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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. There is hereby established a nonprofit housing corporation to be known as the Wellesley Housing Development Corporation, which shall be subject to the supervision of the board of selectmen of the town of Wellesley. Said corporation shall be governed by a board of directors hereinafter referred to as the board. Said board, which is hereby established, shall consist of not less than five members who shall be residents of said town and who shall be appointed by the board of selectmen for staggered three year terms as designated by said board of selectmen. Such appointments shall be made on or before June 30. Members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified. Continuing members may act despite a vacancy in said board and, for this purpose, shall be deemed to constitute a full board. A vacancy in the board, however occurring, may be filled by said board of selectmen for the remainder of the unexpired portion of the term.

The board shall exercise its powers and perform its duties for the purpose of investigating and implementing alternatives for the provision of and providing affordable housing for persons of low, moderate and middle income and others whose needs may be identified from time to time in said town. The powers and duties of said board shall be alternative and supplemental to, and not in limitation of, the powers and duties of the Wellesley Housing Authority, established pursuant to chapter 121B of the General Laws. The liability of said board and its members shall be limited to the same extent as the liability of a public employer and public employees as provided in section 2 of chapter 258 of the General Laws.

SECTION 2. The board shall have the powers conferred by the provisions of paragraphs (a) to (i), inclusive, and paragraph (k) of section 9 of chapter 156B of the General Laws and the following powers; provided, however, that no such power shall be exercised either in a manner inconsistent with this act or any other general or special law or to carry on any activity which is not in furtherance of the purposes set forth herein:

(a) to adopt, amend and repeal corporate by-laws for the regulation and conduct of its business including, but not limited to, the call and conduct of its meetings, the number of members which shall constitute a quorum and the mode of voting by proxy;

(b) to elect a chairman and vice-chairman, each of whom shall be members of said board, and a secretary and a treasurer, who need not be members of said board and who may be the same person. The treasurer shall give bond for the faithful performance of his duties in a form and amount approved and affixed by the board of selectmen, the cost of which bond shall be paid from funds of said board. The chairman and, in his absence, the vice-chairman shall chair meetings of said board. The secretary shall be the custodian of all books, documents and papers filed with said board and of the minute book or journal of said board;

(c) with the approval of the board of selectmen, to make and execute all contracts and all other instruments necessary or convenient for the exercise of its power and functions, subject to approval of the town counsel as to form;

(d) with the approval of the board of selectmen, to acquire or lease, by purchase, gift or otherwise, and to own, hold and use, on such terms and conditions and in such manner as it may deem proper, and to exchange, grant options on, sell, transfer, convey, assign, lease, pledge, mortgage, encumber, grant liens on and security interests in, or to otherwise dispose of, on such terms and conditions as it may deem proper, real, personal or mixed real and personal property or any interest, easements or rights therein and assets or revenues of said board, as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out its purposes, it being understood that said board's right to acquire or sell town owned real estate shall be subject to town meeting vote authorizing the same;

(e) with the approval of the board of selectmen, to enter into agreements or other transactions with the commonwealth or a political subdivision or public instrumentality thereof, the United States government or a federal, state or other governmental agency;

(f) with the approval of the board of selectmen, to borrow money and to execute notes therefor which shall not be deemed to be debts or obligations of said town, to hold mortgages and to invest any funds not required for immediate disbursement in such investments as may be lawful for fiduciaries in the commonwealth; provided, however, that said board shall have no stock;

(g) with the approval of the board of selectmen, to enter into contracts or agreements with, and to employ from time to time, contractors, architects, engineers, consultants, attorneys, accountants, construction, financial and other experts, superintendents, managers and such other agents and employees as may be necessary in its judgment and to fix their compensation;

(h) with the approval of the board of selectmen, to receive and hold funds appropriated by the town and other funds, property, labor and other things of value from any source, public or private, by gift, grant, bequest, loan or otherwise, either absolutely or in trust, and to expend or utilize the same on behalf of said board for any of its purposes or to act as an agent or conduit in administering or disbursing funds or financial or other aid from any source; provided, however, that all revenues collected or received by said board in connection with its activities, investments or transactions shall be expended only with the approval of said board of selectmen;

(i) to appear in its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments or other agencies of government, municipal, state or federal;

(j) to procure insurance against any loss in connection with the property or activities of said board, in such amounts and from such insurers as it may deem necessary or desirable and, with the approval of the board of selectmen, to indemnify its members or agents if and to the extent specified from time to time in the by-laws of said board and subject to and in the manner provided in section 6 of chapter 180 of the General Laws;

(k) to formulate and, with the approval of the board of selectmen, carry out or monitor plans for projects involving the acquisition or operation of housing facilities of any kind or nature and to construct, reconstruct, renovate, expand, extend, improve, repair, remodel, equip, furnish, maintain, manage and operate such facilities;

(l) with the approval of the board of selectmen, to fix and revise from time to time and to charge and collect rates, fees, rentals and other charges and sales prices for or in connection with the use, occupancy or other disposition of any housing facility or other property or portion thereof under its ownership or control;

(m) with the approval of the board of selectmen, to establish, impose, grant or amend, by deed, lease or other means or method, and to hold the benefit of, monitor, exercise and enforce lawful restrictions on the rental, sale, resale, use or occupancy of housing facilities or other property under its ownership or control or other facilities or property designated by said board of selectmen or restrictions with respect to the income of owners, tenants or occupants of such housing facilities or other property or options and rights of first refusal with respect to such facilities or property and to waive, release or discharge any such rights or restrictions; provided, however, that the foregoing shall not apply to any town owned real estate or facilities except upon the vote of the town meeting so voting;

(n) with the approval of the board of selectmen, to enter into, perform or monitor agreements or other transactions with contractors, developers, brokers or other real estate professionals or any other person relating to the providing of affordable housing for persons of low and moderate income in the town;

(o) to do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry out its purposes and exercise the powers conferred by this act.

Said board may delegate to any subcommittee or member of the committee any action which said board is authorized to do or make. Said board may be a partner in any business enterprise which it would have power to conduct by itself.

SECTION 3. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the income, assets and activities of the board shall be exempt from all taxes and assessments and said board shall not be subject to any of the provisions of chapter 63 of the General Laws or to any taxes based upon or measured by property or income imposed by the commonwealth or by any political subdivision thereof. Said board may enter into agreements with the assessor of the town of Wellesley, with the approval of the board of selectmen, wherein said board shall undertake to make to said town annual payments in lieu of taxes in connection with any real property acquired and owned by said board, the amounts of such payments to be reasonable sums stipulated in such agreement or agreements or determined in accordance with a reasonable formula so stipulated.

SECTION 4. Without limiting the powers of the board, said board may receive, expend and utilize for its purposes all interests in town owned real estate and proceeds of the sale by the town of Wellesley of certain lands, properties, and surplus buildings, as voted by said town but not otherwise. In addition, said town may appropriate other funds for the carrying out by said board of its purposes as set forth herein. Any appropriation therefor may be raised by said town by taxation. At least annually, said board shall cause independent audits to be made of its books and records of said board, which annual audits shall be filed with the board of selectmen.

SECTION 5. In the event that the board shall be dissolved in accordance with law at any time, all property and interests therein, assets and rights of said board existing at such time shall be transferred to the town of Wellesley and title to all such property and all such rights shall vest in said town automatically without the need for further action or instrument, and said town shall, to the maximum extent permitted by law and acting by and through its board of selectmen, assume, hold and exercise the powers and duties of said board set forth herein with respect to such property and rights so transferred to said town.

SECTION 6. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved August 28, 1998.