The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 4000. Statutory purposes
The statutory purpose of the exemption for housing authorities in section 4020 of this title is to promote, provide, and preserve affordable housing. (Added 2013, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 13.)
§ 4001. Declaration of policy
It is hereby declared:
(1) That there exists in the State unsanitary or unsafe dwelling accommodations and that persons of low income are forced to reside in such unsanitary or unsafe accommodations; that within the State there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations available at rents which persons of low income can afford and that such persons are forced to occupy overcrowded and congested dwelling accommodations; that the aforesaid conditions cause an increase in and spread of disease and crime and constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals, and welfare of the residents of the State of Vermont and impair economic value; that these conditions necessitate excessive and disproportionate expenditures of public funds for crime prevention and punishment, public health and safety, fire and accident protection, and other public services and facilities.
(2) That these slum areas cannot be cleared, nor can the shortage of safe and sanitary dwellings for persons of low income be relieved through the operation of private enterprise and that the construction of housing projects for persons of low income (as herein defined) would therefore not be competitive with the private enterprise.
(3) That the clearance, replanning, and reconstruction of the areas in which unsanitary or unsafe housing conditions exist and the providing of safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations for persons of low income are public uses and purposes for which public money may be spent and private property acquired.
(4) That substandard and decadent areas exist in certain portions of the State of Vermont and that there is not, in certain parts of the State, an adequate supply of decent, safe, and sanitary housing for persons of low income or elders of low income, or both available for rents that the persons can afford to pay, and the rents that the persons can afford to pay would not warrant private enterprise in providing housing for the persons; that this situation tends to cause an increase and spread of communicable and chronic disease; that the lack of properly constructed dwelling units designed specifically to meet the needs of elders aggravate those diseases peculiar to elders, thereby crowding the hospitals of the State with elders under conditions of neglect that inevitably exacerbate mental deterioration; that this situation constitutes a menace to the health, safety, welfare, and comfort of the inhabitants of the State and is detrimental to property values in the localities in which it exists; that this situation cannot readily be remedied by the private enterprise and that a public exigency exists that makes the provision of housing for elders of low income and the clearance of substandard and decadent areas a public necessity; that the provision of housing for elders of low income for the purpose of reducing the cost to the State of their care by promoting their health and welfare, thereby prolonging their productivity in the interest of the State and nation and the clearance of substandard and decadent areas is declared to be a public use for which private property may be taken by eminent domain and public funds raised by taxation may be expended, and the necessity in the public interest for provisions hereinafter enacted, is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination. (Added 1961, No. 212, § 2, eff. July 11, 1961; amended 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 156.)
§ 4002. Definitions
The following terms, wherever used or referred to in this chapter, shall have the following respective meanings, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
(1) "Authority" or "housing authority" shall mean any of the public corporations created by section 4003 of this title, and the Vermont State Housing Authority created by section 4005 of this title.
(2) "Municipality" shall mean a town, a village, or a city. "The municipality" means the particular municipality or municipalities for which a particular housing authority is created.
(3) "State public body" shall mean any city, town, county, municipality, commission, district, authority, or other subdivision or other public body of the State.
(4) "Governing body" shall mean the selectboard of a town, the trustees of a village, or the mayor and the board of aldermen of a city. Where a housing authority for two or more municipalities is established pursuant to section 4027 of this title, the "governing body" shall mean the selectboard of each town, the trustees of each village, and the mayor and board of aldermen of each city included in such authority.
(5) "Mayor" shall mean the mayor of the city or the officer thereof charged with the duties customarily imposed on the mayor or executive head of the city.
(6) "Clerk" shall mean the clerk of the city or the clerk of the town, as the case may be, or the officer charged with the duties customarily imposed on the clerk.
(7) "Area of operation," in the case of a housing authority for a municipality, shall include the municipality and, in the case of a city, the area within six miles of the territorial boundaries thereof but not any area that lies within the territorial boundaries of any other municipality for which another housing authority is created by this chapter. In the case of a housing authority duly constituted by, and for the purpose of serving, two or more municipalities, the area of operation shall include the area within each such municipality. The area of operation of the Vermont State Housing Authority is the entire State, except in those areas where there is an existing housing authority with a workable program. In those areas where a housing authority exists, the Vermont State Housing Authority may enter with permission of the governing body of the municipality.
(8) "Federal government" shall include the United States of America, the federal administration of public works, or any other agency or instrumentality corporate or otherwise of the United States of America.
