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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXX
SOCIAL WELFARE
Chapter 421
PUBLIC HOUSING
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CHAPTER 421
CHAPTER 421
PUBLIC HOUSING
PART I
HOUSING AUTHORITIES
(ss. 421.001-421.52)
PART II
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
(s. 421.55)
PART I
HOUSING AUTHORITIES
421.001 State role in housing and urban development.
421.01 Short title.
421.02 Finding and declaration of necessity.
421.03 Definitions.
421.04 Creation of housing authorities.
421.05 Appointment, qualifications, and tenure of commissioners; hiring of employees.
421.06 Commissioners or employees prohibited from acquiring interests in housing projects and required to disclose interests in specified properties; exception.
421.07 Removal of commissioners.
421.08 Powers of authority.
421.09 Operation not for profit.
421.091 Financial accounting and investments; fiscal year.
421.10 Rentals and tenant selection.
421.101 False representations to obtain lower rent in housing accommodations; penalty.
421.11 Cooperation of authorities.
421.12 Eminent domain.
421.13 Planning, zoning and building laws.
421.14 Debentures.
421.15 Form and sale of debentures.
421.16 Provisions of debentures and trust indentures.
421.17 Validation of debentures and proceedings.
421.18 Remedies of an obligee of authority.
421.19 Additional remedies conferrable by authority.
421.21 Aid from Federal Government; tax exemptions.
421.22 Reports.
421.23 Liabilities of authority.
421.24 Organization and establishment.
421.25 Contracts and undertakings.
421.26 Notes and bonds.
421.261 Continuance of municipal housing authorities when municipality abolished; counties in excess of 400,000.
421.27 Housing authorities in counties.
421.28 Creation of regional housing authority.
421.29 Area of operation of regional housing authority.
421.30 Commissioners of regional authorities.
421.31 Powers of regional housing authority; definitions.
421.32 Rural housing projects.
421.321 Execution of mortgages.
421.33 Housing applications by farmers.
421.34 Additional definitions.
421.35 Supplemental nature of sections.
421.36 Short title.
421.46 Organization and establishment of housing authorities validated.
421.47 Contracts and undertakings of housing authorities validated.
421.48 Notes and bonds of housing authorities validated.
421.49 Area of operation of housing authorities for defense housing.
421.50 Decreasing area of operation of regional authority.
421.51 Authority for county excluded from regional authority.
421.52 Authorities; creation, obligations, etc., validated.
421.001 State role in housing and urban development.The role of state government required by part I of chapter 421 (Housing Authorities Law), chapter 422 (Housing Cooperation Law), and chapter 423 (Tax Exemption of Housing Authorities) is the responsibility of the Department of Economic Opportunity; and the department is the agency of state government responsible for the state’s role in housing and urban development.
History.s. 18, ch. 69-106; s. 50, ch. 81-167; s. 53, ch. 83-55; s. 7, ch. 2000-342; s. 339, ch. 2011-142.
421.01 Short title.Part I of this chapter may be referred to as the “Housing Authorities Law.”
History.s. 1, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-a).
421.02 Finding and declaration of necessity.It is hereby declared that:
(1) There exist in the state insanitary or unsafe dwelling accommodations and that persons of low income are forced to reside in such insanitary or unsafe accommodations; that within the state there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations available at rents which persons of low income can afford and that such persons are forced to occupy overcrowded and congested dwelling accommodations; that the aforesaid conditions cause an increase in and spread of disease and crime and constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals and welfare of the residents of the state and impair economic values; that these conditions necessitate excessive and disproportionate expenditures of public funds for crime prevention and punishment, public health, welfare and safety, fire and accident protection, and other public services and facilities.
(2) Blighted areas in the state cannot be revitalized, nor can the shortage of safe and sanitary dwellings for persons of low income be relieved, solely through the operation of private enterprise.
(3) The clearance, replanning and reconstruction of the areas in which insanitary or unsafe housing conditions exist and the providing of safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations for persons of low income, including the acquisition by a housing authority of property to be used for or in connection with housing projects or appurtenant thereto, are exclusively public uses and purposes for which public money may be spent and private property acquired and are governmental functions of public concern.
(4) The necessity in the public interest for the provisions hereinafter enacted, is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination.
History.s. 2, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-b); s. 2, ch. 2005-54.
421.03 Definitions.The following terms, wherever used or referred to in this part, shall have the following respective meanings for the purposes of this part, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
(1) “Authority” or “housing authority” shall mean any of the public corporations created by s. 421.04.
(2) “City” shall mean any city or town of the state having a population of more than 2,500, according to the last preceding federal or state census. “The city” shall mean the particular city for which a particular housing authority is created.
(3) “Governing body” shall mean the city council, the commission, or other legislative body charged with governing the city, as the case may be.
(4) “Mayor” shall mean the mayor of the city or the officer thereof charged with the duties customarily imposed on the mayor or executive head of the city.
(5) “Clerk” shall mean the clerk of the city or the officer of the city charged with the duties customarily imposed on the clerk thereof.
(6) “Area of operation”:
(a) In the case of a housing authority of a city having a population of less than 25,000, shall include such city and the area within 5 miles of the territorial boundaries thereof; and
(b) In the case of a housing authority of a city having a population of 25,000 or more shall include such city and the area within 10 miles from the territorial boundaries thereof; provided however, that the area of operation of a housing authority of any city shall not include any area which lies within the territorial boundaries of some other city as herein defined; and further provided that the area of operation shall not extend outside of the boundaries of the county in which the city is located and no housing authority shall have any power or jurisdiction outside of the county in which the city is located.
(7) “Federal Government” shall include the United States, the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works or any other agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States.
(8) “Slum” shall mean any area where dwellings predominate which, by reason of dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty arrangement or design, lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, or any combination of these factors, are detrimental to safety, health and morals.
(9) “Housing project” shall mean any work or undertaking:
(a) To demolish, clear, or remove buildings from any slum area; such work or undertaking may embrace the adaption of such area to public purposes, including parks or other recreational or community purposes; or
(b) To provide decent, safe and sanitary urban or rural dwellings, apartments or other living accommodations for persons of low income; such work or undertaking may include buildings, land, equipment, facilities and other real or personal property for necessary, convenient or desirable appurtenances, streets, sewers, water service, parks, site preparation, gardening, administrative, community, health, recreational, educational, welfare or other purposes; or
(c) To accomplish a combination of the foregoing. The term “housing project” also may be applied to the planning of the buildings and improvements, the acquisition of property, the demolition of existing structures, the construction, reconstruction, alteration and repair of the improvements and all other work in connection therewith.
