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House Bill No. 5138

Public Act No. 02-79

AN ACT CONFORMING HOUSING AUTHORITY PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES TO FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS AND CONCERNING THE SECURITY DEPOSIT GUARANTEE AND GRANT PROGRAM.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (c) of section 8-37x of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2002):

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may, after conducting a public bidding process as provided in section 8-44, as amended by this act, enter into a master contract or contracts with local, regional or state-wide suppliers of labor, supplies, materials, services or personal property on behalf of one or more housing authorities operating state-financed housing programs or projects. [The commissioner may also approve the use by housing authorities, for state-financed programs or projects, of the federal General Services Administration Standard Purchasing Catalog, and amendments thereto, or of the consolidated supply program of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in lieu of purchases under such master contract or contracts. ] The commissioner may, in his discretion, with respect to partially completed state-financed programs or projects or in the event of emergencies affecting human health, safety, welfare and life or endangering property, waive the bidding requirement and [fiscal limits] threshold of said section 8-44.

Sec. 2. Section 8-44 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2002):

(a) An authority shall constitute a public body corporate and politic, exercising public powers and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including the following enumerated powers in addition to others granted by any provision of the general statutes: [(a)] (1) To sue and be sued; to have a seal and to alter the same 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; [(b)] (2) within its area of operation, to prepare, carry out, acquire, lease and operate housing projects and to provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration or repair of any housing project or any part thereof either directly or in the form of loans or other similar assistance to developers, all such housing projects where families with children are eligible for occupancy to contain reasonably adequate outdoor playground areas; [(c)] (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; [(d)] (4) to demise 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 therefor; to own, hold and improve real or personal property; to purchase, lease, obtain options upon or acquire, by gift, grant, bequest, devise or otherwise, any real or personal property or any interest therein, provided no real property or interest therein shall be acquired for the site of a proposed housing project until the housing authority has held a public hearing concerning such site, notice of which has been published in the form of a legal advertisement in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality at least twice at intervals of not less than two days, the first not more than fifteen nor less than ten days, and the last not less than two days, before such hearing; to insure or provide for the insurance of any real or personal property or operations of the authority against any risks or hazards; to procure insurance or guarantees from the federal government of the payment of any debts or parts thereof, whether or not incurred by such authority, secured by mortgages on any property included in any of its housing projects; [(e)] (5) to invest any funds held in reserves or sinking funds, or any funds not required for immediate disbursements, in investments legal for mutual savings banks, provided that the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection (n) of section 36-96 shall not be applicable to any such investment, and to purchase its bonds at a price not more than the principal amount thereof and accrued interest, all bonds so purchased to be cancelled; [(f)] (6) within its area of operation, to investigate living, dwelling and housing conditions and the means and methods of improving such conditions; to determine where slum areas exist or where there is a shortage of decent, safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations for families of low and moderate income; to make studies and recommendations relating to the problem of clearing, replanning and reconstructing slum areas, and the problem of providing dwelling accommodations for families of low and moderate income, and to cooperate with the municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof in action taken in connection with such problems; [(g)] (7) to promote the creation and preservation of housing for low and moderate income persons and families, either directly or through an agency or instrumentality designated or appointed by the authority, by lending or otherwise making available to developers the proceeds from the sale of obligations which are tax-exempt pursuant to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended, or Section 11(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, or any successor provisions amendatory or supplementary thereto, provided no such obligations or other notes or securities issued by any agency or instrumentality designated or approved by the authority pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision, shall create or imply any indebtedness of any kind on the part of the housing authority, the state, or any political subdivision thereof; and [(h)] (8) to exercise all or any part or combination of powers herein granted. No provision of law with respect to the operation or disposition of property by other public bodies shall be applicable to an authority unless the General Assembly specifically so states.

(b) As used in this subsection, "housing project construction work" means the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration or repair of a housing project or any part of a housing project; and "simplified acquisition threshold" has the same meaning as "simplified acquisition threshold", as defined in 41 USC 403(11). All contracts to be made or let by an authority for housing project construction work, supplies, or [for] purchases of personal property of every description, shall be publicly advertised, for the purpose of receiving bids upon the same, in a local daily paper and, if deemed advisable, in other papers, provided the several parts of such housing project construction work, supplies or personal property shall, together, involve [the] an expenditure [of more than twenty-five thousand dollars] that exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold. The bids received in response to such public advertisement shall be publicly opened at a hearing of the authority, the date and time of such hearing being named in such public advertisement, and the contract or award shall be made by the authority with or to the lowest responsible bidder. [Such bidding may be waived by vote of the authority when the public interest so requires, provided the reasons for such waiver shall be set forth and made public and provided the total cost of such work, supplies or personal property shall not exceed thirty thousand dollars. ] Such bidding shall not be required for housing project construction work, supplies or personal property previously bid and contracted for by the Department of Administrative Services, the federal General Services Administration, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or a municipality. An expenditure for housing project construction work, supplies or personal property which is less than or equal to the simplified acquisition threshold and any expenditure for legal or other professional services shall be made in accordance with the competitive proposals requirements of 24 CFR 85. 36. In any contract let in connection with a housing project, an authority, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this chapter or in any other statute, may include stipulations requiring that the contractor and any subcontractors comply with requirements as to minimum wages, maximum hours and any conditions which the federal government or any other obligee may have imposed as prerequisite to the granting of financial aid to the housing project.