(9) "Slum" shall mean any area where dwellings predominate that, by reason of dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty arrangement or design, lack of ventilation, light, or sanitary facilities, or any combination of these factors, are detrimental to safety, health, and morals.
(10) "Housing project" shall mean any work or undertaking:
(A) to demolish, clear, or remove buildings from any slum area; the work or undertaking may embrace the adaptation of the area to public purposes and including parks or other recreational or community purposes;
(B) to provide decent, safe, and sanitary urban or rural dwellings, apartments, or other living accommodations for persons of low income and accommodations for elders who are of low income, the work or undertaking may include buildings, land, equipment, facilities, and other real or personal property for necessary, convenient, or desirable appurtenances, streets, sewers, water service, parks, site preparation, gardening, administrative, community, health, recreational, educational, welfare, or other purposes; or
(C) to accomplish a combination of the foregoing. The term "housing project" also may be applied to the planning of buildings and improvements, the acquisition of property, the demolition of existing structures, the construction, reconstruction, alteration, and repair of improvements, and all other work in connection therewith.
(11) "Persons of low income" shall mean persons or families, elders or otherwise, who lack the amount of income that is necessary (as determined by the authority undertaking the housing project) to enable them, without financial assistance, to live in decent, safe, and sanitary dwellings without overcrowding. The term "elder" shall mean a person who has attained retirement age as defined in Section 216(a) of the federal Social Security Act or is under a disability as defined in Section 223 of that act.
(12) "Bonds" shall mean any bonds, notes, interim certificates, debentures, or other obligations issued by the authority pursuant to this chapter.
(13) "Real property" shall include all lands, including improvements and fixtures thereon, and property of any nature appurtenant thereto, or used in connection therewith, and every estate, interest, and right, legal or equitable therein, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage, or otherwise and the indebtedness secured by such liens.
(14) "Obligee of the authority" or "obligee" shall include any bond holder, trustee or trustees for any bond holders, or lessor demising to the authority property used in connection with a housing project, or any assignee or assignees of such lessor's interest or any part thereof and the federal government when it is a party to any contract with the authority. (Added 1961, No. 212, § 3, eff. July 11, 1961; amended 1967, No. 332 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 23, 1968; 1973, No. 44; 1977, No. 27, § 1; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 157.)
§ 4003. Housing authority; establishment
(a) In each municipality, as herein defined, there is hereby created a public body corporate and politic to be known as the housing authority; provided, however, that such authority shall not transact any business or exercise its power hereunder, until or unless the governing body of the municipality by proper resolution shall declare at any time hereafter that there is a need for authority to function in said municipality.
(b) The governing body shall adopt a resolution declaring that there is a need for a housing authority in the municipality, if it shall find:
(1) that unsanitary or unsafe inhabited dwelling accommodations exist in the municipality; or
(2) that there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations in the municipality available to persons of low income or elders of a low income, or both, at rentals they can afford. In determining whether accommodations are unsafe or unsanitary, the governing body may take into consideration the degree of overcrowding, the percentage of land coverage, the light, air, space, and access available to the inhabitants of the accommodations, the size and arrangement of the rooms, the sanitary facilities, and the extent to which conditions exist in the buildings that endanger life or property by fire or other causes. (Added 1961, No. 212, § 4, eff. July 11, 1961; amended 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 158.)
§ 4004. Housing authority, members, powers
(a) When the governing body of a municipality, other than a town, adopts a resolution as aforesaid, it shall promptly notify the mayor of such adoption. Upon receiving such notice, the mayor shall appoint five persons as commissioners of the authority created for said municipality. When the governing body of the town adopts a resolution as aforesaid, said body shall appoint five persons as commissioners of the authority created for said town. The commissioners who are first appointed shall be designated to serve for terms of one, two, three, four, and five years respectively, from the date of their appointment, but thereafter commissioners shall be appointed as aforesaid for a term of office of five years except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. No commissioner of any authority may be an officer or an employee of the municipality for which the authority is created. A commissioner shall hold office until his or her successor has been appointed and has qualified. A certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner shall be filed with the clerk and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner. A commissioner shall receive no compensation for his or her services, but he or she shall be entitled to the necessary expenses, including travelling expenses, incurred in the discharge of his or her duties.