(10) “Persons of low income” shall mean persons or families who lack the amount of income which is necessary, as determined by the authority undertaking the housing project, to enable them, without financial assistance, to live in decent, safe and sanitary dwellings, without overcrowding.
(11) “Debentures” shall mean any notes, interim certificates, debentures, revenue certificates, or other obligations issued by an authority pursuant to this chapter.
(12) “Real property” shall include all lands, including improvements and fixtures thereon, and property of any nature appurtenant thereto, or used in connection therewith, and every estate, interest and right, legal or equitable, therein, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage or otherwise and the indebtedness secured by such liens.
(13) “Obligee of the authority” or “obligee” shall include any holder of debentures, trustee or trustees for any such holders, or lessor demising to the authority property used in connection with a housing project, or any assignee or assignees of such lessor’s interest or any part thereof, and the Federal Government when it is a party to any contract with the authority.
History.s. 3, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-c); s. 1, ch. 20219, 1941; s. 1, ch. 28061, 1953; s. 24, ch. 57-1; s. 1, ch. 67-566.
421.04 Creation of housing authorities.
(1) In each city, as herein defined, there is hereby created a public body corporate and politic to be known as the “Housing Authority” of the city; provided, however, that such authority shall not transact any business or exercise its powers hereunder until or unless the governing body of the city by proper resolution shall declare that there is need for an authority to function in such city. The determination as to whether there is such need for an authority to function:
(a) May be made by the governing body on its own motion; or
(b) Shall be made by the governing body upon the filing of a petition signed by 25 residents of the city asserting that there is need for an authority to function in such city and requesting that the governing body so declare.
(2) The governing body may adopt a resolution declaring that there is need for a housing authority in the city if it shall find that:
(a) Insanitary or unsafe inhabited dwelling accommodations exist in such city; or
(b) There is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations in such city available to persons of low income at rentals they can afford. In determining whether dwelling accommodations are unsafe or insanitary said governing body may take into consideration the degree of overcrowding, the percentage of land coverage, the light, air, space and access available to the inhabitants of such dwelling accommodations, the size and arrangement of the rooms, the sanitary facilities, and the extent to which conditions exist in such buildings which endanger life or property by fire or other causes.
(3) In any suit, action or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of or relating to any contract of the authority, the authority shall be conclusively deemed to have become established and authorized to transact business and exercise its powers hereunder upon proof of the adoption of a resolution by the governing body declaring the need for the authority. Such resolution or resolutions shall be sufficient if it declares that there is such need for an authority and finds in substantially the foregoing terms, no further detail being necessary, that either or both of the above enumerated conditions exist in the city. A copy of such resolution duly certified by the clerk shall be admissible in evidence in any suit, action or proceeding.
(4) Regardless of the date of its creation, a housing authority may not apply to the Federal Government to seize any projects, units, or vouchers of another established housing authority, irrespective of each housing authority’s areas of operation.
History.s. 4, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-d); s. 13, ch. 2016-210.
421.05 Appointment, qualifications, and tenure of commissioners; hiring of employees.
(1) When the governing body of a city adopts a resolution as aforesaid, the mayor, with the approval of the governing body, shall promptly appoint no fewer than five persons, and no more than seven persons, as commissioners of the authority created for such city. Three of the commissioners who are first appointed shall be designated to serve for terms of 1, 2, and 3 years respectively; the remaining commissioners shall be designated to serve for terms of 4 years each, from the date of their appointment. Thereafter, each commissioner shall be appointed as aforesaid for a term of office of 4 years, except that a vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term by an appointment by the mayor with the approval of the governing body within 60 days after such vacancy occurs. Each housing authority created pursuant to this chapter shall have at least one commissioner who shall be a resident who is current in rent in a housing project or a person of low or very low income who resides within the housing authority’s jurisdiction and is receiving rent subsidy through a program administered by the authority or public housing agency that has jurisdiction for the same locality served by the housing authority, which commissioner shall be appointed at the time a vacancy exists. In the case of an authority which has no completed project, no tenant-commissioner shall be appointed until 10 percent of the units in the first project of the authority have been occupied. The cessation of a tenant-commissioner’s tenancy in a housing project or the cessation of rent subsidy shall remove such tenant-commissioner from office, and another person meeting the qualifications required for the office shall be appointed for the unexpired portion of the term. After all reasonable efforts have been made and documented, if the commissioners find that no housing project resident or rent subsidy recipient is available to serve as a tenant-commissioner, the existing vacancy shall then be filled through the normal appointment procedures set forth in this subsection. However, such normal appointment shall not preclude the requirement to exercise diligence in all succeeding vacancies to attempt to first appoint a tenant-commissioner until at least one tenant-commissioner has been appointed. No commissioner of an authority may be an officer or employee of the city for which the authority is created. A commissioner shall hold office until a successor has been appointed and has qualified. A certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner shall be filed with the clerk, and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner. A commissioner shall receive no compensation for his or her services but shall be entitled to the necessary expenses, including travel expenses, incurred in the discharge of his or her duties. The requirements of this subsection with respect to the number of commissioners of a housing authority apply without regard to the date on which the housing authority was created.
(2) The powers of each authority shall be vested in the commissioners thereof in office from time to time. A majority of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum of the authority for the purpose of conducting its business and exercising its powers and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the authority upon a vote of a majority of the commissioners present, unless in any case the bylaws of the authority require a larger number. The mayor with the concurrence of the governing body shall designate the first chair from among the appointed commissioners, but when the office of the chair of the authority thereafter becomes vacant, the authority shall select a chair from among the commissioners. An authority shall also select from among the commissioners a vice chair, and it may employ a secretary, who shall be the executive director, technical experts, and such other officers, agents, and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require and shall determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation. Accordingly, authorities are exempt from s. 215.425. An authority may call upon the chief law officer of the city or may employ its own counsel and legal staff for legal services. An authority may delegate to one or more of its agents or employees such powers or duties as it may deem proper.
