Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 6603

Special Act No. 17-19

AN ACT CONCERNING A STUDY OF CERTAIN TENANTS OF STATE-FUNDED PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS.

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

Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) For the purposes of this section, "elderly tenants" means tenants sixty-two years of age or older and "younger tenants with disabilities" means tenants who are not yet sixty-two years of age and who have been certified by the Social Security Board as being totally disabled under the Social Security Act or certified by any other federal board or agency as being totally disabled. The Commissioner of Housing, in consultation with the chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to housing, shall designate three state-funded housing projects that provide services to elderly tenants and younger tenants with disabilities for the purposes of conducting a study.

(b) The Commissioner of Housing, in consultation with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department on Aging, the Department of Developmental Services and Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc., shall, within available appropriations, conduct a study of the state-funded housing projects designated in accordance with subsection (a) of this section. The study shall include, but need not be limited to, for each designated state-funded housing project: (1) A census of the occupants, including the number of residents who are elderly tenants and the number of tenants who are younger tenants with disabilities; (2) the rents charged to residents who are elderly tenants and residents who are younger tenants with disabilities; (3) the operating costs and the percentage of the operating costs that are covered by rents received from tenants pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection; (4) information about the use of municipal services, including, but not limited to, ambulance, police and fire services for apartments occupied by elderly tenants and by younger tenants with disabilities; (5) an assessment of the support services available to assist elderly tenants and younger tenants with disabilities and any gaps in such services; (6) recommendations for the provision of additional support services needed for elderly tenants and younger tenants with disabilities; (7) an estimate of any additional state appropriations needed to implement any recommendations pursuant to subdivision (6) of this subsection; (8) the number of eviction proceedings initiated by the landlord against all tenants for any reason during the last five years; (9) the number of eviction proceedings initiated against elderly tenants for any reason during the last five years; (10) the number of eviction proceedings initiated against younger tenants with disabilities for any reason during the last five years; (11) a summary of the number of evictions initiated against younger tenants with disabilities because of a violation of the lease caused by a negative incident between a younger tenant with disabilities and an elderly tenant during the last five years; (12) a summary of the number of evictions initiated against elderly tenants because of a violation of the lease caused by a negative incident between an elderly tenant and a younger tenant with disabilities during the last five years; and (13) the number of summary process judgments issued by a court against an elderly tenant with disabilities or a younger tenant during the last five years.

(c) As part of the study described in subsection (b) of this section, the Commissioner of Housing, in consultation with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department on Aging, the Department of Developmental Services and Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc., shall convene meetings of stakeholders to receive information relating to such study and any other relevant information about each state-funded housing project designated in accordance with subsection (a) of this section. Such stakeholders shall include, but need not be limited to, the property manager of each state-funded housing project designated in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, the elderly tenants and younger tenants with disabilities residing in each such state-funded housing project, tenant advocates, the director of each affected municipality's social service department, or his or her designee, representatives from each affected municipality's first responder services, including police, fire, emergency medical technician personnel and local service providers.

(d) On or before March 1, 2018, the Commissioner of Housing shall report the findings of the study, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to housing.

Approved July 10, 2017