(b) The powers of each authority shall be vested in the commissioners thereof in office from time to time. Three commissioners shall constitute a quorum of authority for the purpose of conducting its business and exercising its powers and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the authority upon a vote of the majority of the commissioners present, unless in any case the bylaws of the authority should require a larger number. The mayor (or in the case of an authority for a town, the governing body of such town) shall designate which of the commissioners appointed shall be the first chairman, but when the office of the chairman of the authority thereafter becomes vacant, the authority shall select a chairman from among its commissioners. An authority shall select from among its commissioners a vice-chairman and it may employ a secretary (who shall be executive director), technical experts and such other officers, agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require and shall determine their qualifications, duties and compensation. For such legal services as it may require, an authority may call upon the chief law officer of the municipality or may employ its own counsel and legal staff. An authority may delegate to one or more of its agents or employees such powers or duties as it may deem proper. (Added 1961, No. 212, § 5, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4005. Vermont State Housing Authority; establishment, members, powers
(a) The Vermont State Housing Authority is created. It is referred to herein as the "State Authority." It is a public body corporate and politic of perpetual duration, and shall consist of seven commissioners.
(b) The Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint the commissioners for terms of five years. At the time of appointment or reappointment, one of the commissioners so appointed shall be a tenant residing in publicly subsidized housing within the State. 3 V.S.A. chapter 11 applies to all the commissioners. A certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner shall be filed with the Secretary of State and that certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of that commissioner. All commissioners are entitled to the necessary expenses, including traveling expenses, incurred in the discharge of their duties. All commissioners shall be entitled to receive a per diem of $30.00 except a commissioner who is a State or municipal employee; provided that a commissioner who is a municipal employee shall be entitled to the per diem when the commissioner's:
(1) compensation from the municipality is reduced as a result of the performance of his or her official duties; or
(2) official duties are performed on his or her personal time.
(c) The powers of the State Authority are vested in the commissioners thereof in office from time to time. Four commissioners shall constitute a quorum of the State Authority for the purpose of conducting its business and exercising its powers and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the State Authority upon a vote of the majority of the commissioners present and voting. The State Authority shall select annually from among its commissioners a chair and a vice chair. It may employ a secretary (who shall be executive director), technical experts, and such other officers, agents, and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require and shall determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation. For such legal services as it may require, the State Authority may call upon the Attorney General or may employ its own counsel and legal staff. The State Authority may delegate to one or more of its agents or employees such powers or duties as it may deem proper.
(d) The State Authority is created for the purpose of improving housing conditions and facilities through federal resources and assistance in the field of low-rent housing and private accommodations. Except as provided in subdivision 4008(10) of this title, the State Housing Authority shall be the public housing agency with statewide responsibility eligible to administer allocations of money under 42 U.S.C.A. § 1437f. These allocations shall be subject to the approval of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. There shall be no commitment of funds by the State of Vermont under or by virtue of any provisions of this chapter.
(e) Notwithstanding any provision of law, no person shall be authorized to administer allocations of money under 42 U.S.C.A. § 1437a or 1437f or other federal statute authorizing rental subsidies for the benefit of persons of low or moderate income, except:
(1) the State Authority;
(2) a State public body authorized by law to administer such allocations;
(3) a person authorized to administer such allocations pursuant to an agreement with the State Authority; or
(4) an organization, of which the State Authority is a promoter, member, associate, owner, or manager, that is authorized by a federal agency to administer such allocations in this State.
(f) In addition to the powers granted by this chapter, the State Authority shall have all the powers necessary or convenient for the administration of federal monies pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, including the power:
(1) to enter into one or more agreements for the administration of federal monies;
(2) to be a promoter, partner, member, associate, owner, or manager of any partnership, limited liability company, joint venture, association, trust, or other organization;
(3) to conduct its activities, locate offices, and exercise the powers granted by this title within or outside this State;
(4) to carry on a business in the furtherance of its purposes; and
(5) to do all things necessary or convenient, consistent with law, to further the activities and affairs of the Authority. (Added 1967, No. 332 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 23, 1968; amended 1975, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. March 26, 1976; 1981, No. 225 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1985, No. 3; 2011, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. May 14, 2012; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 72; 2017, No. 69, § H.11, eff. June 8, 2017.)
§ 4006. Disqualification
(a) During his or her tenure, no commissioner or employee of an authority shall acquire any direct or indirect ownership interest in any housing project or in any property included or planned to be included in any project, nor shall he or she acquire any direct or indirect interest in any contract or proposed contract for materials or services to be furnished or used in connection with any housing project, except that the renewal of an existing contract shall be subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.
