Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 5103

Public Act No. 02-99

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DISPOSITION OF STATE-ASSISTED HOUSING PROPERTIES IN DEFAULT.

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

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 Section 8-37x of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2002):

(a) As used in this section, "authority" or "housing authority" means any of the public corporations created by section 8-40 and the Connecticut Housing Authority when exercising the rights, powers, duties or privileges of, or subject to the immunities or limitations of, housing authorities pursuant to section 8-121, and "housing project" means a project developed or administered pursuant to chapter 128.

(b) Without limiting any other powers of the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, he shall have power: (1) To collect and correlate information regarding housing projects of authorities in the state and upon request to furnish the authorities, in matters of common interest, information, advice and the services of expert personnel; (2) to study state-wide needs for the elimination of substandard housing to stimulate state and city planning involving housing, and otherwise to study housing needs, both rural and urban, and to formulate proposals for meeting these needs; (3) to study methods of encouraging investment of private capital in low rent housing; (4) to study the necessity, feasibility and advantage of the use of state credit by way of loan or subsidy to assist the financing of housing projects for persons of low income; and (5) to accept grants-in-aid of any of his powers made pursuant to the provisions of any state or federal law and, for the purpose of complying with the requirements or recommendations of any such law, to prepare such plans and specifications and to make such studies, surveys, reports or recommendations concerning existing or contemplated housing conditions or projects in the state as may be necessary or appropriate.

(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, 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 of said section 8-44.

(d) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may designate as his agent any deputy commissioner or any employee to exercise such authority of the commissioner as he delegates for the administration of any applicable statute or regulation.

(e) As used in this subsection, "troubled loan" means a loan in which payments of interest or principal, or both interest and principal, (1) are delinquent under the terms of a loan agreement, or (2) may become delinquent under conditions which exist which would reasonably lead the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development to believe that a borrower would be unable to repay the loan. Said commissioner may authorize the deferred payments of interest or principal, or both interest and principal, or a portion thereof, in the case of a troubled loan made by the commissioner under any provision of the general statutes or special acts if he determines the deferral to be in the best interests of the state. Such determination shall be in writing and shall include a statement of the reasons why the deferral is in the best interests of the state. Any deferral made under the provisions of this section shall be subject to the approval of the State Bond Commission.

(f) Upon an action by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development to preserve the state's interest in any contract for financial assistance that results in the state acquiring title to any housing property, the commissioner shall be deemed to be an eligible developer, as defined in section 8-39, for the purposes of operating the property and receiving state or federal financial assistance on behalf of the property or the operation of the property.

[(f)] (g) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development [shall] may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, [such regulations as may be necessary] to carry out the purposes of the Department of Economic and Community Development as established by statute.

Sec. 2. (Effective from passage) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of section 8-42 of the general statutes, a commissioner of a housing authority that was awarded Moving to Work status on January 19, 2001, by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to authorization granted by Section 204 of the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996 (P. L. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321), may serve as the executive director of said housing authority until October 1, 2003.

Sec. 3. (Effective from passage) (a) Not later than July 1, 2002, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall submit a report to the General Assembly, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, setting forth (1) the total cost of constructing new housing units at the site of the former Rice Heights housing development in Hartford, including, but not limited to, infrastructure improvements necessary for such housing units and mortgage and other financial assistance for families purchasing such housing units, if an educational facility is not constructed at said site, and (2) the total cost of constructing new housing units at said Rice Heights site, including, but not limited to, infrastructure improvements necessary for such housing units and mortgage and other financial assistance for families purchasing such housing units, if an educational facility is constructed at said site.

(b) If the number of housing units to be developed at the site of the former Rice Heights housing development in Hartford is reduced as a result of the construction of an educational facility at said site, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall use an amount of funds equal to the difference between the total cost reported in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section and the total cost reported in subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section, for the construction or renovation of housing development projects located in the immediate area of the site of the former Rice Heights housing development, including, but not limited to, mortgage and other financial assistance for families purchasing housing units in such projects. The average amount of mortgage and other financial assistance provided per family for housing units in such projects shall be not less than the average amount of the mortgage and other financial assistance provided per family for new housing units constructed at the site of the former Rice Heights housing development.

(c) If the number of families who (1) lived at the former Rice Heights housing development prior to the demolition, renovation or sale of said development pursuant to section 3 of public act 98-176, and (2) apply and qualify to purchase or rent housing units developed at the site of the former Rice Heights housing development, exceeds the number of housing units developed at said site, such families who apply and qualify and are unable to purchase or rent such housing units because of the number of such available housing units shall have priority for the purchase or rental of housing units in housing development projects that are located in the immediate area of the site of the former Rice Heights housing development and constructed or renovated with funds used under subsection (b) of this section.

Approved June 3, 2002