Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. There is hereby established in the county of Dukes County, hereinafter referred to as the county, a public body politic and corporate to be known as the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, hereinafter referred to as the authority. The authority shall be managed, controlled and governed by eight members, five of whom shall constitute a quorum. Seven persons shall be appointed by the county commissioners of said county from a list submitted by the member towns provided that not more than two of the members shall be chosen from the same town. Two persons shall be appointed for an initial term of one year, three persons shall be appointed for an initial term of two years, two persons shall be appointed for an initial term of three years, and one person shall be appointed by the department of community affairs, hereinafter referred to as the department, for an initial term of three years, their successors to be appointed in the same manner and by the same body for terms of three years from the expiration of the terms of the original appointees.
Members of the authority shall be residents of the county, who shall serve until the qualification of their successors unless sooner removed.
Members may be removed or suspended by the county commissioners in the same manner as removal by the city council or board of selectmen in accordance with the provisions of section six of chapter one hundred and twenty-one B of the General Laws. A member of the authority who ceases to be a resident of the county shall be removed upon the date of his change of residence by operation of law.
The clerk of the county commissioners for the county shall, as soon as possible after the event occurs, file a certificate with the department and a duplicate certificate with the state secretary, of an appointment, resignation or removal of a member of the authority. If the state secretary shall find that the authority has been organized and the members thereof 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 appointment of the members thereof.
SECTION 2. Notwithstanding the provisions of section three A of chapter one hundred and twenty-one B of the General Laws, and except as may otherwise be provided herein, and notwithstanding the existence of local housing authority organized in any town, the authority shall be deemed to be, and within every town in the county, shall have the rights, powers and obligations of, a housing authority organized under the provisions of said chapter one hundred and twenty-one B, except with respect to any project or activity theretofore undertaken on a particular site or location by a local housing authority organized in a town. Every town in the county shall have the same rights, powers, and obligations with respect to projects and other activities of the authority in such town as are provided in said chapter one hundred and twenty-one B for a city or town in which a housing authority has been created. In addition, any local housing authority organized in a town within the county, whether organized prior to or subsequent to the creation of the authority by this act, shall have the rights, powers and obligations of a housing authority under said chapter one hundred and twenty-one B, except with respect to any project or activity theretofore undertaken on a particular site or location by the said regional housing authority.
The relationship within any town between the authority and any local housing authority regarding operating procedures and management of projects or programs shall be as specified in any resolution approved as provided in section three and on matters not covered by such resolution, shall be as mutually agreed upon by the two authorities, or in the absence of such agreement, as shall be determined by the department, not inconsistent with department's regulations.
The authority shall annually make a report of its activities, receipts, and expenditures to the commissioners, to the department, to the state auditor, and to the selectmen and housing authority, if any, of each of the towns in the county, in accordance with the provisions of section twenty-nine of said chapter one hundred and twenty-one B.
SECTION 3. Prior to taking, purchasing, or otherwise acquiring the fee in any real property, the authority shall submit a resolution authorizing such acquisition to the housing authority of the town in which the property is located, or if no housing authority has been organized in said town, to its board of selectmen. No such taking, purchase or acquisition shall be completed until thirty calendar days have elapsed following the approval of such resolution by the local housing authority or selectmen, as the case may be, or unless approved by vote of the town meeting as provided below. Upon the expiration of thirty calendar days from the date of submittal without either approval or disapproval by the housing authority or selectmen, as the case may be, the resolution shall be deemed approved. The local housing authority or selectmen shall include in their consideration of each such resolution the housing needs, the consistency of the proposed action with local plans, and the health, safety, welfare and convenience of all the persons residing in the town.
If prior to the expiration of thirty days following approval or disapproval of such a resolution by the local housing authority or board of selectmen, the town clerk certifies receipt of written requests from a sufficient number of voters, as specified in section ten of chapter thirty-nine of the General Laws; that an article to approve or disapprove the proposed purchase, taking or acquisition be placed on the warrant for a town meeting to be held within sixty days of said submission, the selectmen shall call such town meeting and no taking, purchase, or acquisition of fee in real property shall be made except following an affirmative vote of the town meeting to approve such action.
The provisions of section thirty-nine of chapter one hundred and twenty-one B of the General Laws, limiting the powers of a local housing authority to erect or to contract for financial assistance for the construction of new projects for the housing of elderly persons shall not apply to any housing project erected by the authority.
SECTION 4. For the purpose of defraying costs and expenses of the authority as provided in section nineteen of said chapter one hundred and twenty-one B, the county treasurer may pay such sums to the authority as may be appropriated therefor, and shall be repaid such sums in the manner provided in said section nineteen.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect upon its passage.