General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 121B Housing and Urban Renewal - Section 27 Rural housing authority; additional powers

Section 27. If a housing authority organized in a city or town in which rural areas are located shall undertake the provision of housing for families of low income in such rural areas, it shall comply with the following provisions and shall have the following powers, in addition to others specifically granted in this chapter:—(i) The same preference shall be given to families of veterans as is provided in clause (f) of section thirty-two. (ii) So far as practicable, such housing shall consist of separate single-family houses. (iii) A housing authority which has undertaken housing in rural areas shall have the power to lease or sell houses erected or acquired by it, and, in case of sale, to impose such covenants, which shall run with the land if the housing authority so stipulates, regarding the land and the buildings thereon as it deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. In case of lease, the lessee shall have the option to purchase such house at any time during his occupancy thereof at the price designated in his lease. When any such option is exercised, the purchaser shall be given credit for payments made by him which were applied toward amortizing the cost of the house, and in case the lease with option to purchase, has been assigned to him by a previous lessee, such credit shall include such payments made by previous lessees. (iv) Until a purchaser makes full payment for a house constructed by a housing authority under this subsection the title to such house shall remain in the housing authority regardless of ownership of the land. (v) Provision for farm housing for families of low income shall be subject to the following conditions:—(1) Before housing is constructed on a farm, the United States department of agriculture, or the United States department of the interior in the case of farms included in reclamation projects of that department through such representatives as it may designate shall certify that the net annual income of the farm, together with the nonfarm income of those to be housed, is less than the amount necessary to enable them otherwise to obtain and maintain decent, safe and sanitary housing and that the construction of a suitable type house on the farm is consistent with the respective programs of the department involved; (2) Based upon the normal earning capacity of the farm, as certified by the United States department of agriculture or department of the interior, the housing authority shall determine that the farm owner can meet at least the minimum payments required of him; (3) In developing standards as to what constitutes decent, safe and sanitary dwellings, the housing authority shall take into consideration the needs of the family for which such housing is to be used; (4) With respect to houses on farms, there shall, so far as practicable, be a system of variable payments so that in any year when there is below normal production or prices there may be an appropriate decrease that year in payment below the minimum otherwise required, but only to the extent that credits have been established as defined by the annual contributions contract through previous payments by the farm owner in excess of the minimum required payments. (vi) Provisions of nonfarm housing for families of low income in rural areas, with sufficient land for home gardens, shall be subject to the condition that the housing authority shall first determine that such housing will be so located that sources of employment will be accessible to the occupants thereof.

The department, with the approval of the municipal officers shall have all the powers of a housing authority under this section in order to provide housing for families of low income in any city or town where no housing authority exists. Upon the organization of a housing authority in such a city or town, all the rights, titles, powers, duties and obligations of a housing authority acquired or exercised by the department with respect to such housing shall immediately vest in such housing authority.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015