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Substitute Senate Bill No. 897

Public Act No. 03-95

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 Section 8-37x of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(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] The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may: (1) 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] said commissioner's 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, in [his] said commissioner's 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 threshold of said section 8-44.

(d) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may designate as [his] said commissioner's agent any deputy commissioner or any employee to exercise such authority of the commissioner as [he] said commissioner 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] said commissioner 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.

(g) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with the executive director of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, upon the lawful dissolution of any eligible developer of property financed with a loan, grant or any combination thereof from the state, may (1) accept ownership of property owned by such a developer in the name of the state and dispose of such property to an eligible developer for a price and upon terms that the commissioner deems proper, provided such action shall preserve the property as housing for very low, low or moderate income persons; or (2) after approval by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management allow such property to participate in any programs that the commissioner operates, in order to preserve the property as housing for very low, low or moderate income persons. For purposes of this subsection, "housing" includes facilities and amenities incidental and pertinent to the provision of affordable housing and intended primarily to serve the residents of the affordable housing development, including, but not limited to, a community room, a laundry room, day care space, a computer center, a management center or playground.

(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (g) of this section, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall allow the continued use of: (1) The Saint Joseph's Residence for Mothers and Children, located in Bridgeport, which is utilized as a day care center; (2) the House of Bread, located in Hartford, which is utilized as a community day care center and corporate offices; and (3) the Rainbow Court Cooperative, located in Middletown, which is utilized as rental units for lower income persons.

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

Approved June 3, 2003