(3) Notwithstanding the limitation contained in subsection (1) on the number of commissioners of a housing authority, any housing authority that has more than seven commissioners on March 28, 1991, may maintain the same number of commissioners it had on March 28, 1991.
History.s. 5, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-e); s. 1, ch. 59-413; s. 1, ch. 78-165; ss. 1, 2, ch. 80-357; s. 273, ch. 81-259; s. 1, ch. 84-250; s. 1, ch. 89-33; ss. 1, 2, ch. 91-6; s. 82, ch. 97-103; s. 14, ch. 2016-210.
421.06 Commissioners or employees prohibited from acquiring interests in housing projects and required to disclose interests in specified properties; exception.Except for the leasehold interest held by a tenant-commissioner in the housing project in which he or she is a tenant, no commissioner or employee of an authority shall acquire any interest, direct or indirect, in any housing project or in any property included or planned to be included in any project, nor shall he or she have any interest, direct or indirect, in any contract or proposed contract for materials or services to be furnished or used in connection with any housing project. If a commissioner or employee of an authority owns or controls an interest, direct or indirect, in any property included or planned to be included in any housing project, he or she shall immediately disclose the same in writing to the authority. Such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the authority. Failure so to disclose such interest constitutes misconduct in office.
History.s. 6, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-f); s. 2, ch. 84-250; s. 83, ch. 97-103.
421.07 Removal of commissioners.For inefficiency or neglect of duty or misconduct in office, a commissioner of an authority may be removed by the mayor with the concurrence of the governing body, but a commissioner shall be removed only after he or she shall have been given a copy of the charges 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 any commissioner, a record of the proceedings, together with the charges and findings thereon, shall be filed in the office of the clerk.
History.s. 7, ch. 17981; 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-g); s. 2, ch. 59-413; s. 84, ch. 97-103.
421.08 Powers of authority.An authority shall constitute a public body corporate and politic, exercising the public and essential governmental functions set forth in this chapter, and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purpose and provisions of this chapter, including the following powers in addition to others herein granted:
(1) To sue and 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; to appear in court through any of its officers, agents, or employees, for the exclusive purpose of filing eviction papers; and to make and from time to time amend and repeal bylaws, rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this chapter, to carry into effect the powers and purposes of the authority.
(2) 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.
(3) 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; provided, however, that notwithstanding any other power or provision in this chapter, the authority shall not construct, lease, control, purchase, or otherwise establish in connection with or as a part of any housing project or any other real or any other property under its control, any system, work, facilities, plants, or other equipment for the purpose of furnishing utility service of any kind to such projects or to any tenant or occupant thereof in the event that a system, work, facility, plant, or other equipment for the furnishing of the same utility service is being actually operated by a municipality or private concern in the area of operation or the city or the territory immediately adjacent thereto; provided, further, that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the construction or acquisition by the authority of any system, work, facilities, or other equipment for the sole and only purpose of receiving utility services from any such municipality or such private concern and then distributing such utility services to the project and to the tenants and occupants thereof; and, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this chapter 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.
(4) 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 chapter, 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 such debts or parts thereof, whether or not incurred by said authority, including the power to pay premiums on any such insurance.
(5) 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 debentures at a price not more than the principal amount thereof and accrued interest, all debentures so purchased to be canceled.
(6) 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 reconstruction of slum areas and the problem of providing dwelling accommodations for persons of low income; to administer fair housing ordinances and other ordinances as adopted by cities, counties, or other authorities who wish to contract for administrative services 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.
(7) 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 for 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 insanitary 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.
(8)(a) To organize for the purpose of creating a for-profit or not-for-profit corporation, limited liability company, or other similar business entity pursuant to all applicable laws of this state in which the housing authority may hold an ownership interest or participate in its governance in order to develop, acquire, lease, construct, rehabilitate, manage, or operate multifamily or single-family residential projects. These projects may include nonresidential uses and may use public and private funds to serve individuals or families who meet the applicable income requirements of the state or federal program involved; whose income does not exceed 150 percent of the applicable median income for the area, as established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; and who, in the determination of the housing authority, lack sufficient income or assets to enable them to purchase or rent a decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling. These corporations, limited liability companies, or other business entities may join partnerships, joint ventures, or limited liability companies pursuant to applicable laws or may otherwise engage with business entities in developing, acquiring, leasing, constructing, rehabilitating, managing, or operating such projects.
(b) The creation by a housing authority of such a corporation, limited liability company, or other business entity that is properly registered pursuant to all applicable laws before the effective date of this act is ratified and validated if the creation of such corporation, limited liability company, or other business entity would have been valid had this act been in effect at the time such corporation, limited liability company, or other business entity was created and registered.
(c) Proceedings or acts performed by a housing authority or a corporation, limited liability company, or other business entity authorized pursuant to paragraph (b) are ratified and validated if such proceedings or acts were in furtherance of the purposes set forth in this chapter and would have been valid had this act been in effect at the time such proceedings or acts were performed.
(9) Notwithstanding s. 112.061, the governing board of an authority may approve and implement policies for per diem, travel, and other expenses of its officials, officers, board members, employees, and authorized persons in a manner consistent with federal guidelines.
(10) To exercise all or any part or combination of powers herein granted. No provisions of law with respect to acquisition, operation, or disposition of property by other public bodies shall be applicable to an authority unless the Legislature shall specifically so state.
History.s. 8, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-h); s. 37, ch. 86-192; s. 1, ch. 87-109; s. 3, ch. 2005-54.
421.09 Operation not for profit.
(1) It is the policy of this state that each housing authority shall manage and operate its housing projects in an efficient manner so as to enable it to fix the rentals for dwelling accommodations at the lowest possible rates consistent with its providing decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling accommodations, and that a housing authority may not construct or operate any such project for profit, or as a source of revenue to the city. To this end an authority may not fix the rentals for dwellings in its project at a higher rate than it finds necessary in order to produce revenues that, together with all other available moneys, revenue, income, and receipts of the authority from whatever sources derived, will be sufficient:
(a) To pay, as they become due, the principal and interest on the debentures of the authority;
(b) To meet the cost of, and to provide for, maintaining and operating the projects, including the cost of any insurance and the administrative expenses of the authority; and
(c) To create, during not less than the 6 years immediately succeeding its issuance of any debentures, a reserve sufficient to meet the largest principal and interest payments that will be due on such debentures in any one year thereafter, and to maintain such reserve.