Sec. 3. Section 17b-802 of the general statutes, as amended by section 32 of public act 01-2 of the June special session and section 129 of public act 01-9 of the June special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2002):

(a) The Commissioner of Social Services shall establish, within available appropriations, and administer a security deposit guarantee program for persons who (1) (A) are recipients of temporary family assistance, aid under the state supplement program, state-administered general assistance or general assistance, [and to persons who] or (B) have a documented showing of financial need, and (2) (A) are residing in emergency shelters or other emergency housing, [or who] cannot remain in permanent housing due to any reason specified in subsection (a) of section 17b-808, or [is] are served a notice to quit in a summary process action instituted pursuant to chapter 832, or (B) have a rental assistance program or federal section 8 certificate or voucher. Under such program, the Commissioner of Social Services may provide security deposit guarantees for use by such persons in lieu of a security deposit on a rental dwelling unit. Eligible persons may receive a security deposit guarantee in an amount not to exceed the equivalent of two months' rent on such rental unit. No person may apply for and receive a security deposit guarantee more than once in any eighteen-month period without the express authorization of the Commissioner of Social Services, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section. The Commissioner of Social Services may establish priorities for allocating security deposit guarantees between eligible persons described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(b) In the case of any person who qualifies for a guarantee, the Commissioner of Social Services, or any emergency shelter under contract with the Department of Social Services to assist in the administration of the security deposit guarantee program established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, may execute a written agreement to pay the landlord for any damages suffered by the landlord due to the tenant's failure to comply with such tenant's obligations as defined in section 47a-21, provided the amount of any such payment shall not exceed the amount of the requested security deposit. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, if a person who has previously received a grant for a security deposit or a security deposit guarantee becomes eligible for a subsequent security deposit guarantee within eighteen months after a claim has been paid on a prior security deposit guarantee, such person may receive a security deposit guarantee. The amount of the subsequent security deposit guarantee for which such person would otherwise have been eligible shall be reduced by (1) any amount of a previous grant which has not been returned to the department pursuant to section 47a-21, or (2) the amount of any payment made to the landlord for damages pursuant to this subsection.

(c) Any payment made pursuant to this section to any person receiving temporary family assistance, aid under the state supplement program, general assistance or state-administered general assistance shall not be deducted from the amount of assistance to which the recipient would otherwise be entitled.

(d) On and after July 1, 2000, no special need or special benefit payments shall be made by the commissioner for security deposits from the temporary family assistance, state supplement, state-administered general assistance or general assistance programs.

(e) The Commissioner of Social Services may, within available appropriations, on a case-by-case basis, provide a security deposit grant to a person [residing in an emergency shelter or other emergency housing or to a person who cannot remain in permanent housing due to any reason specified in subsection (a) of section 17b-808 or is served of a notice to quit in a summary process action instituted pursuant to chapter 832] eligible for the security deposit guarantee program established under subsection (a) of this section, in an amount not to exceed the equivalent of one month's rent on such rental unit provided the commissioner determines that emergency circumstances exist which threaten the health, safety or welfare of a child who resides with such person. Such person shall not be eligible for more than one such grant without the authorization of said commissioner. Nothing in this section shall preclude the approval of such one-month security deposit grant in conjunction with a one-month security deposit guarantee.

(f) The Commissioner of Social Services may provide a security deposit grant to a person receiving such grant through any emergency shelter under an existing contract with the Department of Social Services to assist in the administration of the security deposit program, but in no event shall a payment be authorized after October 1, 2000. Nothing in this section shall preclude the commissioner from entering into a contract with one or more emergency shelters for the purpose of issuing security deposit guarantees.

(g) The Commissioner of Social Services shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to administer the program established pursuant to this section and to set eligibility criteria for the program, but may implement the program until [January 1, 2002] June 30, 2003, while in the process of adopting such regulations provided notice of intent to adopt the regulations is published in the Connecticut Law Journal within twenty days after implementation.

Approved June 3, 2002