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Code of Virginia
Title 36. Housing
Chapter 1. Housing Authorities Law
12/5/2022

Article 6. Regional and Consolidated Housing Authorities.

§ 36-40. Creation of regional housing authority.

If the board of supervisors of each of two or more contiguous counties by resolution declares that there is a need for one housing authority to be created for all of such counties to exercise in such counties powers and other functions prescribed for a regional housing authority, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth to be known as a regional housing authority shall thereupon exist for all of such counties and exercise its public and corporate powers and other functions in such counties; and thereupon each housing authority created for each of such counties shall cease to exist except for the purpose of winding up its affairs and executing a deed to the regional housing authority as hereinafter provided; provided that the board of supervisors of a county shall not adopt a resolution as aforesaid if there is a county housing authority created for such county which has any obligations outstanding unless first, all obligees of such county housing authority and parties to the contracts, bonds, notes, and other obligations of such county housing authority consent in writing to the substitution of such regional housing authority in lieu of such county housing authority on all such contracts, bonds, notes, or other obligations; and second, the commissioners of such county housing authority adopt a resolution consenting to the transfer of all the rights, contracts, obligations, and property, real and personal, of such county housing authority to such regional housing authority as hereinafter provided; and provided further that when the above two conditions are complied with and such regional housing authority is created and authorized to exercise its powers and other functions, all rights, contracts, agreements, obligations, and property of such county housing authority shall be in the name of and vest in such regional housing authority, and all obligations of such county housing authority shall be the obligations of such regional housing authority and all rights and remedies of any person against such county housing authority may be asserted, enforced, and prosecuted against such regional housing authority to the same extent as they might have been asserted, enforced, and prosecuted against such county housing authority.

When any real property of a county housing authority vests in a regional housing authority as provided above, the county housing authority shall execute a deed of such property to the regional housing authority which thereupon shall file such deed in the office provided for the filing of deeds, provided that nothing contained in this sentence shall affect the vesting of property in the regional housing authority as provided above.

The board of supervisors of each of two or more contiguous counties shall by resolution declare that there is a need for one regional housing authority to be created for all of such counties to exercise in such counties powers and other functions prescribed for a regional housing authority, if such board of supervisors finds (and only if it finds) (a) that insanitary or unsafe inhabited dwelling accommodations exist in such county or there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations in such county available to persons of low income at rentals they can afford and (b) that a regional housing authority would be a more efficient or economical administrative unit than the housing authority of such county to carry out the purposes of this Housing Authorities Law in such county.

In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of or relating to any contract of the regional housing authority, the regional housing authority shall be conclusively deemed to have become created as a public body corporate and politic and to have become established and authorized to transact business and exercise its powers hereunder upon proof of the adoption of a resolution by the board of supervisors of each of the counties creating the regional housing authority declaring the need for the regional housing authority. Each such resolution shall be deemed sufficient if it declares that there is need for the regional housing authority and finds in substantially the foregoing terms (no further detail being necessary) that the conditions enumerated above in (a) and (b) exist. A copy of such resolution of the board of supervisors of a county, duly certified by the clerk of such county, shall be admissible in evidence in any suit, action, or proceeding.

The area of operation of a regional housing authority shall include (except as otherwise provided elsewhere in this chapter) all of the counties for which such regional housing authority is created and established.

1942, p. 317; Michie Code 1942, § 3145(4a).

§ 36-41. Increasing area of operation of regional housing authority.

The area of operation of a regional housing authority shall be increased from time to time to include one or more additional contiguous counties not already within a regional housing authority if the board of supervisors of each of the counties then included in the area of operation of such regional housing authority, the commissioners of the regional housing authority and the board of supervisors of each such additional county or counties each adopt a resolution declaring that there is a need for the inclusion of such additional county or counties in the area of operation of such regional housing authority. Upon the adoption of such resolutions, the county housing authority created for each such additional county shall cease to exist except for the purpose of winding up its affairs and executing a deed to the regional housing authority as hereinafter provided; provided, however, that such resolutions shall not be adopted if there is a county housing authority created for any such additional county which has any obligations outstanding unless first, all obligees of any such county housing authority and parties to the contracts, bonds, notes, and other obligations of any such county housing authority consent in writing to the substitution of such regional housing authority in lieu of such county housing authority on all such contracts, bonds, notes, or other obligations; and second, the commissioners of such county housing authority adopt a resolution consenting to the transfer of all the rights, contracts, obligations, and property, real and personal, of such county housing authority to such regional housing authority as hereinafter provided; and provided further that when the above two conditions are complied with and the area of operation of such regional housing authority is increased to include such additional county, as hereinabove provided, all rights, contracts, agreements, obligations, and property of such county housing authority shall be in the name of and vest in such regional housing authority, all obligations of such county housing authority shall be the obligations of such regional housing authority and all rights and remedies of any person against such county housing authority may be asserted, enforced, and prosecuted against such regional housing authority to the same extent as they might have been asserted, enforced, and prosecuted against such county housing authority.

