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  • Acts
  • 2002
  • Chapter 235 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PLAN IN THE CITY OF FALL RIVER.

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. Notwithstanding chapters 30B and 121B of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, and notwithstanding any contract or agreement existing between the commonwealth and the Fall River housing authority, the Fall River housing authority may transfer ownership of a certain parcel of land located in the city of Fall River, more commonly known as the Watuppa Heights state-aided public housing development, to a nonprofit corporation, organized for the purpose of developing affordable housing, to develop the parcel in accordance with this act. Buildings on the parcel shall be demolished and a mixed income, single family housing development with home ownership opportunities for persons of low and moderate income shall be constructed on the parcel. Outstanding state housing bonds, the proceeds of which were invested in the Watuppa Heights development, need not be repaid at the time of the transfer of the parcel.

SECTION 2. The Fall River housing authority shall provide the department of housing and community development with a development plan, referred to in this act as the Housing Improvement Plan, for the new mixed-income, single-family housing development, which shall allow for 26 single family homes, all of which shall be made available to families with incomes falling at or below 80 per cent of the area's median family income and half of which shall be made available to families whose incomes fall at or below 50 per cent of the area's median family income. The Housing Improvement Plan shall: (1) provide for the relocation of all existing residents of the Watuppa Heights development to appropriate alternative and decent, safe and sanitary housing, within the purview of the Fall River housing authority, for those residents who choose this alternative; and (2) include the creation of recreational or open-space opportunities for neighborhood use. The Housing Improvement Plan shall also provide for not less than 30 years in the city of Fall River, for not fewer than an additional 100 housing units, including the 26 referred to above, which are affordable by families whose income is not more than 80 per cent of area median family income, of which not fewer than 90 units shall be affordable by families whose income is not more than 50 per cent of area median family income. These additional housing units may include renovated housing units not occupied as of January 1, 2002. Within 90 days after receipt of the Housing Improvement Plan, the department of housing and community development shall determine whether the plan provides for 100 additional housing units which meet the affordability levels required by this act and shall notify the mayor and city council of Fall River of its determination. Before any of the actions authorized by section 1 are undertaken the department of housing and community development shall first determine that the plan provides for 100 additional housing units meeting the affordability levels required by this act, and the mayor and city council of Fall River shall have approved the Housing Improvement Plan.

SECTION 3. The department of housing and community development shall establish an annual assistance fund of $210,000 to be allocated from the Fall River housing authority's existing operating subsidy and to be used by the city of Fall River and the Fall River housing authority to implement the Housing Improvement Plan. Funds shall be diverted to the annual assistance fund from the operating subsidy only to the extent that the existing operating subsidy is no longer necessary pursuant to this act and the Housing Improvement Plan. As a part of the Housing Improvement Plan, the Fall River housing authority shall provide a funding schedule for this assistance and shall develop a process for transferring operating subsidy funding currently provided to the Fall River housing authority into funding for assistance as provided in this section.

SECTION 4. The department of housing and community development may re-allocate funds currently set aside for the Watuppa Heights renovation project to be used for demolition of Watuppa Heights, implementation of the Housing Improvement Plan, rehabilitation of other state-aided, family housing developments in Fall River, or rehabilitation or creation of housing units in other communities where there is a demonstrated need.

SECTION 5. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

House of Representatives, July 31, 2002.

This Bill having been returned by the Lieutenant-Governor, Acting Governor with her objections thereto in writing (see House 5303) has been passed by the House of Representatives, notwithstanding said objections, two-thirds of the House (101 yeas to 48 nays) having agreed to pass the same.

Sent to the Senate for its action.
Thomas M. Finneran, Speaker.
Steven T. James, Clerk.


Senate, July 31, 2002.

Passed by the Senate, notwithstanding the objections of the Lieutenant-Governor, Acting Governor, two-thirds of the members present (26 yeas to 13 nays) having approved the same.

Thomas F. Birmingham, President.
Patrick F. Scanlan, Clerk.

Approved July 31, 2002.