(b) If any commissioner or employee of an authority, prior to appointment or employment, owns or has a direct or indirect interest in any housing project or any property included or planned to be included in any housing project, or a direct or indirect interest in any contract or proposed contract for materials or services to be furnished or used in connection with any housing project, he or she immediately shall disclose the same in writing to the authority and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the authority. He or she shall not vote on any issue pertaining to any housing project, or any property included or planned to be included in any project or on any contract or proposed contract for materials or services to be furnished or used in connection with any housing project for which he or she owns or controls a direct or indirect interest. Failure so to disclose such interest or refrain from voting shall constitute misconduct in office. (1961, No. 212, § 6, eff. July 11, 1961; amended 1987, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. June 13, 1988.)
§ 4007. Removal
For inefficiency or neglect of duty or misconduct in office, a commissioner of an authority may be removed by the mayor (or in the case of an authority of a town, by the governing body of said town) or in the case of the state authority, by the governor, but a commissioner shall be removed only after he or she shall have been given a copy of the charges at least ten days prior to the hearing thereon and had an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel. In the event of the removal of any commissioner, a record of the proceedings, together with the charges and findings thereon, shall be filed in the office of the clerk, or in the case of the state authority, in the office of the secretary of state. (1961, No. 212, § 7, eff. July 11, 1961; amended 1967, No. 332 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 23, 1968.)
§ 4008. Powers
An authority shall constitute a public body, corporate and politic, exercising public and essential governmental functions, and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including the following powers in addition to those herein granted:
(1) To sue and be sued; to have a seal and to alter it at pleasure; to have perpetual succession; to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers of the authority; and to make and from time to time amend and repeal bylaws, rules, and regulations, not inconsistent with this chapter, to carry into effect the powers and purposes of the authority.
(2) Within its area of operations, to prepare, carry out, acquire, lease, and operate housing projects; to provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration, or repair of any housing project or any part thereof.
(3) To arrange or contract for the furnishing by any person or agency, public or private, of services, privileges, works, or facilities for, or in connection with, a housing project or the occupants thereof; and (notwithstanding anything to the contrary, contained in this chapter, or in any other provisions of law) to include in any contract let in connection with a project, stipulations requiring that the contractor and any subcontractors comply with requirements as to minimum wages and maximum hours of labor and comply with any conditions which the federal government may have attached to its financial aid to the project.
(4) To lease or rent any dwellings, houses, accommodations, lands, buildings, structures, or facilities embraced in any housing project and (subject to the limitations contained in this chapter) to establish and revise the rents or charges therefore; to own, hold, and improve real or personal property; to purchase, lease, obtain options upon, acquire by gift, grant, bequest, devise, or otherwise any real or personal property or any interest therein; to acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain any real property; to sell, lease, exchange, transfer, assign, pledge, or dispose of any real or personal property or any interest therein; to insure or provide for the insurance of any real or personal property or operation of the authority against any risk or hazards; to procure insurance or guarantees from the federal government of the payment of any debts or part thereof (whether or not incurred by said authority) secured by mortgages on any property included in any of its housing projects.
(5) To invest any funds held in reserve or sinking funds, or any funds not required for immediate disbursement, in property or securities in which savings banks may legally invest funds subject to their control; to purchase its bond at a price not more than the principal amount thereof and accrued interest, all bonds so purchased to be cancelled.
(6) Within its area of operation: to investigate into living, dwelling, and housing conditions and into the means and methods of improving the conditions; to determine where slum areas exist or where there is a shortage of decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling accommodations for persons of low income as well as elders who are of low income; to make studies and recommendations relating to the problem of clearing, replanning, and reconstructing of slum areas and to cooperate with all urban renewal agencies on the problem of providing dwelling accommodations for persons of low income and to cooperate with the municipality, the State, or any political subdivision thereof in action taken in connection with such problem and to engage in research, studies, and experimentation of the subject of housing.
(7) To exercise all or any part or combination of powers herein granted.
(8) To provide an adequate number of dwelling units, especially designed for occupation by elders when a survey by the authority indicates a need therefor. Elders shall have priority in the rental of such units.
(9) No law with respect to the acquisition, operation, or disposition of property by other public bodies shall be applicable to an authority unless the Legislature shall specifically so state.
(10) To administer, at its option, allocations of money made under 42 U.S.C.A. § 1437f. (Added 1961, No. 212, § 8, eff. July 11, 1961; amended 1975, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. March 26, 1976; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 159.)