(2) This section does not prohibit or restrict the activities or operations of a business entity created under s. 421.08(8).
History.s. 9, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-i); s. 4, ch. 2005-54.
421.091 Financial accounting and investments; fiscal year.
(1) A complete and full financial accounting and audit in accordance with federal audit standards of public housing agencies shall be made biennially by a certified public accountant and submitted to the Federal Government in accordance with its policies. Housing authorities are otherwise exempt from the reporting requirements of s. 218.32.
(2) The fiscal year of a housing authority shall be the fiscal year established by the Federal Government.
History.s. 3, ch. 59-413; s. 2, ch. 78-165; s. 3, ch. 83-106; s. 15, ch. 2016-210.
421.10 Rentals and tenant selection.
(1) In the operation or management of housing projects an authority shall at all times observe the following duties with respect to rentals and tenant selection:
(a) It may rent or lease the dwelling accommodations therein only to persons of low income and at rentals within the financial reach of such persons of low income.
(b) It may rent or lease to a tenant dwelling accommodations consisting of the number of rooms, but no greater number, which it deems necessary to provide safe and sanitary accommodations to the proposed occupants thereof, without overcrowding.
(c) It shall accept any person as a tenant in any housing project according to the appropriate guidelines as established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development or other federal agencies.
(d) The Department of Children and Families, pursuant to 45 C.F.R. s. 233.20(a)(3)(vii)(c), may not consider as income for recipients of temporary cash assistance any assistance received by recipients from other agencies or organizations such as public housing authorities.
(2) Nothing contained in this section or s. 421.09 shall be construed as limiting the power of an authority to vest in an obligee the right, in the event of a default by the authority, to take possession of a housing project or cause the appointment of a receiver thereof, free from all the restrictions imposed by this section or s. 421.09.
(3) This section shall not apply to housing facilities financed by loans made for the purpose of providing such facilities for domestic farm labor pursuant to s. 514 of the Federal Housing Act of 1949.
History.s. 10, ch. 17981, 1937; s. 1, ch. 19510, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-j); s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 1, ch. 65-223; s. 3, ch. 78-165; s. 104, ch. 96-175; s. 203, ch. 99-8; s. 84, ch. 2000-153; s. 101, ch. 2000-165; s. 241, ch. 2014-19.
421.101 False representations to obtain lower rent in housing accommodations; penalty.Whoever makes a false statement or representation, knowing it to be false, or knowingly fails to disclose a material fact in order to obtain a lower rent for housing accommodations in a low-rent housing development operated pursuant to this chapter, than the rental such person is required to pay pursuant to federal or state statutes, schedule of rents or rules and regulations as determined and fixed by housing authorities created pursuant to this chapter, aforesaid, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; and each such false statement or representation or failure to disclose a material fact as aforesaid shall constitute a separate offense.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-468; s. 362, ch. 71-136.
421.11 Cooperation of authorities.
(1) Any two or more housing authorities may join or cooperate with one another in the exercise, either jointly or otherwise, of any or all of their powers for the purpose of financing, including the issuance of bonds, debentures, notes or other obligations and giving security therefor; planning; undertaking; owning; constructing; operating; or contracting with respect to a housing project or projects located within the area of operation of any one or more of said authorities. For such purpose, an authority may by resolution prescribe and authorize any other housing authority or authorities, so joining or cooperating with it, to act on its behalf with respect to any or all such powers. Any authorities joining or cooperating with one another may by resolutions appoint from among the commissioners of such authorities an executive committee with full power to act on behalf of such authorities with respect to any or all of their powers, as prescribed by resolutions of such authorities.
(2) Any county housing authority may enter into an interlocal agreement with one or more local governing bodies pursuant to the provisions of s. 163.01, the Florida Interlocal Cooperation Act of 1969, with respect to projects or programs located within the county or an adjacent county, and any city housing authority may enter into such agreement with respect to projects or programs located within the county, provided that no power granted an authority under s. 421.08 may be reserved to or exercised by a local governing body under such agreement.
History.s. 11, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-k); s. 1, ch. 21699, 1943; s. 4, ch. 78-165; s. 38, ch. 86-192.
421.12 Eminent domain.An authority shall have the right to acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain any real property which it may deem necessary for its purposes under this chapter after the adoption by it of a resolution declaring that the acquisition of the real property described therein is necessary for such purposes. An authority may exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner provided in chapters 73 and 74. Property already devoted to a public use may be acquired in like manner, provided that no real property belonging to the city, the county, the state or any political subdivision thereof may be acquired without its consent.
History.s. 12, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-l).
421.13 Planning, zoning and building laws.All housing projects of an authority shall be subject to the planning, zoning, sanitary and building laws, ordinances and regulations applicable to the locality in which the housing project is situated. In the planning and location of any housing project, an authority shall take into consideration the relationship of the project to any larger plan or long-range program for the development of the area in which the housing authority functions.
History.s. 13, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-x).
421.14 Debentures.
(1) An authority may issue debentures from time to time in its discretion, for any of its corporate purposes. An authority may also issue refunding debentures for the purpose of paying or retiring debentures previously issued by it. An authority may issue such types of debentures as it may determine, including debentures on which the principal and interest are payable:
(a) Exclusively from the income and revenues of the housing project financed with the proceeds of such debentures, or with such proceeds together with a grant from the federal government in aid of such project;
(b) Exclusively from the income and revenues of certain designated housing projects whether or not they were financed in whole or in part with the proceeds of such debentures; or
(c) From its revenues generally.

Any of such debentures may be additionally secured by a pledge of any revenues of any housing project, projects or other property of the authority.

(2) Neither the commissioners of an authority nor any person executing the debentures shall be liable personally on the debentures by reason of the issuance thereof. The debentures and other obligations of an authority, and such debentures and obligations shall so state on their face, shall not be a debt of the city, the county, the state or any political subdivision thereof, and neither the city or the county, nor the state or any political subdivision thereof shall be liable thereon, nor in any event shall such debentures or obligations be payable out of any funds or properties other than those of said authority. The debentures shall not constitute an indebtedness within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory debt or bond limitation or restriction.
History.s. 14, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-y).