When any real property of a county housing authority vests in a regional housing authority as provided above, the county housing authority shall execute a deed of such property to the regional housing authority which thereupon shall file such deed in the office provided for the filing of deeds, provided that nothing contained in this sentence shall affect the vesting of property in the regional housing authority as provided above.

The board of supervisors of each of the counties in the regional housing authority, the commissioners of the regional housing authority and the board of supervisors of each such additional county or counties shall by resolution declare that there is need for the inclusion of such county or counties in the area of operation of the regional housing authority, if (a) the board of supervisors of each such additional county or counties finds that insanitary or unsafe inhabited dwelling accommodations exist in such county or there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations in such county available to persons of low income at rentals they can afford and (b) the board of supervisors of each of the counties then included in the area of operation of the regional housing authority, the commissioners of the regional housing authority and the board of supervisors of each such additional county or counties find that the regional housing authority would be a more efficient or economical administrative unit to carry out the purposes of this Housing Authorities Law if the area of operation of the regional housing authority is increased to include such additional county or counties.

1942, p. 318; Michie Code 1942, § 3145(4b).

§ 36-42. Decreasing area of operation of regional housing authority.

The area of operation of a regional housing authority shall be decreased from time to time to exclude one or more counties from such area if the board of supervisors of each of the counties in such area and the commissioners of the regional housing authority each adopt a resolution declaring that there is a need for excluding such county or counties from such area; provided that no action may be taken pursuant to this section if the regional housing authority has outstanding any bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, unless first, all holders of such evidences of indebtedness consent in writing to such action; and provided further that if such action decreases the area of operation of the regional housing authority to only one county, such authority shall thereupon constitute and become a housing authority for such county, in the same manner as though such authority were created by and authorized to transact business and exercise its powers pursuant to § 36-4, and the commissioners of such authority shall be thereupon appointed as provided for the appointment of commissioners of a housing authority created for a county.

The board of supervisors of each of the counties in the area of operation of the regional housing authority and the commissioners of the regional housing authority shall adopt a resolution declaring that there is a need for excluding a county or counties from such area if: (a) each such board of supervisors of the counties to remain in the area of operation of the regional housing authority and the commissioners of the regional housing authority find that (because of facts arising or determined subsequent to the time when such area first included the county or counties to be excluded) the regional housing authority would be a more efficient or economical administrative unit to carry out the purposes of this Housing Authorities Law if such county or counties were excluded from such area, and (b) the board of supervisors of each such county or counties to be excluded and the commissioners of the regional housing authority each also find that (because of the aforesaid changed facts) the purposes of this Housing Authorities Law could be carried out more efficiently or economically in such county or counties if the area of operation of the regional housing authority did not include such county or counties.

Any property held by a regional housing authority within a county or counties excluded from the area of operation of such authority, as herein provided, shall (as soon as practicable after the exclusion of the county or counties respectively) be disposed of by such authority in the public interest.

1942, p. 319; Michie Code 1942, § 3145(4c).

§ 36-43. Housing authority for county excluded from regional authority.

At any time after a county or counties is excluded from the area of operation of a regional housing authority as provided above, the board of supervisors of any such county may adopt a resolution declaring that there is a need for a housing authority in the county, if the board shall find such need according to the provisions of § 36-4. Thereupon a political subdivision of the Commonwealth to be known as the housing authority of the county shall exist for such county and may transact business and exercise its powers in the same manner as though created by § 36-4. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as preventing such county from thereafter being included within the area of operation of a regional housing authority as provided in § 36-40 or 36-41.

1942, p. 320; Michie Code 1942, § 3145(4d).

§ 36-44. Public hearing to create regional authority or change its area of operation, and findings.

The board of supervisors of a county shall not adopt any resolution authorized by §§ 36-40, 36-41 or 36-42 unless a public hearing has first been held. The clerk of such county shall give notice of the time, place, and purpose of the public hearing at least ten days prior to the day on which the hearing is to be held, in a newspaper published in such county, or if there is no newspaper published in such county, then in a newspaper published in the Commonwealth and having a general circulation in such county. Upon the date fixed for such public hearing an opportunity to be heard shall be granted to all residents of such county and to all other interested persons.