§ 4009. Rentals
It is hereby declared to be the policy of this state that each housing authority shall manage and operate its housing projects in an efficient manner so as to enable it to fix the rentals for dwelling accommodations at the lowest possible rates consistent with providing decent, safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations and that no housing authority shall construct or operate any such project for profit, or as a source of revenue to the state or municipality. To this end an authority shall fix the rental for dwellings in its projects at no higher rate than it shall find to be necessary in order to produce revenue which (together with all other available moneys, revenues, income and receipts of the authority from whatever source derived) will be sufficient.
(1) To pay as the same become due, the principal and interest on the bond of the authority;
(2) To meet the cost of and to provide for maintaining and operating the projects (including the cost of any insurance) and the administrative expenses of the authority; and
(3) To create (during not less than six years immediately succeeding its issuance of any bonds) a reserve sufficient to meet the largest principal and interest payments which will be due on such bonds in any one year thereafter and to maintain such reserve. (1961, No. 212, § 9, eff. July 11, 1961; amended 1967, No. 332 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. March 23, 1968.)
§ 4010. Duties
(a) In the operation of or management of housing projects an authority shall at all times observe the following duties with respect to rentals and tenant selection:
(1) It may rent or lease the dwelling accommodations therein only to persons of low income or elders who are of low income, or both.
(2) It may rent or lease the dwelling accommodations therein only at rentals within the financial reach of such persons as indicated of low income.
(3) It may rent or lease to a tenant dwelling accommodations consisting of the number of rooms (but no greater number) that it deems necessary to provide safe and sanitary accommodations to the proposed occupants thereof, without overcrowding.
(4) It shall not accept any person as a tenant in any housing project if the person or persons who would occupy the dwelling accommodations have an annual net income in excess of five times the annual rental of the quarters to be furnished such person or persons, except that in the case of families of three or more minor dependents, such ratio shall not exceed six to one; in computing the rental for this purpose of selecting tenants, there shall be included in the rental the average annual cost (as determined by the authority) to the occupants, of heat, water, electricity, gas, cooking range, and other necessary services or facilities, whether or not the charge for such services and facilities is in fact included in the rental.
(5) It shall prohibit subletting by tenants.
(b) Nothing contained in this section or section 4009 of this chapter shall be construed as limiting the power of an authority to vest in an obligee the right, in the event of a default by an authority, to take possession of a housing project or cause the appointment of a receiver thereof, or acquire title thereto through foreclosure proceedings, free from all the restrictions imposed by this section or section 4009 of this chapter.
(c) The director of any housing authority may obtain from the Vermont Crime Information Center the record of convictions of any person applying for residence in any housing project administered by the housing authority. (Added 1961, No. 212, § 10, eff. July 11, 1961; amended 1995, No. 51, § 3; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 160.)
§ 4011. Joint action
Any two or more authorities may join or cooperate with one another in the exercise of any or all of the powers conferred hereby for the purpose of financing, planning, undertaking, constructing, or operating a housing project or projects located within the area of operation of any one or more of said authorities. (1961, No. 212, § 11, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4012. Eminent domain; exemption of property from execution
(a) An authority shall have the right to acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain any real property that it may deem necessary for its purposes under this chapter after the adoption by it of a resolution declaring that the acquisition of the real property described therein is necessary for such purposes. An authority may exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner provided for the condemnation of land or rights therein as set forth in 19 V.S.A. §§ 500-514 and 519 and acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto. Property already devoted to a public use may be acquired, provided that no real property belonging to the city, county, State, or any political subdivision thereof may be acquired without its consent.
(b) Where it appears to the satisfaction of the court at any stage of the proceedings, upon the petition of the authority that the public interest will be prejudiced by delay, the court may, after such notice to the parties in interest as it may prescribe, which notice, however, shall not be less than eight days and may be by posting upon the property or by publication in such paper or papers at such time as the court may require, order that the authority be permitted to enter immediately upon the real property described in the petition, or any part thereof and to demolish any structures located thereon and to proceed with the construction of the project thereon, upon depositing with the court a sum of money or in lieu thereof, bonds or obligations of the United States of equivalent or greater value, not less than the last assessed valuation of the property, that the court shall find to be sufficient for the protection of the persons who may be entitled to the award. Such deposit or proceeds thereof shall be applied so far as it may be necessary for that purpose, to the payment of any award that may be made, with interest thereon, costs and expenses and the residue, if any, shall be returned to the authority; in the event of a deficiency in the sum deposited, the authority shall pay the balance to make up the award in accordance with the judgment.
