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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 5B: Comprehensive training program for members of a housing or redevelopment authority; technical assistance training for tenant members

Section 5B. The department shall establish and implement a comprehensive training program for members of a housing or redevelopment authority. The training program shall be developed by the department in consultation with representatives of local housing authorities, municipal officials, public housing residents, public housing industry professional organizations and relevant state agencies.

The department shall provide instructions and training to members on the proper management of a housing or redevelopment authority. The instructions and training shall include, but not be limited to, the following laws and topics: (i) the open meeting law established pursuant to sections 18 to 25, inclusive, of chapter 30A; (ii) the public records law established pursuant to chapter 66; (iii) the conflict of interest law established pursuant to chapter 268A; (iv) the uniform procurement act established pursuant to chapter 30B; (v) state finance provisions established pursuant to chapter 29; (vi) fraud prevention; (vii) fiduciary responsibilities; (viii) fair housing laws; (ix) tenant occupancy and tenant participation policies; (x) the laws prohibiting discrimination in publicly assisted housing established pursuant to clauses 6 to 7B, inclusive, of section 4 of chapter 151B; and (xi) best practices relating to the general inspection, maintenance and repair of existing units and capital improvements in public housing. The department may consult with the attorney general and the inspector general in developing instructions and training programs pursuant to this section.

The department shall further provide independent technical assistance training to tenant members. The department shall develop the training with the goal of enabling tenant members and members of local tenant organizations to participate fully in the oversight of the housing authority's operation and capital planning. The department shall permit tenants and local tenant organizations who are not members to attend technical assistance training.

Upon appointment and reappointment or election and reelection, all members shall complete a training program, as developed by the department, within 90 days of assuming the member's position. Members shall complete a training program every 2 years. Failure to complete a training program within 90 days of assuming a position as a member or failure to complete a training program every 2 years may constitute neglect of duty and that member may be subject to removal proceedings pursuant to section 6.