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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 26C: Best practices program for allowing authorities to work collaboratively; provisions of program; capital assistance team; director; members

Section 26C. (a) The department shall establish a program based on best practices to allow authorities to work collaboratively and shall provide capital, maintenance and repair planning and technical assistance to housing authorities that shall facilitate the capturing of economies of scale through increased collaboration relative to, but not limited to, bulk purchasing, capital planning and capital projects. The program shall include 3 capital assistance teams, which shall aid housing authority members and executive directors in developing and managing the housing authority's capital, maintenance and repair program, including: (i) developing a capital, maintenance and repair plan as required in the housing authority's annual plan under section 26B; (ii) preparing applications for special capital project funds; (iii) implementing capital improvement, maintenance and repair projects; (iv) managing updates to the department's capital planning, maintenance and repair systems; (v) facilitating coordination among housing authorities to ensure efficient use of capital and maintenance funds; and (vi) other functions related to capital planning, renovation, maintenance, repair and redevelopment as the department considers necessary; provided, however, that the capital assistance team shall provide services to the housing authority without requiring payment for the services by the housing authority. The capital assistance teams shall be located in diverse regions to be designated by the department.

(b) All housing authorities may participate in the program; provided, however, that those housing authorities with 500 or fewer state-aided units shall participate in the program. The department may grant a waiver of this requirement to a housing authority that demonstrates that the assistance is not necessary based upon the housing authority's performance under the performance based monitoring and assessment standards of section 26B.

(c) Each capital assistance team shall be employed in offices at a host housing authority. Three host housing authorities shall be selected by the department. The department shall develop and issue a request for proposals to solicit proposals from housing authorities to serve as a host housing authority; provided, however, that the department shall select not more than 1 host housing authority in each of the designated regions. The department shall promulgate regulations to increase the salary of the host housing authority director.

(d) Each capital assistance team shall have a director to be hired by the host housing authority in consultation with the department. The director shall hire project management and capital planning staff to work directly with housing authorities to provide the technical assistance described; provided, however, that no staff member shall individually oversee more than 2,500 units on a permanent basis.

(e) Each capital assistance team shall have an advisory board consisting of 11 members. The host housing authority shall appoint 1 of its own board members to the advisory board; the department shall appoint 1 member, who shall have at least 5 years of experience as the manager of not less than 200 units of privately owned housing; and the department shall promulgate regulations establishing election procedures for the selection of the remaining 9 members. The department shall limit eligibility for election to members of participating housing authorities in the region. The advisory board shall meet on a quarterly basis with the capital assistance team director, host housing authority director and the director of the department or a designee of the director of the department and shall discuss issues of program performance and coordination.