421.15 Form and sale of debentures.
(1) Debentures of an authority shall be authorized by its resolution and may be issued in one or more series and shall bear such dates, mature at such times, bear an average interest cost rate net of federal subsidies not exceeding the rate established according to s. 215.84, be in such denominations, be in such form, either coupon or registered, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment, at such places and be subject to such terms of redemption, with or without premium, as such resolution or its trust indenture may provide.
(2) The debentures may be sold at public sale held after notice published once at least 5 days prior to such sale in a newspaper having a general circulation in the city and in a financial newspaper published in the City of Chicago, Illinois, or in the City of New York, New York; however, such debentures may be sold to the Federal Government at private sale without any public advertisement.
(3) In the event an offer of an issue of debentures at public sale produces no bid, or in the event all bids received are rejected, the authority is authorized to negotiate for the sale of such debentures under such rates and terms as are acceptable; however, upon their sale, the State Board of Administration shall be notified, and no such bonds shall be so sold or delivered on terms less favorable than the terms contained in any bids rejected at the public sale thereof, or the terms contained in the notice of public sale if no bids were received at such public sale.
(4) In case any of the commissioners or officers of the authority whose signatures appear on any debentures or coupons shall cease to be such commissioners or officers before the delivery of such debentures, such signatures shall, nevertheless, be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if such commissioners or officers had remained in office until such delivery. Any provision of any law to the contrary notwithstanding, any debentures issued pursuant to this chapter shall be fully negotiable.
(5) In any suit, action, or proceedings involving the validity or enforceability of any debenture of an authority or the security therefor, any such debenture reciting in substance that it has been issued by the authority to aid in financing a housing project to provide dwelling accommodations for persons of low income shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued for a housing project of such character; and said project shall be conclusively deemed to have been planned, located, and constructed in accordance with the purposes and provisions of this chapter.
History.s. 15, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-z); s. 5, ch. 78-165; s. 30, ch. 83-215.
421.16 Provisions of debentures and trust indentures.In connection with the issuance of debentures or the incurring of obligations under leases and in order to secure the payment of such indentures or obligations, an authority, in addition to its other powers, shall have power:
(1) To pledge all or any part of its gross or net rents, gross or net fees or gross or net revenues to which its right then exists or may thereafter come into existence.
(2) To covenant against pledging all or any part of its rents, fees and revenues, or against mortgaging all or any part of its real or personal property, to which its right or title then exists or may thereafter come into existence or against permitting or suffering any lien on such revenues or property; to covenant with respect to limitations on its rights to sell, lease or to otherwise dispose of any housing project or any part thereof; and to covenant as to what other, or additional debts or obligations may be incurred by it.
(3) To covenant as to the debentures to be issued and as to the issuance of such debentures in escrow or otherwise, and as to the use and disposition of the proceeds thereof; to provide for the replacement of lost, destroyed or mutilated debentures; to covenant against extending the time for the payment of its debentures or interest thereon; and to redeem the debentures, and to covenant for their redemption and to provide the terms and conditions thereof.
(4) To covenant, subject to the limitations contained in this chapter, as to the rents and fees to be charged in the operation of a housing project or projects, the amount to be raised each year or other period of time by rents, fees and other revenues, and as to the use and disposition to be made thereof; to create or to authorize the creation of special funds for moneys held for construction or operating costs, debt service, reserves, or other purposes, and to covenant as to the use and disposition of the moneys held in such funds.
(5) To prescribe the procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with the holders of debentures may be amended or abrogated, the amount of debentures the holders of which must consent thereto, and the manner in which such consent may be given.
(6) To covenant as to the use of any or all of its real or personal property; and to covenant as to the maintenance of its real and personal property, the replacement thereof, the insurance to be carried thereon and the use and disposition of insurance moneys.
(7) To covenant as to the rights, liabilities, powers and duties arising upon the breach by it of any covenant, condition, or obligation, and to covenant and prescribe as to events of default and terms and conditions upon which any or all of its debentures or obligations shall become or may be declared due before maturity, and as to the terms and conditions upon which such declaration and its consequences may be waived.
(8) To vest in a trustee or trustees or the holders of debentures or any proportion of them the right to enforce the payment of the debentures or any covenants securing or relating to the debentures; to vest in a trustee or trustees the right, in the event of a default by said authority, to take possession and use, operate and manage any housing project or part thereof, and to collect the rents and revenues arising therefrom and to dispose of such moneys in accordance with the agreement of the authority with said trustee; to provide for the powers and duties of a trustee or trustees and to limit the liabilities thereof; and to provide the terms and conditions upon which the trustee or trustees or the holders of debentures or any proportion of them may enforce any covenant or rights securing or relating to the debentures.
(9) To exercise all or any part or combination of the powers herein granted.
History.s. 16, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-aa).
421.17 Validation of debentures and proceedings.
(1) A housing authority shall have the right, if it deems it expedient, to determine its authority to issue any debentures, and the legality of all proceedings had or taken in connection therewith, in the same manner and to the same extent, except as otherwise provided in this section, as provided in chapter 75 for the determination by a county, municipality, taxing district, or other political district or subdivision of its authority to incur bonded debt or to issue certificates of indebtedness and of the legality of all proceedings had or taken in connection therewith.
(2) The petition to validate such debentures, and the proceedings had or taken in connection therewith, shall be filed by the housing authority in the circuit court for the county in which is located the city for which said housing authority was created, except that whenever it appears that a housing authority is empowered to function in more than one county the circuit court of any county in the whole or any part of which the housing authority is empowered to function shall have jurisdiction of the cause in the same manner as provided in said chapter whenever a municipality, taxing district or other political district or subdivision shall extend into more than one county.
(3) The notice required by s. 75.06 shall be addressed to the taxpayers and citizens of the city for which such housing authority has been created and of the county, or counties, in the event such housing authority is empowered to function in more than one county, in the whole or any part of which the housing authority is empowered to function; and by the publication of such notice as required by said chapter 75 all taxpayers and citizens of such city and such county or counties, as the case may be, shall be considered as parties defendant to such proceedings, and the circuit court in which the proceeding is brought shall have jurisdiction of all of the same as if they were named defendants in the petition filed pursuant to said chapter and personally served with process.