In determining whether dwelling accommodations are unsafe or insanitary the board of supervisors of a county shall take into consideration the safety and sanitation of dwellings, the light and air space available to the inhabitants of such dwellings, the degree of overcrowding, the size and arrangement of the rooms and the extent to which conditions exist in such dwellings which endanger life or property by fire or other causes.

In connection with the issuance of bonds or the incurring of other obligations, a regional housing authority may covenant as to limitations on its right to adopt resolutions relating to the increase or decrease of its area of operation.

1942, p. 320; Michie Code 1942, § 3145(4e).

§ 36-45. Commissioners of regional housing authority.

The board of supervisors of each county included in a regional housing authority shall appoint one person as a commissioner of such authority, and each such commissioner to be first appointed by the board of supervisors of a county may be appointed at or after the time of the adoption of the resolution declaring the need for such regional housing authority or declaring the need for the inclusion of such county in the area of operation of such regional housing authority. When the area of operation of a regional housing authority is increased to include an additional county or counties as provided above, the board of supervisors of each such county shall thereupon appoint one additional person as a commissioner of the regional housing authority. The board of supervisors of each county shall appoint the successor of the commissioner appointed by it. A certificate of the appointment of any such commissioner shall be filed with the clerk of the county, and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner. If any county is excluded from the area of operation of a regional housing authority, the office of the commissioner of such regional housing authority appointed by the board of supervisors of such county shall be thereupon abolished.

If a regional housing authority consists of only two counties, the boards of supervisors may agree to appoint two members each as commissioners of such authority. However, if the regional housing authority is changed to consist of three or more counties, the counties shall thereafter appoint one member each as a commissioner.

If the area of operation of a regional housing authority consists at any time of an even number of counties, the commissioners of the regional housing authority appointed by the boards of supervisors of such counties shall appoint one additional commissioner whose term of office shall be as herein provided for a commissioner of a regional housing authority except that such term shall end at any earlier time that the area of operation of the regional housing authority shall be changed to consist of an odd number of counties. The commissioners of such authority appointed by the boards of supervisors of such counties shall likewise appoint each person to succeed such additional commissioner; provided that the term of office of such person begins during the terms of office of the commissioners appointing him. A certificate of the appointment of any such additional commissioner of such regional housing authority shall be filed with the other records of the regional housing authority and shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such additional commissioner.

When a regional housing authority is required by federal housing law to appoint a commissioner satisfying the criteria specified in Section 2 (b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, at least one but not more than two such commissioners shall be appointed by the commissioners of the regional housing authority. The executive director of the regional housing authority shall prepare a slate of eligible candidates for appointment for the commissioners' consideration. However, the appointing commissioners shall not be required to make appointments from such slate. The term of such appointed commissioner shall be as herein provided for a commissioner of a regional housing authority. A certificate of the appointment of any such commissioner of a regional housing authority shall be filed with the other records of the regional housing authority and shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner.

The commissioners of a regional housing authority shall be appointed for terms of four years except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms. Each commissioner shall hold office until his successor has been appointed and has qualified, except as otherwise provided herein.

The commissioners shall constitute the regional housing authority, and the powers of such authority shall be vested in such commissioners in office from time to time.

The commissioners of a regional housing authority shall elect a chairman from among the commissioners and shall have power to select or employ such other officers and employees as the regional housing authority may require. A majority of the commissioners of a regional housing authority shall constitute a quorum of such authority for the purpose of conducting its business and exercising its powers and for all other purposes.

For inefficiency or neglect of duty or misconduct in office, a commissioner of a regional housing authority may be removed by the board of supervisors appointing him, or in the case of the commissioner appointed by the commissioners of the regional housing authority, by such commissioners; provided that such commissioner shall be removed only after he shall have been given a copy of the charges against him at least 10 days prior to the hearing thereon and had an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel. In the event of the removal of a commissioner by the board of supervisors appointing him, a record of the proceedings, together with the charges and findings thereon, shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county; and in the case of the removal of the commissioner appointed by the commissioners of the regional housing authority, such record shall be filed with the other records of the regional housing authority.

1942, p. 321; Michie Code 1942, § 3145(4f); 2003, cc. 417, 535, 559, 809.

§ 36-46. Powers of regional housing authority.

