It is hereby declared that a lack of sanitary, safe and affordable dwelling accommodations for persons of moderate and low income and shelters, halfway houses and emergency housing for persons who would otherwise be homeless exists in various municipalities and rural areas of the state. Consequently, persons of low and moderate income are forced to reside in and use unsafe and unsanitary dwellings and certain other persons are unable to afford any dwelling accommodations at all. These conditions which cause an increase in and spread of disease and crime constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals and welfare of the citizens of the state. It is a matter of public interest to provide safe and sanitary housing for the low and moderate income citizens and shelter for homeless persons, to alleviate such conditions and to encourage economic development, to increase employment in housing construction and related businesses and to create and foster conditions suitable for the welfare and prosperity of all of the people of the state by making available a more adequate supply of funds and increase the availability of safe and sanitary shelters, halfway houses and emergency housing for the homeless and single and multi-family dwelling accommodations for citizens of low and moderate income within such municipalities and rural areas. The necessity for the provision of such homeless shelters, halfway houses and emergency housing and such single and multi-family dwelling accommodations for low and moderate income persons and the taking of related actions provided for in this chapter is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination to be in the public interest.
For purposes of this chapter, a low or moderate income person or family shall mean those persons or families with incomes that do not exceed the level of 100 percent of the median income for the applicable area, as provided for under existing regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development currently contained within the provisions of 24 Code of Federal Regulations at Parts 813 and 913, and such successor federal laws and regulations as may exist from time to time. If no such regulations or successor regulations exist, median income will be determined by each municipality taking into account all relevant factors.
The council or other governing body of any municipality, or governing body of a county in furtherance of the legislative purpose stated above, is empowered to take the following actions and to the extent necessary or desirable in its judgment to expend its moneys to accomplish such purpose:
(1) To acquire sites for, purchase, construct, own, develop, operate, survey, subdivide, establish, maintain, refurbish, remodel or improve single or multi-family dwellings;
(2) To receive designated funds from whatever source, federal, state, private or otherwise and to apply such funds for the uses and purposes described in this chapter;
(3) To sell and issue bonds or warrants in order to provide funds for any low or moderate income single or multi-family housing purpose or to provide funds for any shelter for the homeless purpose;
(4) To purchase mortgage loans from mortgage lenders;
(5) To contract with mortgage lenders for the origination of, or the servicing of mortgage loans to be made by such mortgage lenders and the servicing of the mortgages securing such mortgage loans;
(6) To make loans to mortgage lenders provided that the proceeds of such loans shall be required to be used by such mortgage lenders for the making of mortgage loans within the municipalities or counties and provided further, that the mortgages in connection with the mortgage loans so made, together with any additional security required by the municipality, shall be mortgaged, pledged, assigned or otherwise provided as security for such loans to mortgage lenders;
(7) To exercise any and all rights according to the owner and holder of a mortgage under and in accordance with the terms of said instruments and the applicable laws of the state with respect to the mortgaged property, directly or through mortgage lenders or others acting on behalf of the municipality or county or on behalf of the holder of its bonds or warrants, including, but without limitation, the power to foreclose, to sell the equity of redemption, to purchase the equity of redemption and otherwise to sell and dispose of the mortgaged property, all as shall seem in the best interests of the municipalities and the holders of its bonds or warrants;
(8) To execute and deliver in furtherance of the provisions of this chapter, mortgages, deeds of trusts or trust indentures;
(9) To sell at public or private sale, exchange, lease and convey any or all of its properties whenever such action is in furtherance of the purposes stated in this chapter;
(10) To establish such reserves from the proceeds of any issue of bonds, warrants or from revenues of the municipality or county as its governing body shall determine to be necessary and desirable in connection with the payment and retirement of the bonds or warrants;
(11) To make, enter into and execute such contracts, agreements, leases and other instruments and to take such other actions as may be necessary or desirable to accomplish any purpose granted by this chapter;
(12) To appropriate, lend or donate funds or properties to any political subdivision, public corporation or nonprofit corporation or agency to be used for the purpose of funding or providing low or moderate income housing or homeless shelter, halfway houses or emergency housing;
(13) To provide for such insurance as the governing body may deem advisable, including, but without limitation, casualty insurance, mortgage payment guaranty insurance and bond insurance;
(14) To enter into a management agreement or agreements with any person, firm or corporation for the performance by said person, firm or corporation of any of the functions or powers granted to the municipality or county in this chapter with respect to the provision of single or multi-family dwellings upon such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreeable and in the public interest;
(15) To sell or lease to persons of low or moderate income or to other persons who will themselves sell or lease the same, or otherwise make the same available for occupancy by persons of low or moderate income any single or multi-family dwelling units acquired by the municipality or county, all upon such terms and conditions as it shall determine to be in the public interest and necessary or desirable to carry out the purposes of this chapter;
(16) To acquire sites for, purchase, construct, own, develop, establish, maintain, operate, refurbish, remodel or improve shelters for homeless persons including, without limitation, day shelters, night shelters or respite shelters, halfway houses including, without limitation, rooming houses and emergency shelters of any kind. Soup kitchens, health clinics, social service programs and educational programs may be operated in any of the foregoing facilities. Persons served by such facilities may be charged for the services provided therein if the council or governing body determines that such charges are in the public interest. Any of the foregoing facilities may be operated on behalf of the municipality or county by a nonprofit organization designated by the municipality or county; and
(17) To do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes described in this chapter and to exercise its powers pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
Any two or more municipalities or counties may join or cooperate with one another or with an unincorporated area in the exercise, either jointly or otherwise, of any or all of their powers for the financing, planning, undertaking, owning, constructing, operating, contracting or disposing of any dwelling, shelter, halfway house or other housing located within the boundaries of any one or more of said municipalities or counties. For such purpose any municipality or county may authorize any other so joining or cooperating with it to act on its behalf with respect to any or all of such powers. Any municipalities or counties joining or cooperating with one another may by resolution appoint from among the members of the governing bodies an executive committee with full power to act on behalf of such municipalities or counties with respect to all their powers. Furthermore, any municipality may join or cooperate with an unincorporated rural area in the exercise of such powers, above, with the permission and concurrence of the governing body of the county wherein the unincorporated area is located. For such purpose, any municipality or county may authorize any other so joining or cooperating with it to act on its behalf with respect to any or all of such powers.
Except as may be otherwise expressly provided, all powers and authorities conferred shall be cumulative and supplemental and not in derogation of any powers and authorities otherwise existing.
All construction authorized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be performed by a licensed contractor as provided in Chapter 8 of Title 34. All construction authorized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the state competitive bid laws as provided in Chapter 16 of Title 41, or as provided by any other provision of general law.