AN ACT ESTABLISHING A HOUSING CORPORATION IN THE TOWN OF MANSFIELD.
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. (a) There shall be established a nonprofit housing corporation to be known as the Mansfield Housing Corporation, which shall be governed by a board of directors, referred to in this act as the board. The board shall consist of not fewer than 7 nor more than 11 members who shall be appointed by the board of selectmen of the town of Mansfield for staggered 3 year terms as designated by the board of selectmen. Appointments shall be made annually by the board of selectmen on or before July 1. Members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business, but any action of the board of directors shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the entire board. Continuing members may act despite vacancies in the board and for this purpose shall be considered to constitute a full board. Any vacancy in the board, however occurring, shall be filled by the board of selectmen for the unexpired portion of the term.
(b) The first meeting of the corporation shall be called by the chairman pro tem, who shall be designated by the board of selectmen when the initial appointments to the board of directors are made. There shall be elected by and from the board of directors a president, treasurer, secretary/clerk, and any other officers considered necessary by the board.
(c) The members of the board of directors shall not receive compensation for the performance of their duties under this act, but each member shall be reimbursed by the corporation for expenses incurred in the performance of his duties. Every reimbursement shall be open to public inspection after the requisition is made. The board of directors shall have the powers to set a fiscal year for the operation of the corporation and to make, amend, or repeal by-laws in whole or in part.
(d) The board of directors of the Mansfield Housing Corporation shall exercise its powers and perform its duties for the purpose of investigating and implementing alternatives for providing housing affordable to low or moderate income households, assisting the town in implementing its affordable housing plan, providing housing for other households whose needs may be identified from time to time in the town of Mansfield and carrying out affordable housing plans, studies and other initiatives on behalf of or in partnership with the town of Mansfield.
(e) The powers and duties of the board as set forth in this act are intended to be alternative and supplemental to, and not in limitation of, the powers and duties of the Mansfield Housing Authority established under chapter 121B of the General Laws. The liability of the board and its members shall be limited to the same extent as the liability of a public employer and public employees under section 2 of chapter 258 of the General Laws.
SECTION 2. (a) The board of directors of the Mansfield Housing Corporation shall have the powers and privileges conferred by clauses (a) to (i), inclusive, of section 9 of chapter 156B of the General Laws, and the following powers, but no such power shall be exercised in a manner inconsistent with this act or with any general or special law, and the board shall not carry on any activity which is not in furtherance of the purposes set forth in this act:-
(1) to adopt, amend, and repeal corporate by-laws, those by-laws to be subject to the approval of the board of selectmen, 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;
(2) to elect a chairperson and vice-chairperson, each of whom shall be a member of the board, and a secretary and a treasurer, who need not be members of the board and who may be the same person. The treasurer shall give bond for the faithful performance of his duties, the cost of which bond shall be paid from funds of the board. The chairperson and in the chairperson's absence, the vice-chairperson shall chair meetings of the board. The secretary shall be the custodian of all books, documents and papers filed with the board and of the minute book or journal of the board;
(3) to make and execute all contracts and all other instruments necessary or convenient for the exercise of its power and functions;
(4) 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 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 in that property and assets or revenues of the board, as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out its purposes;
(5) to enter into agreements or other transactions with the commonwealth or a political subdivision or public instrumentality of the commonwealth, the United States government or a federal, state or other governmental agency;
(6) to act as the town's designated developer of low or moderate income housing on land owned and controlled by the town, when authorized to do so by town meeting;
(7) to borrow money and to execute notes which shall not be considered to be debts or obligations of the town of Mansfield, to hold mortgages, and to invest any funds held in reserve funds, or any funds not required for immediate disbursement in any investments that may be lawful for fiduciaries in the commonwealth, and the board shall have no stock;
(8) 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 that may be necessary in its judgment and to fix their compensation;
(9) 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 these amounts on behalf of the 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;
(10) to appear in its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments or other agencies of government, municipal, state or federal;
(11) to procure insurance against any loss in connection with the property, or activities of the board, in the amounts and from insurers that it may consider necessary or desirable and to indemnify its members or agents to the extent specified from time to time in the by-laws of the board and subject to and in the manner provided in section 6 of chapter 180 of the General Laws;
(12) to formulate and 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 these facilities;
(13) 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 of property under its ownership or control;
(14) to establish, impose, grant or amend, by deed, lease or other means or method, and to hold the benefit or, 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 the selectmen of the town, or restrictions with respect to the income of owners, tenants or occupants of these housing facilities or other property, or options and rights of first refusal with respect to these facilities or property and to waive, release or discharge any such rights or restrictions;
(15) 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; and
(16) to do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry out its purposes and exercise the powers conferred by this act.
(b)The board may be a partner in any business enterprise that it would have power to conduct by itself.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding 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 the board shall not be subject to 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 of the commonwealth. The board of directors of the Mansfield Housing Corporation may enter into an agreement with the consent of the town of Mansfield, wherein the board shall undertake to make to the town annual payments in lieu of taxes in connection with any real property acquired and owned by the board, the amounts of these payments to be reasonable sums stipulated in each agreement or determined in accordance with a stipulated reasonable formula.
SECTION 4. Without limitation of the powers of the board of directors of the Mansfield Housing Corporation set forth in section 2, the board may receive and expend and use for its purposes all proceeds that have been appropriated by the town of Mansfield for these purposes. In addition, the town may appropriate other funds for the carrying out by the board of its purposes as set forth in this act. Any appropriation for these purposes may be raised by the town by taxation. At least annually, the board shall cause independent audits to be made of its books and records, and these annual audits shall be filed with the board of selectmen of the town.
SECTION 5. Without limitation of the powers of the board of directors of the Mansfield Housing Corporation set forth in section 2, the board may acquire, lease or otherwise receive any real property conveyed to it by the town of Mansfield for purposes consistent with this act. By a two-thirds vote of town meeting, the town may enter into a contract to sell, transfer, convey or lease real property to the Mansfield Housing Corporation for purposes of developing low or moderate income housing as defined in sections 20 to 23, inclusive, of chapter 40B of the General Laws and said contract shall be exempt from section 16 of chapter 30B of the General Laws as equivalent to a sale or lease to a public or quasi public agency under clause (25) of subsection (b) of section 1 of chapter 30B of the General Laws.
SECTION 6. In the event that the board of directors of the Mansfield Housing Corporation shall be dissolved in accordance with the law at any time, all property and interests in property, assets and rights of the board existing at that time shall be transferred to the town of Mansfield by authority of this act, and title to all property and all rights shall vest in the town automatically without the need for further action or instrument, and the 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 the board set forth in this act with respect to the property and rights transferred to the town.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved August 9, 2006.