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; provided, that for such purposes, the term "mayor" or "governing body" as used in this Housing Authorities Law shall be construed as meaning "board of supervisors," unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context; and provided further that a regional housing authority, with respect to housing projects for farmers of low income, shall not be subject to the limitations provided in clause (c) of § 36-22. A regional housing authority shall have power to select any appropriate corporate name.

1942, p. 322; Michie Code 1942, § 3145(4g).

§ 36-47. Consolidated housing authority.

If the governing body of each of two or more municipalities (whether or not contiguous) by resolution declares that there is a need for one housing authority to be created for all of the municipalities to exercise in the municipalities the powers and other functions prescribed for a consolidated housing authority, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth to be known as a consolidated housing authority (with a corporate name it selects) shall thereupon exist for all of the municipalities and exercise its public and corporate powers and other functions within its area of operation (as herein defined), including the power to undertake projects therein. Thereupon, any housing authority created for each of the municipalities shall cease to exist except for the purpose of winding up its affairs and executing a deed of its real property to the consolidated housing authority. The creation of a consolidated housing authority and the finding of need therefor shall be subject to the same provisions and limitations of this chapter as are applicable to the creation of a regional housing authority. The provisions of this chapter applicable to regional housing authorities and the commissioners thereof shall be applicable to consolidated housing authorities and the commissioners thereof. The area of operation of a consolidated housing authority shall include all of the territory within the boundaries of each municipality joining in the creation of the authority, except that the area of operation may be changed to include or exclude any municipality or municipalities in the same manner and under the same provisions as provided in this chapter for changing the area of operation of a regional housing authority by including or excluding a county or counties. For all such purposes, the term "board of supervisors" shall be construed as meaning "governing body." The term "county" shall be construed as meaning "municipality" and the terms "county housing authority" and "regional housing authority" shall be construed as meaning "housing authority of the city" and "consolidated housing authority," respectively, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context.

The governing body of a municipality for which a housing authority has not been created shall not adopt the above resolution unless it first declares that there is a need for a consolidated housing authority to function in the municipality, which declaration shall be made in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as the declaration of the governing body of a city required by § 36-4 for the purpose of authorizing a housing authority created for a city to transact business and exercise its powers.

Except as otherwise provided herein, a consolidated housing authority and the commissioners thereof shall, within the area of operation of the consolidated housing authority, have the same functions, rights, powers, duties, privileges, immunities and limitations as those provided for housing authorities created for cities, counties, or groups of counties and the commissioners of such housing authorities, in the same manner as though all the provisions of law applicable to housing authorities created for cities, counties, or groups of counties were applicable to consolidated housing authorities.

The term "municipality" as used in this chapter shall mean any county, city or town in the Commonwealth.

The term "residential buildings" as used in this chapter shall include, but not be limited to, any multi-family residential property in which no less than twenty percent of the units will be occupied by persons of low income and the remainder therein by persons of moderate income, both as determined by the housing authority using the criteria set forth in the definition of "persons and families of low and moderate income" in § 36-55.26, and any nursing care facility, or any nursing home as defined in § 32.1-123.

1942, p. 323; Michie Code 1942, § 3145(4k); 1958, c. 82; 1982, c. 330; 1983, c. 347; 1984, c. 350; 1987, c. 433; 1988, c. 217.

§ 36-47.1. Compensation of commissioners.

The commissioners of any housing authority created for or operating in two or more cities may, in addition to being reimbursed for their expenses as otherwise provided, be paid salaries not to exceed $150 per month for each such commissioner.

1956, c. 327; 1962, c. 64; 1974, c. 610.

§ 36-47.2. Consolidation of two or more housing authorities within same city.

If the governing body of any city having two or more separate housing authorities created pursuant to this title shall, by resolution, declare it necessary and in the public interest to consolidate such authorities, or abolish the same and create a single or consolidated housing authority, then such new housing authority shall thereupon be created (with such corporate name as may be selected), and it shall exercise its public and corporate powers, and such other functions within such city pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, including the power to undertake projects applicable to housing authorities created for cities or counties. The governing body of any such city shall have the authority to terminate any one or more of such authorities and continue any other single authority, as a consolidated authority in which case any terminated authority shall cease to exist except for the purpose of winding up its affairs and executing the necessary documents for the transfer of its respective assets and liabilities, if any, to the new consolidated or surviving authority. If a new or consolidated authority is created, its membership shall be composed of seven commissioners, five of whom shall be the commissioners presently serving under existing law under any authority created within such city, and two of whom shall be commissioners selected from the other authority or the authority that is terminated. Each such commissioner shall continue to serve for the term for which he was appointed or until his successor has been appointed and has qualified.

1972, c. 124.