(c) All real property of any housing authority, created pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be exempt from levy and sale by virtue of an execution and no execution or other judicial process shall issue against the same nor shall any judgment against such authority be a charge or lien upon its real property; provided however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to or limit the right of obligees to foreclose or otherwise enforce any mortgage of such an authority or the right of obligees to pursue any remedy for the enforcement of any pledge or liens given by such an authority on its rents, fees, or revenues. (Added 1961, No. 212, § 12, eff. July 11, 1961; amended 2011, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)
§ 4013. Zoning
All housing projects of an authority shall be subject to the planning, zoning, sanitary and building laws, ordinances and regulations applicable to the locality in which the housing project is situated. In the planning and location of any housing project, an authority shall take into consideration the relationship of the project to any larger plan or long range program for the development of the area in which the housing authority functions. (1961, No. 212, § 13, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4014. Bonds, issuance of
(a) An authority shall have power to issue bonds from time to time in its discretion, for any of its corporate purposes. An authority shall also have power to issue refunding bonds for the purpose of paying or retiring bonds issued previously by it.
(b) Neither the commissioners of an authority nor any person executing the bonds shall be liable personally on the bonds by reason of the issuance thereof. The bonds and other obligations of an authority (and such bonds and obligations shall so state on their face) shall not be a debt of the municipality, the state or any political subdivision thereof and neither the municipality, nor the state or any political subdivision thereof shall be liable thereon. Nor in any event shall such bonds or obligations be payable out of any funds or properties other than those of said authority. Bonds shall not constitute an indebtedness within the meaning of any debt limitation or any restriction. Bonds of an authority are declared to be issued for an essential public and governmental purpose and to be public instrumentalities and together with interest thereon and income therefrom, shall be exempt from taxes. (1961, No. 212, § 14, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4015. Bonds authorized; conversion privileges
(a) Bonds of an authority shall be authorized by its resolution and may be issued in one or more series and shall bear such date or dates, mature at such time or times, bear interest at such rate or rates, be in such denomination or denominations, be in such form, either coupon or registered, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment, at such place or places and be subject to such terms of redemption, with (or without) premium as such resolution, its trust indenture or mortgage may provide.
(b) The bonds may be sold at not less than par at public sale held after notice published once at least five days prior to such sale in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality and in a financial newspaper published in the city of Boston, Massachusetts or in the city of New York, New York, except that in the case of bonds of the state authority, such notice shall be published only in a financial newspaper as described above. All bonds may be sold at not less than par to the federal government at private sale without any public advertisement.
(c) In case any of the commissioners or officers of the authority whose signatures appear on the bonds or coupons shall cease to be such commissioners or officers before the delivery of such bonds such signature shall, nevertheless, be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if they had remained in office until such delivery. Any provision of any law to the contrary notwithstanding, any bonds issued pursuant to this chapter shall be fully negotiable.
(d) In any suit, action or proceedings involving the validity or enforceability of any bond of an authority or the security thereof, any such bond reciting in substance that it has been issued by the authority to aid in financing a housing project to provide dwelling accommodations for persons of low income shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued for a housing project of such character and said project shall be conclusively deemed to be planned, located and constructed in accordance with the provisions and purposes of this chapter. (1961, No. 212, § 15, eff. July 11, 1961; amended 1967, No. 332 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. March 23, 1968; 1969, No. 285 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. April 9, 1970.)
§ 4016. Bonds, powers, covenants
In connection with the issuance of bonds, or the incurring of obligations under leases and in order to secure the payment of such bonds or obligations, an authority, in addition to its other powers, shall have power:
(1) To pledge all or any part of its gross or net rents, fees or revenues to which its right then exists, or may thereafter come into existence.
(2) To mortgage all or any part of its real or personal property, then owned or thereafter acquired.
(3) To covenant against pledging all or any part of its rents, fees and revenues, or against mortgaging all or any part of its real or personal property, to which its right or title then exists or may thereafter come into existence or against permitting or suffering any lien on such revenues or properties; to covenant with respect to limitations on its right to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any housing project or part thereof and to covenant as to what other or additional debts or obligations may be incurred by it.
(4) To covenant as to the bonds to be issued and as to the issuance of such bonds in escrow or otherwise and as to the use and disposition of the proceeds thereof; to provide for the replacement of lost, destroyed or mutilated bonds; to covenant against extending the time for the payment of its bonds or interest thereon and to redeem the bonds and to covenant for their redemption and to provide the terms and conditions thereof.
(5) To covenant, (subject to the limitations contained in this chapter) as to the rents and fees to be charged in the operation of the housing project or projects, the amount to be raised each year or other period of time by rents, fees and other revenues and as to the use and disposition to be made thereof; to create or to authorize the creation of special funds for moneys held for construction or operating costs, debt service, reserve or other purposes and to covenant as to the use and disposition of the moneys held in such funds.
