2005 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Dawkins, Williamson, Jackson (11th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 43-33-11 AND 43-33-117, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS TO COMPLY WITH FEDERAL SECTION 504 AND AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) STANDARDS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-33-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-33-11. An authority shall constitute a public body corporate and politic, exercising public and essential governmental functions, and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this article, including the following powers in addition to others herein granted:
(a) To sue and to 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 article, to carry into effect the powers and purposes of the authority.
(b) Within its area of operation: to prepare, carry out, acquire, lease and operate housing projects; to provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration or repair of any housing project or any part thereof.
(c) 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; and (notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this article or in any other provision of law) to include in any contract let in connection with a project, stipulations requiring that the contractor and any subcontractors comply with requirements as to minimum wages and maximum hours of labor, and comply with any conditions which the federal government may have attached to its financial aid of the project.
(d) To lease or rent any dwellings, houses, accommodations, lands, buildings, structures or facilities embraced in any housing project and (subject to the limitations contained in this article) to establish and revise the rents or charges therefor; to own, hold and improve real or personal property; to purchase, lease, obtain options upon, acquire by gift, grant, bequest, devise or otherwise any real or personal property or any interest therein; to acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain any real property; to sell, lease, exchange, transfer, assign, pledge or dispose of any real or personal property or any interest therein; 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 or agree to the procurement of insurance or guarantees from the federal government of the payment of any bonds or parts thereof issued by an authority, including the power to pay premiums on any such insurance.
(e) To invest any funds held in reserves or sinking funds, or any funds not required for immediate disbursement, in property or securities in which savings banks may legally invest funds subject to their control; 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) Within its area of operation: to investigate into living, dwelling and housing conditions and into 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 persons of low income; to make studies and recommendations relating to the problem of clearing, replanning and reconstructing of slum areas, and the problem of providing dwelling accommodations for persons of low income, and to cooperate with the city, the county, the state or any political subdivision thereof in action taken in connection with such problems; and to engage in research, studies and experimentation on the subject of housing.
(g) Acting through one or more commissioners or other person or persons designated by the authority: to conduct examinations and investigations and to hear testimony and take proof under oath at public or private hearings on any matter material to its information; to administer oaths, issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses or the production of books and papers and to issue commissions for the examination of witnesses who are outside of the state or unable to attend before the authority, or excused from attendance; to make available to appropriate agencies (including those charged with the duty of abating or requiring the correction of nuisances or like conditions, or of demolishing unsafe or unsanitary structures within its area of operation) its findings and recommendations with regard to any building or property where conditions exist which are dangerous to the public health, morals, safety or welfare.
(h) To make payments to public bodies in the state in such amounts as it finds desirable, notwithstanding any statutory limitation on the amount of such payments.
(i) To establish and operate a nonprofit corporation for housing and community development purposes.
(j) To exercise all or any part or combination of powers herein granted.
(k) To promulgate rules and regulations requiring all dwellings, houses, accommodations, buildings, structures or facilities subject to the provisions of this article to comply with the standards of Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Such standards shall apply to all new construction commenced after July 1, 2005, and shall apply to projects completed prior to July 1, 2005, based upon the age and value of the property. All construction upgrades required by such standards shall be the responsibility of the owner of the property.
No provisions of law with respect to the acquisition, operation or disposition of property by other public bodies shall be applicable to an authority unless the Legislature shall specifically so state.
SECTION 2. Section 43-33-117, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-33-117. Except as otherwise provided herein, a regional housing authority and the commissioners thereof shall, within the area of operation of such regional housing authority, have the same functions, rights, powers, duties, privileges, immunities and limitations provided for housing authorities created for cities or counties and the commissioners of such housing authorities, and all the provisions of law applicable to housing authorities created for cities or counties and the commissioners of such authorities shall be applicable to regional housing authorities and the commissioners thereof. For such purposes, the term "mayor" or "governing body" as used in the Housing Authorities Law shall be construed as meaning "board of supervisors," unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context. A regional housing authority shall have power to select any appropriate corporate name.
All regional housing authorities shall promulgate rules and regulations requiring all dwellings, houses, accommodations, buildings, structures or facilities subject to the provisions of this article to comply with the standards of Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Such standards shall apply to all new construction commenced after July 1, 2005, and shall apply to projects completed prior to July 1, 2005, based upon the age and value of the property. All construction upgrades required by such standards shall be the responsibility of the owner of the property.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.