(4) In the event no appeal is taken within the time prescribed by said chapter, or if taken, and the decree validating said debentures is affirmed by the Supreme Court, the decree of the circuit court validating and confirming the issuance of the debentures of the housing authority shall be forever conclusive as to the validity of said debentures against the housing authority and against all taxpayers and citizens of the city for which said housing authority was created and of the county or counties in the whole or part of which the housing authority is empowered to function; and the validity of said debentures shall never be called in question in any court in this state. Debentures of a housing authority, when issued under the provisions of said chapter, shall have stamped or written thereon by the proper officers of the housing authority issuing the same, the words: “Validated and Confirmed by Decree of the Circuit Court,” specifying the date when such decree was rendered and the court in which it was rendered, which shall be signed by the clerk of the circuit court in which the decree was rendered, which entry shall be original evidence of said decree in any court in this state.
History.s. 17, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-bb).
421.18 Remedies of an obligee of authority.An obligee of an authority shall have the right in addition to all other rights which may be conferred on such obligee, subject only to any contractual restrictions binding upon such obligee:
(1) By mandamus, suit, action or proceeding at law or in equity to compel said authority and the commissioners, officers, agents or employees thereof to perform each and every term, provision and covenant contained in any contract of said authority with or for the benefit of such obligee, and to require the carrying out of any or all such covenants and agreements of said authority and the fulfillment of all duties imposed upon said authority by this chapter.
(2) By suit, action or proceeding in equity, to enjoin any acts or things which may be unlawful, or the violation of any of the rights of such obligee of said authority.
History.s. 18, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-cc).
421.19 Additional remedies conferrable by authority.An authority shall have power by its resolution, trust indenture, lease or other contract to confer upon any obligee holding or representing a specified amount in debentures, or holding a lease, the right, in addition to all rights that may otherwise be conferred, upon the happening of an event of default as defined in such resolution or instrument, by suit, action or proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction:
(1) To cause possession of any housing project or any part thereof to be surrendered to any such obligee.
(2) To obtain the appointment of a receiver of any housing project of said authority or any part thereof and of the rents and profits therefrom. If such receiver be appointed, he or she may enter and take possession of such housing project or any part thereof and operate and maintain same, and collect and receive all fees, rents, revenues, or other charges thereafter arising therefrom, and shall keep such moneys in a separate account or accounts and apply the same in accordance with the obligation of said authority as the court shall direct.
(3) To require said authority and the commissioners thereof to account as if it and they were the trustees of an express trust.
History.s. 19, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-dd); s. 85, ch. 97-103.
421.21 Aid from Federal Government; tax exemptions.
(1) In addition to the powers conferred upon an authority by other provisions of this chapter, an authority is empowered to borrow money or accept grants or other financial assistance from the Federal Government for or in aid of any housing project within its area of operation, to take over or lease or manage any housing project or undertaking constructed or owned by the Federal Government, and to these ends, to comply with such conditions and enter into such trust indentures, leases or agreements as may be necessary, convenient or desirable. It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to authorize every authority to do any and all things necessary or desirable to secure the financial aid or cooperation of the Federal Government in the undertaking, construction, maintenance or operation of any housing project by such authority.
(2) In addition to the powers conferred upon an authority by subsection (1) and other provisions of this chapter, an authority is empowered to borrow money or accept grants or other financial assistance from the Federal Government under s. 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 (Pub. L. No. 86-372) or any law or program of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides for direct federal loans in the maximum amount, as defined therein, for the purpose of assisting certain nonprofit corporations to provide housing and related facilities for elderly families and elderly persons.
(a) Housing authorities created under this section are authorized to execute mortgages, notes, bills, or other forms of indebtedness together with any agreements, contracts, or other instruments required by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in connection with loans made for the purposes set forth in this subsection.
(b) This provision relating to housing facilities for the elderly is cumulative and in addition to the powers given to housing authorities under this chapter. All powers granted generally by law to housing authorities in Florida relating to issuance of trust indentures, debentures, and other methods of raising capital shall apply also to housing authorities in connection with their participation in programs of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
(3) It is the legislative intent that the tax exemption of housing authorities provided by chapter 423, shall specifically apply to any housing authority created under this section.
History.s. 21, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-ff); ss. 1, 2, ch. 61-197; s. 7, ch. 78-165.
421.22 Reports.At least once a year, an authority shall file with the clerk a report of its activities for the preceding year, and shall make recommendations with reference to such additional legislation or other action as it deems necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
History.s. 22, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-gg).
421.23 Liabilities of authority.The liabilities, whether ex contractu or ex delicto, of an authority arising from the operation of its housing projects, may not be paid from any funds other than the rents, fees, or revenues of such projects and any grants or subsidies paid to such authority by the Federal Government, unless other funds are lawfully pledged by the authority’s governing board.
History.s. 23, ch. 17981, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-hh); s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 5, ch. 2005-54.
421.24 Organization and establishment.The establishment and organization of housing authorities in the state under the provisions of the Housing Authorities Law of this state, together with all proceedings, acts and things heretofore undertaken, performed or done with reference thereto, are hereby validated, ratified, confirmed, approved and declared legal in all respects, notwithstanding any defect or irregularity therein or any want of statutory authority.
History.s. 1, ch. 19511, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-kk).
421.25 Contracts and undertakings.All contracts, agreements, obligations, and undertakings of such housing authorities heretofore entered into relating to financing or aiding in the development, construction, maintenance, or operation of any housing project or projects or to obtaining aid therefor from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, loan and annual contributions, contracts and leases with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, agreements with municipalities or other public bodies, including those which are pledged or authorized to be pledged for the protection of the holders of any notes or bonds issued by such housing authorities or which are otherwise made a part of the contract with such holders of notes or bonds, relating to cooperation and contributions in aid of housing projects, payments, if any, in lieu of taxes, furnishing of municipal services and facilities, and the elimination of unsafe and insanitary dwellings, and contracts for the construction of housing projects, together with all proceedings, acts, and things heretofore undertaken, performed, or done with reference thereto, are hereby validated, ratified, confirmed, approved, and declared legal in all respects, notwithstanding any defect or irregularity therein or any want of statutory authority.
History.s. 2, ch. 19511, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-ll); s. 8, ch. 78-165.
421.26 Notes and bonds.All proceedings, acts and things heretofore undertaken, performed or done in or for the authorization, issuance, execution and delivery of notes and bonds by housing authorities for the purpose of financing or aiding in the development or construction of a housing project or projects, and all notes and bonds heretofore issued by housing authorities are hereby validated, ratified, confirmed, approved and declared legal in all respects, notwithstanding any defect or irregularity therein or any want of statutory authority.
