and in no way shall be an entitlement to any form of housing necessary for compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

The department shall, after consultation with the secretaries of elder affairs and health and human services, promulgate rules and regulations concerning the implementation of the priorities in placement, as set forth herein not later than October first, nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and may establish placement ratios among elderly persons of low income and non-elderly handicapped persons of low income to provide for an equitable transition to encourage the percentage policy objectives stated herein for said persons of low income. Until such time that said percentage policy objectives, stated herein, are substantially met, said placement ratios shall not be less than one elderly person of low income for each placement of one non-elderly handicapped person of low income. Said placement ratios shall only be implemented at local housing authorities where non-elderly handicapped persons of low income represent less than thirteen and one-half percent of the total residents at said authority; provided, that said placement ratios shall not be implemented at any local housing authority where non-elderly handicapped persons of low income represent greater than thirteen and one-half percent of the total residents. The priorities in placement established herein shall not be implemented by local housing authorities until such rules and regulations have been promulgated. Any person who is lawfully residing in housing developed pursuant to this section and section forty when such rules and regulations are promulgated may not be evicted or otherwise required to vacate a housing unit solely as a consequence of the priorities in placement established herein.

Nothing stated herein shall give rise to enforceable legal rights in any party or an enforceable entitlement to any form of housing and further, nothing stated herein shall be construed as giving rise to such enforceable legal rights or such enforceable entitlement.