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§16-15-18. Duties of authority and limitation of powers.

(a) In the operation or management of housing developments an authority shall at all times observe the following duties with respect to rentals, tenant selection and home ownership:

(1) It may rent or lease dwellings in the developments only to persons of eligible income and at rentals within the financial reach of the persons;

(2) It may rent or lease to a tenant housing consisting of the number of rooms, but no greater number, which it considers necessary to provide safe and sanitary accommodations to the proposed occupants, without overcrowding;

(3) Subject only to the limitations contained in this article or imposed by the federal government, an authority may lease or rent any dwellings, facilities or other real or personal property owned, controlled, or possessed by the authority, or with respect to which the authority has contractual rights permitting the lease or rental, for terms, upon conditions and lease terms and in exchange for rentals as the authority may from time to time in its discretion determine; further, and without limiting the foregoing, to establish rents in a manner and in amounts as the authority considers appropriate, including, but not limited to, rents based upon family income, (determined with adjustments and exclusions as the authority considers appropriate,) minimum rents, flat rents, graduated rents, rent ranges, and maximum rents, (any of which may vary among the authority's developments,) and to establish any other standards and conditions relating to rentals that the authority considers appropriate to carry out the purposes of this article;

(4) At and subsequent to an acquisition of occupied property, a housing authority may permit existing tenants in the property to remain in occupancy upon terms and conditions and for periods as the authority considers appropriate, notwithstanding that the tenants do not qualify as persons of eligible income;

(5) A housing authority may operate programs to increase home ownership by residents of its developments and by other persons of eligible income; and may acquire, rehabilitate, construct, reconstruct, sell, convey, lease, option, and take all other actions considered appropriate to achieve home ownership of dwellings and associated property by persons of eligible income. In connection with any program to encourage ownership, a housing authority may dispose of dwellings and other associated property in exchange or for fair market purchase prices, and upon terms and conditions, as the authority considers appropriate;

(6) To develop, acquire, own, lease and operate properties and facilities that are nonresidential in character, which are used for office, administrative, management, maintenance, commercial, or educational purposes, or providing services, or carrying out any other purpose authorized under this article; to acquire, own, lease, and operate properties and facilities that are both residential and nonresidential in character;

(7) To develop, acquire, own, or lease community facilities, and to provide such facilities to any public agency or to any person, agency, institution, or organization, public or private, for recreational, educational, health or welfare purposes for the benefit and use of the housing authority or occupants of its developments, or persons of eligible income, elderly or handicapped persons, or any combination of the foregoing; to operate or manage community facilities, itself, or as agent or any public agency, or any person, institution, or organization, public or private; and to receive compensation therefor, if any, as the parties may agree; community facilities may be utilized by private persons or organizations with or without charge, upon a determination by the authority that the utilization would be advisable to promote the public purposes of this article;

(8) To carry out plans, programs, contracts and agreements of every kind and description and to provide grants, loans, guarantees and other financial assistance to public or private persons or entities, whether nonprofit or for-profit, in order to rehabilitate, maintain, procure, and preserve existing affordable housing stocks in safe, decent and sanitary condition and to ensure that they remain affordable to persons of eligible income; and

(9) To pay, in whole or in part, for any person of eligible income the costs of preparation of any title instrument, deed of trust, note or security instrument, the costs of recording any title instrument, deed of trust, note or security instrument, and any impact fee levied pursuant to article twenty, chapter seven of this code, with the condition that in the event the person receiving a payment under this subdivision sells the property attributable to the payment within five years from receiving the payment, the person will repay the full amount of the payment to the housing authority.

(b) A housing authority shall conduct its affairs in accordance with sound financial and business practices, taking into account the nature of its activities and intended purpose. Therefore, a housing authority shall establish and charge rents no higher than it determines to be necessary to produce revenue which, together with all other available money, revenue, income and receipts of the authority from whatever source derived, will be sufficient:

(1) To pay when due all indebtedness of the authority;

(2) To pay all administrative and other costs of operating the authority's developments and programs of assistance;

(3) To pay the administrative and other costs of the maintenance, rehabilitation, renovation, repair, and replacement of the authority's developments and other property;

(4) To otherwise carry out its purposes under this article, including acquiring or creating additional housing developments and acquiring or improving property for other purposes authorized under this article, including community facilities, commercial facilities, and all other facilities and developments authorized under this article;

(5) To pay the costs of insurance, including the costs of claims, liabilities, losses and other expenses incurred in connection with any self-insurance program;

(6) To provide funds for all required payments in lieu of taxes;

(7) To make all payments required under and otherwise fully perform the authority's obligations under any contract, agreement, or arrangement entered into by the authority, including without limitation, those required in connection with any partnership or joint venture entered into by the authority;

(8) To perform the terms of any commitment or guarantee issued or given by the authority;

(9) To provide a reasonable return on the value of the property so as to enable the housing authority to continue to fulfill its duties, including, but not limited to, the acquisition of additional housing developments, land acquisition, acquisition or construction of buildings, equipment, facilities or other real or personal property for public purposes, including parks or other recreational, educational, welfare or community facilities within its area of operation;

(10) To accommodate economic factors which affect the financial stability and solvency of the authority's developments and programs;

(11) To pay the cost of actions occasioned by natural disasters and other emergencies; and

(12) To create and maintain operating and capital reserves that are reasonable and adequate to ensure the authority's ability to make all payments referred to herein and any other matter with respect to which the authority, in its discretion reasonably exercised, determines that the creation and maintenance of a reserve is appropriate.

Nothing in this section limits the amount which a housing authority may charge for nondwelling facilities or for dwelling facilities that are not rented to persons of eligible income: Provided, That the authority's actions do not conflict with the purposes of this article: Provided, however, That a housing authority may allow police officers and maintenance and management employees, not otherwise eligible for residence, to reside in its developments.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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