(6) To prescribe the procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with bond holders may be amended or abrogated, the amount of bonds the holders of which must consent thereto and the manner in which such consent may be given.
(7) To covenant as to the use of any or all of its real or personal property; to covenant as to the maintenance of its real and personal property; the replacement thereof, the insurance to be carried thereon and the use and disposition of its insurance moneys.
(8) To covenant as to the rights, liabilities, powers and duties arising upon the breach by it of any covenant, condition or obligation; and to covenant and prescribe as to the events of default and terms and conditions upon which any or all of the bonds or obligations shall become or may be declared due before maturity and as to the terms and conditions upon which such declaration and its consequences may be waived.
(9) To vest in a trustee or trustees or the holders of the bonds or any proportion of them the right to enforce the payment of the bonds, or any covenants securing or relating to the bonds; to vest in a trustee or trustees the right, in the event of a default by said authority, to take possession and use, to operate and manage any housing project or part thereof and to collect the rents and revenues arising therefrom and to dispose of such moneys in accordance with the agreement of the authority with said trustee; to provide for the powers and duties of a trustee or trustees and to limit the liability thereof; and to provide the terms and conditions upon which the trustee or trustees or the holders of bonds or any proportion of them may enforce any covenant or right securing or relating to the bond.
(10) To exercise all or part or a combination of powers herein granted; to make covenants other than and in addition to the covenants herein expressly authorized, of like or different character; to make such covenants and to do any and all such acts and things as may be necessary or convenient or desirable in order to secure its bonds, or, in the absolute discretion of said authority as will tend to make the bonds more marketable notwithstanding that such covenants, acts, or things will not be enumerated herein. (1961, No. 212, § 16, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4017. Rights of obligees
An obligee of an authority shall have the right in addition to all other rights which may be conferred upon such obligee, subject only to any contractual restrictions binding upon such obligee:
(1) By suit, action, or proceeding at law or in equity to compel said authority and the commissioners, officers, agents or employees thereof to perform each and every term, provision and covenant contained in any contract of said authority with or for the benefit of such obligee and to require the carrying out of any or all such covenants or agreements of said authority and the fulfillment of all duties imposed upon said authority by this chapter.
(2) By suit, action, or proceeding in equity, to enjoin any acts or things that may be unlawful, or the violation of any of the rights of any obligee of said authority. (1961, No. 212, § 17, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4018. Powers may be conferred on obligee
An authority shall have power by its resolution, trust indenture, mortgage, lease or other contract to confer upon any obligee holding or representing a specified amount in bonds, or holding a lease, the right (in addition to all rights that may be otherwise conferred) upon the happening of an event of default as defined in such resolution or instrument, by suit, action, or proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction:
(1) To cause possession of any housing project or any part thereof to be surrendered to any such obligee.
(2) To obtain the appointment of a receiver of any housing project of said authority or any part thereof and of the rents and profits therefrom. If such receiver be appointed, he or she may enter and take possession of such housing project or any part thereof and operate and maintain the same and collect and receive all fees, rents, revenues, or other charges thereafter arising therefrom and shall keep such moneys in a separate account or accounts and apply the same in accordance with the obligations of said authority as the court shall direct.
