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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVII PUBLIC WELFARE
  • CHAPTER 121B HOUSING AND URBAN RENEWAL
  • Section 43 Contracts to rent, lease or provide financial assistance to housing units by housing authorities

Section 43. In addition to its other powers and for the purpose of implementing a program of rental assistance a housing authority may enter into contracts to rent, lease or otherwise provide financial assistance to dwelling units or such other housing units subject to regulations promulgated by the department of community affairs not inconsistent with the standards required for dwelling units for periods of not more that ten years. Any such contract or lease shall contain a provision conditioning the obligations of the housing authority thereunder upon the certification by the housing authority that such dwelling unit or said other housing units are in compliance with the provisions of the minimum standards of fitness for human habitation set forth in the state sanitary code. No housing authority shall enter into any such contract or lease until (a) the housing authority has adopted a scale of maximum rents, including specified utility charges, payable by the authority for housing units of various types under such contracts or leases and the department has approved such scale as being consistent with the purposes of the rental assistance program, (b) the housing authority has determined that an adequate supply of the type of housing to be contracted for or leased is not presently available in the low rent housing projects located within the city or town, and (c) the housing authority has determined that the rent payable under the contract or lease is not in excess of rents payable for similar types of housing units within the city or town. A housing authority shall, in order to encourage the construction and remodeling of dwelling units or such other housing units subject to regulations promulgated by the department of community affairs not inconsistent with the standards required for dwelling units, endeavor to contract for or lease units recently constructed, reconstructed or remodeled but may enter into contracts or leases for other units.

A housing authority which, as a lessee or tenant, enters into a lease or rental agreement with a cooperative corporation or other legal entity which is the owner of a cooperative project may require that any tenant occupying the leased premises with the consent of the authority shall have all the rights of a member of the corporation.

If a resident of a city or town is eligible for rental assistance and locates or occupies a standard dwelling unit or said other housing unit other than the one receiving financial assistance or leased by the local housing authority and if said dwelling unit or said other housing unit and the rental thereof is reasonable and acceptable to said housing authority in accordance with this section, and if the owner of said unit is willing to enter into a contract or lease agreement with said authority, said authority shall within thirty days of application to it by said resident execute a contract or lease for occupancy of said unit for not more than five years by said resident under the guidelines of the rental assistance program as established by the department. All housing authorities shall make application to the department of community affairs for funds with which to participate in the rental assistance program. The department may directly enter into contracts to rent, lease or otherwise provide financial assistance and exercise all other rights and duties of housing authorities under the rental assistance program in cities or towns where no local housing authority exists or where the department finds that the local housing authority has not carried out the provisions of the rental assistance program.

The number of units leased by any housing authority in any one building or development shall not exceed the following limits: In a building or development containing one to twelve units, no limit, in a building or development containing thirteen to thirty units, twelve units or fifty percent of the units, whichever is higher, in a building or development containing thirty-one or more units, forty percent of the total units, rounded up to the next highest whole number; provided, however, that the department may, in its discretion, permit a housing authority to lease additional units in a building or development containing more than twenty but less than one hundred units if the department determines that the owner of said buildings or development needs and will use the proceeds from said lease for the sole purpose of improving said building or development; and, provided further, that there shall be no limits in any building or development containing less than one hundred units where the department determines that such units are necessary to provide affordable housing for persons and families of low income; and, provided further, that there shall be no limits in any building where the department determines that all such units are for single room occupancy.

The department of community affairs is hereby authorized and directed to allocate funds appropriated for the state rental assistance program to eligible units within developments financed by the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, hereinafter known as MHFA, pursuant to the provisions of sections twenty-five to twenty-seven, inclusive, of chapter twenty-three B.

The department is hereby authorized to provide funds appropriated for the state rental assistance program to a limited equity cooperative housing corporation, as defined in section four of chapter one hundred and fifty-seven B, on behalf of an owner who, but for such ownership, is eligible to participate as a tenant in a program of rental assistance.