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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 5: Housing and redevelopment authorities; membership; appointment; election; term of office

  Section 5. Every housing and redevelopment authority shall be managed, controlled and governed by five members, appointed or elected as provided in this section, of whom three shall constitute a quorum. Every member of a housing or redevelopment authority shall be a fiduciary of the housing or redevelopment authority.

  In a city, four members of a housing or redevelopment authority shall be appointed by the mayor subject to confirmation by the city council; provided, that, the members shall be appointed to serve for initial terms of one, two, four and five years, respectively.

[ Third paragraph effective until May 14, 2021. For text effective May 14, 2021, see below.]

  In a town, 3 members shall be elected by the town; provided, that of the members originally elected at an annual town meeting, the one receiving the highest number of votes shall serve for five years, the one receiving the next highest number of votes, for four years and the one receiving the next highest number of votes, for two years; provided, that upon the initial organization of a housing or redevelopment authority, if a town so votes at an annual or special town meeting called for the purpose, four members of such an authority shall be appointed forthwith by the selectmen to serve only until the qualification of their successors, who shall be elected at the next annual town meeting as provided above.

[ Third paragraph as amended by 2020, 358, Sec. 71 effective May 14, 2021. See 2020, 358, Sec. 103. For text effective until May 14, 2021, see above.]

  In a town, 4 members of a redevelopment authority that is not a housing authority shall be elected by the town; provided, however, that of the members originally elected at an annual town meeting, the candidate who received the highest number of votes shall serve for 5 years, the candidate who received the next highest number of votes shall serve for 4 years, the candidate who received the next highest number of votes shall serve for 2 years and the candidate who received the next highest number of votes shall serve for 1 year. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, upon the initial organization of a redevelopment authority that is not a housing authority, if a town so votes at an annual or special town meeting called for the purpose of organizing a redevelopment authority that is not a housing authority, 4 members of the redevelopment authority shall be appointed immediately by the board of selectmen to serve only until the qualification of their successors; provided, however, that the successors shall be elected at the next annual town meeting as provided in this paragraph.

[ Two paragraphs inserted following third paragraph by 2020, 358, Sec. 71 effective May 14, 2021. See 2020, 358, Sec. 103.]

  Notwithstanding section 20 of chapter 43B or any other general or special law to the contrary, in a town, 1 member of a housing authority shall be a tenant member appointed by the board of selectmen and 3 members shall be elected by the town; provided, however, that of the members originally elected at an annual town meeting, the candidate who received the highest number of votes shall serve for 5 years, the candidate who received the next highest number of votes shall serve for 4 years and the candidate who received the next highest number of votes shall serve for 2 years. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, upon the initial organization of a housing authority, if a town so votes at an annual or special town meeting called for the purpose of organizing a housing authority, 3 members of the authority shall be appointed immediately by the board of selectmen to serve only until the qualification of their successors; provided, however, that the successors shall be elected at the next annual town meeting as provided in this paragraph.

  A tenant, where applicable, shall be appointed by the town from a list of names submitted by a duly recognized tenants' organization in the town. A tenants' organization may submit a list to the board of selectmen that shall contain not less than 2 and not more than 5 names and the board shall make the appointment from among the names so submitted; provided, however, that if there is no such tenants' organization, the housing authority shall immediately post notices throughout the common areas of the authority and provide each household with notice of the opportunity to be appointed to the housing authority board and, if any person wishes to be considered for such appointment, that person shall submit their name within 30 days thereafter to the town clerk; provided further, that the notice shall include contact information for the town clerk and for any independent technical training programs available pursuant to section 5B. The board of selectmen shall appoint a tenant member from the list; provided, however, that where federal law requires the town to maintain a member who is a federally-subsidized tenant, a federally-subsidized tenant shall be given preference for the appointment. If there are no public housing units owned and operated by the local housing authority and if there are no such units owned and operated on behalf of the local housing authority, the board of selectmen shall appoint a person meeting the eligibility requirements for a tenant member. If a list of names is not submitted within 60 days after a vacancy occurs, the board of selectmen shall appoint a tenant member of its own choosing to the authority. The town shall provide any written notice to tenants' organizations as required by this section not less than 90 days before the expiration of the term of a tenant member. If a vacancy occurs in the term of a tenant member for any reason other than the expiration of a term, the town shall provide written notice to the tenants' organizations within 10 business days after the vacancy occurs. The board of selectmen shall make the appointment of the successor tenant member within a reasonable time after the expiration of 60 days following the provision of notice as provided in this section.

  In a city or town, one member of a housing or redevelopment authority shall be appointed by the department for an initial term of three years. If the department does not fill a vacancy in the position of that member within 120 days from the date that the vacancy is created, the board of selectmen shall appoint, in writing, a person by a majority vote to fill such vacancy for the unexpired term. In a city, the mayor shall appoint a person subject to confirmation by the city council for the unexpired term.

  Thereafter, as the term of a member of any housing or redevelopment authority expires, his successor shall be appointed or elected, in the same manner and by the same body, for a term of five years from such expiration. Membership in a housing or redevelopment authority shall be restricted to residents of the city or town.

  In a city, one of the four members of a housing authority appointed by the mayor shall be a resident of that city and shall be a representative of organized labor who shall be appointed by the mayor from a list of not less than two nor more than five names, representing different unions submitted by the Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America of the city or of the district within which the city is included. If no such list of names is submitted within sixty days after a vacancy occurs, the mayor may appoint any representative of organized labor of his own choosing to the authority. In a city, one of the four members of a housing authority appointed by the mayor shall be a tenant in a building owned and operated by or on behalf of the local housing authority who shall be appointed by the mayor from lists of names submitted by each duly recognized city-wide and project-wide tenants' organization in the city. A tenants' organization may submit a list which contains not less than two nor more than five names to the mayor who shall make his selection from among the names so submitted; provided that, where no public housing units are owned and operated by the local housing authority and no such units are owned and operated on behalf of the local housing authority, the mayor shall appoint any tenant of the housing authority from lists submitted in accordance with this section. If no list of names is submitted within sixty days after a vacancy occurs, the mayor shall appoint any tenant of his choosing to the authority. The mayor shall notify in writing tenant organizations as specified herein not less than ninety days prior to the expiration of the term of a tenant member. Whenever a vacancy occurs in the term of a tenant member for any reason other than the expiration of a term, the mayor shall notify in writing the tenant organizations specified herein within ten working days after the vacancy occurs. The mayor shall make an appointment within a reasonable time after the expiration of sixty days after said notice.

  Vacancies, other than by reason of expiration of terms, shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term, in the same manner and by the same body, except elected members in towns whose terms shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of section eleven of chapter forty-one. Every member, unless sooner removed, shall serve until the qualification of his successor.

  As soon as possible after the qualification of the members of a housing or redevelopment authority the city or town clerk, as the case may be, shall file a certificate of such appointment, or of such appointment and election, as the case may be, with the department, and a duplicate thereof, in either case, in the office of the state secretary. If the state secretary finds that the housing or redevelopment authority has been organized and the members thereof elected or appointed according to law, he shall issue to it a certificate of organization and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the lawful organization of the authority and of the election or appointment of the members thereof.

  Whenever the membership of an authority is changed by appointment, election, resignation or removal, a certificate and duplicate certificate to that effect shall be promptly so filed. A certificate so filed shall be conclusive evidence of the change in membership of the authority referred to therein.