History.s. 3, ch. 19511, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 7100(3-mm).
421.261 Continuance of municipal housing authorities when municipality abolished; counties in excess of 400,000.Whenever a municipality in any county having a population in excess of 400,000 according to the most recent official census has been or hereafter shall be abolished, wherein at the time of such abolishment a housing authority of such municipality was or is in existence, such housing authority shall continue to function in all respects; provided, however, that the name of such housing authority shall thenceforth be such as may be determined by the county commissioners of the county wherein it functions. Each such housing authority and the commissioners thereof, within the area of operation of such housing authority as hereinafter defined, shall have the same functions, rights, powers, duties, immunities and privileges provided for housing authorities created for cities. Each such housing authority shall continue to operate and prosecute all projects operated or initiated by it prior to the abolishment of the municipality, and shall be entitled to all benefits and privileges thereafter conferred upon housing authorities for cities. The commissioners of each such housing authority shall continue in office after the abolishment of the particular municipality for the remainder of their respective terms. Their successors shall be appointed by resolution of the commissioners of the county. As used in the Housing Authorities Law, the terms “mayor” and “governing body” shall be construed as meaning “county commissioners,” the term “city” as used therein shall be construed as meaning “county,” and the term “clerk” as used therein shall be construed as meaning “clerk of the circuit court of the county,” unless different meanings clearly appear from the contents. The area of operation of any such housing authority shall continue to be the same as that before the abolishment of the municipality, unless extended by resolution of the county commissioners, provided that no such extension shall include any territory lying within a city as defined in the Housing Authorities Law.
History.s. 1, ch. 28305, 1953.
421.27 Housing authorities in counties.
(1) In each county of the state there is hereby created a public body corporate and politic to be known as the “housing authority” of the county; provided, however, that such housing authority shall not transact any business or exercise its powers hereunder until or unless the governing body of such county, by proper resolution shall declare at any time hereafter that there is need for a housing authority to function in and for such county, which declaration shall be made by such governing body for such county in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as the declaration of the governing body of a city required by s. 421.04 for the purpose of authorizing a housing authority created for a city to transact business and exercise its powers, except that the petition referred to in said s. 421.04 shall be signed by 25 residents of such county.
(2) Upon notification of the adoption of such resolution the commissioners of a housing authority created for a county, who shall be qualified electors of such county, shall be appointed by the Governor in the same manner as the commissioners of a housing authority created for a city may be appointed by the mayor; and except as otherwise provided herein, each housing authority created for a county and the commissioners thereof, within the area of operation of such housing authority as hereinafter defined, shall have the same functions, rights, powers, duties, immunities and privileges provided for housing authorities created for cities 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 were applicable to housing authorities created for counties; provided, that for such purposes the term “mayor” as used in the Housing Authorities Law shall be construed as meaning “Governor,” the term “governing body” as used therein shall be construed as meaning “county commissioners,” the term “city” as used therein shall be construed as meaning “county,” and the term “clerk” as used therein shall be construed as meaning “county clerk,” as herein defined, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context; and provided further that the Governor may appoint any persons as commissioners of a housing authority created for a county who are qualified electors in such county; and provided further that such commissioners may be removed or suspended in the same manner and for the same reasons as other officers appointed by the Governor.
(3) The area of operation of a housing authority created for a county shall include all of the county for which it is created except that portion of the county which lies within the territorial boundaries of any city as defined in the Housing Authorities Law, as amended.
History.s. 1, ch. 20220, 1941.
421.28 Creation of regional housing authority.
(1) If the governing body 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 powers and other functions herein prescribed in such counties, a public body corporate and politic to be known as a regional housing authority shall thereupon exist for all of such counties and exercise its powers and other functions in such counties; and thereupon each housing authority created by s. 421.27 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 hereafter provided; provided that the governing body of a county shall not adopt a resolution as aforesaid if there is a housing authority created for such county which has any obligations outstanding unless first:
(a) All obligees of such county housing authority and parties to the contracts, bonds, notes and other obligations of such county housing authority agree with such county housing authority 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
(b) 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 may have been asserted, enforced and prosecuted against such county housing authority.

(2) 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 with the recorder of deeds of the county where such real property is, provided that nothing contained in this sentence shall affect the vesting of property in the regional housing authority as provided above.
(3) The governing body 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 powers and other functions herein prescribed in such counties, if such governing body 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 and 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.
(4) 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 governing body 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 a regional housing authority and finds in substantially the foregoing terms, no further detail being necessary, that the conditions enumerated in subsection (3) exist. A copy of such resolution of the governing body of a county, duly certified by the county clerk of such county, shall be admissible in evidence in any suit, action or proceeding.
History.s. 1, ch. 20220, 1941.
421.29 Area of operation of regional housing authority.
(1) The area of operation of a regional housing authority shall include all of the counties for which such regional housing authority is created and established except such portions of the counties which lie within the territorial boundaries of cities, as defined in the Housing Authorities Law, as amended.
(2) The area of operation of a regional housing authority shall be increased from time to time to include one or more additional counties not already within a regional housing authority, except such portion or portions of such additional county or counties which lie within the territorial boundaries of any city, as defined, if the governing body 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 governing body 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 by s. 421.27 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:
(a) All obligees of any such county housing authority and parties to the contracts, bonds, notes and other obligations of any such county housing authority agree with such county housing authority and the regional housing authority 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:
(b) The commissioners of such county housing authority and the commissioners of such regional housing authority adopt resolutions 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 may have been asserted, enforced and prosecuted against such county housing authority.
(3) 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 with the recorder of deeds of the county where such real property is, provided that nothing contained in this sentence shall affect the vesting of property in the regional housing authority as provided above.
(4) The governing body of each of the counties in the regional housing authority, the commissioners of the regional housing authority and the governing body of each such additional county or counties shall by resolution declare that there is a need for the addition of such county or counties to the regional housing authority, if:
(a) The governing body of each of 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 governing body 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 governing body 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 shall be increased to include such additional county or counties.
(5) In determining whether dwelling accommodations are unsafe or insanitary under this or s. 421.28, the governing body of a county shall take into consideration the safety and sanitation of the dwellings, the light and airspace 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 buildings which endanger life or property by fire or other causes.
(6) 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 of its area of operation.