(3) To require said authority and the commissioners thereof to account as if it and they were the trustees of an express trust. (1961, No. 212, § 18, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4019. United States cooperation
In addition to the powers conferred upon an authority by other provisions of this chapter, an authority is empowered to borrow money or accept grants or other financial assistance from the federal government for, or in aid of, any housing project within its area of operation, to take over or lease or manage any housing project or undertaking constructed or owned by the federal government and to these ends to comply with such conditions and enter into such mortgages, trust indentures, leases or agreements as may be necessary, convenient or desirable. It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to authorize every authority to do any and all things necessary or desirable to secure the financial aid or the cooperation of the federal government in the undertaking, construction, maintenance or operation of any housing project by such authority. (1961, No. 212, § 19, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4020. Taxation
The property of an authority is declared to be public property used for essential public and governmental purposes and such property and an authority shall be exempt from all taxes and special assessments of the state or any state public body thereof; provided however, that in lieu of such taxes or special assessments, the authority may agree to make payments to the state public body for improvements, services and facilities furnished by such state public body for the benefit of the housing project, but in no event shall the payments exceed the estimated cost to such state public body of the improvements, services or facilities to be so furnished. (1961, No. 212, § 20, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4021. Governmental services and contracts
In connection with any housing project located within the area in which it is authorized to act, any state public body may contract with the housing authority with respect to the sum or sums (if any) which the housing authority may agree to pay, during any year or period of years, to the state public body for the improvements, services and facilities to be furnished by it, for the benefit of said housing project, but in no event shall the amount of such payments exceed the estimated cost to the state public body of the improvements, services or facilities to be so furnished: provided however, that the absence of a contract for such payments shall in no way relieve any state public body from the duty to furnish, for the benefit of said housing project, customary improvements and such services and facilities as such state public body furnishes customarily without a service fee. (1961, No. 212, § 21, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4022. Powers
For the purpose of aiding and cooperating in the planning, undertaking, construction or operation of housing projects, located within the area in which it is authorized to act, any state public body may upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine:
(1) Dedicate, sell, convey or lease any of its interest in any property or grant easements, licenses or any other rights or privileges therein, to a housing authority or the federal government;
(2) Cause parks, playgrounds, recreational, community, educational, water, sewer or drainage facilities, or any other works which it is otherwise empowered to undertake, to be furnished adjacent to or in connection with housing projects;
(3) Furnish, dedicate, close, pave, install, grade, regrade, plan or replan streets, roads, roadways, alleys, sidewalks or other places which it is otherwise empowered to undertake;
(4) Plan or replan, zone or rezone, any part of such state public body; make exceptions from building regulations and ordinances; any city may also change its map;
(5) Cause services to be furnished to the housing authority of the character which such state public body is otherwise empowered to furnish;
(6) Enter into agreements with respect to the exercise by such state public body of its powers relating to the repair, closing or demolition of unsafe, unsanitary or unfit dwellings;
(7) Employ (notwithstanding the provisions of any other law) any funds belonging to or within the control of such state public body, including funds derived from the sale of furnishings or property or facilities to a housing authority, in the purchase of the bonds or other obligations of the housing authority; and exercise all rights of any holder of such bonds or other obligations;
(8) Enter into agreements (which may extend over any period, notwithstanding any provision or rule of law to the contrary) with a housing authority or the federal government respecting the exercise by such state public body of any of the powers herein granted;
(9) Do any and all things necessary or convenient to aid and cooperate in the planning, undertaking, construction or operation of such housing projects; and
(10) In connection with any public improvements made by a state public body exercising the powers herein granted, such state public body may incur the entire expense thereof. (1961, No. 212, § 22, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4023. Appropriation
When any housing authority which is created for any municipality becomes authorized to transact business and exercise its powers therein, the governing body of such municipality shall immediately make an estimate of the amount of money necessary for the administrative expenses and overhead of such housing authority during the first year thereafter and shall appropriate such amount to the authority out of any moneys in the treasury of such municipality not appropriated to some other purpose. The money so appropriated shall be paid to the authority as a donation. Any municipality located within the area of operation of a housing authority shall have the power from time to time to lend or donate money to the authority. The housing authority, when it has money available therefore, shall make reimbursement for all loans made to it. (1961, No. 212, § 23, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4024. Exercise of authority
The exercise by a state public body of the powers herein granted may be authorized by resolution of the governing body of such state public body adopted by a majority of the members thereof present at a meeting of said governing body. Such resolution or resolutions shall take effect immediately upon passage and need not thereafter be laid over or published or posted. (1961, No. 212, § 24, eff. July 11, 1961.)
§ 4025. Report
At least once a year, an authority shall file with the clerk a report of its activities for the preceding year and shall make recommendations with reference to such additional legislation or other actions as it deems necessary in order to carry out the purpose of this chapter. (Amended 1961, No. 212, § 25, eff. July 11, 1961; 1967, No. 332 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. March 23, 1968; 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 20, eff. May 14, 2012.)
§ 4026. Inconsistent acts
As far as the provisions of this chapter are inconsistent with any other law, including special act or municipal charter, this chapter shall control. (Added 1966, No. 69 (Sp. Sess.), § 11, eff. March 14, 1966.)
§ 4027. Joint municipal housing authorities
The governing bodies of two or more municipalities may, pursuant to and in the manner set forth in section 4003 of this title, adopt a resolution to establish a housing authority for such municipalities. When the governing bodies of two or more towns adopt such a resolution, they shall also appoint, in the manner set forth in section 4004 of this title, five persons as the commissioners of the authority established. A housing authority established pursuant to this section shall have the same powers and responsibilities as a housing authority established for a single municipality. (Added 1977, No. 27, § 2.)