(7) No governing body of a county shall adopt any resolution authorized by this or s. 421.28 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 10 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 state 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.
History.s. 1, ch. 20220, 1941; s. 150, ch. 77-104.
421.30 Commissioners of regional authorities.
(1) When a regional housing authority has been created as provided above, the Governor shall thereupon appoint one qualified elector from each county included in such regional housing authority as a commissioner of the regional housing authority. When the area of operation of a regional housing authority is increased to include an additional county or counties as herein provided, the Governor shall thereupon appoint one qualified elector from each such additional county as a commissioner of the regional housing authority. 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 as provided above for such county, shall be thereupon abolished.
(2) If the area of operation of a regional housing authority consists at any time of an even number of counties, the Governor shall appoint one additional commissioner, who shall be a qualified elector from one of the counties in such area of operation, 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.
(3) A certificate of the appointment of any commissioner of a regional housing authority shall be filed with the county clerk of the county from which the commissioner is appointed, and such certificate 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 4 years, except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms. Each commissioner shall hold office until a successor has been appointed and has qualified, except as otherwise provided herein. The Governor shall thereafter appoint the successor of each commissioner of a regional housing authority.
(4) The commissioners appointed as aforesaid shall constitute the regional housing authority, and the powers of such authority shall be vested in such commissioners in office from time to time.
(5) The commissioners of a regional housing authority shall elect a chair 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.
History.s. 1, ch. 20220, 1941; s. 2, ch. 21699, 1943; s. 86, ch. 97-103.
421.31 Powers of regional housing authority; definitions.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 and immunities provided for housing authorities created for cities or 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 or counties were applicable to regional housing authorities; provided that for such purposes the term “mayor” as used in the Housing Authorities Law shall be construed as meaning “Governor,” the term “governing body” as used therein shall be construed as meaning “county commissioners,” the term “city” as used therein shall be construed as meaning “county” and the term “clerk” as used therein shall be construed as meaning “county clerk,” as herein defined, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context; and provided further that the Governor may appoint any person as commissioner of a regional housing authority who is a qualified elector in the county from which he or she is appointed; and provided further that any commissioner of a regional housing authority may be removed or suspended in the same manner and for the same reason as other officers appointed by the Governor. A regional housing authority shall have power to select any appropriate corporate name.
History.s. 1, ch. 20220, 1941; s. 87, ch. 97-103.
421.32 Rural housing projects.County housing authorities and regional housing authorities are specifically empowered and authorized to borrow money, accept grants and exercise their other powers to provide housing for farmers of low income and domestic farm labor as defined in s. 514 of the Federal Housing Act of 1949. In connection with such projects, any such housing authority may enter into such leases or purchase agreements, accept such conveyances and rent or sell dwellings forming part of such projects to or for farmers of low income, as such housing authority deems necessary in order to assure the achievement of the objectives of this law. Such leases, agreements or conveyances may include such covenants as the housing authority deems appropriate regarding such dwellings and the tracts of land described in any such instrument, which covenants shall be deemed to run with the land where the housing authority deems it necessary and the parties to such instrument so stipulate. In providing housing for farmers of low income, county housing authorities and regional housing authorities shall not be subject to the limitations provided in ss. 421.08(3) and 421.10(3). Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as limiting any other powers of any housing authority.
History.s. 1, ch. 20220, 1941; s. 3, ch. 65-223.
421.321 Execution of mortgages.County and regional housing authorities organized under this chapter are authorized to execute mortgages encumbering real property as security for loans made for providing facilities for domestic farm labor pursuant to s. 514 of the Federal Housing Act of 1949.
History.s. 4, ch. 65-223.
421.33 Housing applications by farmers.The owner of any farm operated, or worked upon, by farmers of low income in need of safe and sanitary housing may file an application with a housing authority created for a county or a regional housing authority requesting that it provide for a safe and sanitary dwelling or dwellings for occupancy by such farmers of low income. Such applications shall be received and examined by housing authorities in connection with the formulation of projects or programs to provide housing for farmers of low income. Provided, however, that if it becomes necessary for an applicant under this section to convey any portion of the applicant’s then homestead in order to take advantages as provided herein, then in that event, the parting with title to a portion of said homestead shall not affect the remaining portion of same, but all rights that said owner may have in and to same under and by virtue of the Constitution of the state or any law passed pursuant thereto, shall be deemed and held to apply to such remaining portion of said land, the title of which remains in said applicant; it being the intention of the Legislature to permit the owner of any farm operated or worked upon by farmers of low income in need of safe and sanitary housing to take advantage of the provisions of this law without jeopardizing their rights in their then homestead by reason of any requirement that may be necessary in order for them to receive the benefits herein provided; and no court shall ever construe that an applicant who has taken advantage of this law has in any manner, shape, or form abandoned his or her rights in any property that is the applicant’s then homestead by virtue of such action upon his or her part, but it shall be held, construed, and deemed that such action upon the part of any applicant hereunder was not any abandonment of the applicant’s then homestead, and that all rights that the applicant then had therein shall be and remain as provided by the Constitution and any law enacted pursuant thereto.
History.s. 1, ch. 20220, 1941; s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 88, ch. 97-103; s. 85, ch. 2000-153.
421.34 Additional definitions.
(1) “Farmers of low income,” as used in this law, shall mean persons or families who at the time of their admission to occupancy in a dwelling of a housing authority:
(a) Live under unsafe or insanitary housing conditions;
(b) Derive their principal income from operating or working upon a farm; and
(c) Had an aggregate average annual net income for the 3 years preceding their admission that was less than the amount determined by the housing authority to be necessary, within its area of operation, to enable them, without financial assistance, to obtain decent, safe, and sanitary housing without overcrowding;

provided, however, that this definition shall not apply to persons using facilities the construction of which was financed with proceeds of loans made pursuant to s. 514 of the Federal Housing Act of 1949.

(2) “Governing body,” as used in this law with regard to a county, shall mean the county commissioners or other legislative body of the county.
(3) “Clerk,” as used in this law with regard to a county or county authority, shall mean the clerk and accountant of the board of county commissioners or the officer having duties customarily imposed on such clerk.
History.s. 1, ch. 20220, 1941; s. 5, ch. 65-223.
421.35 Supplemental nature of sections.The powers conferred by ss. 421.27-421.34 shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law.
History.s. 2, ch. 20220, 1941.
421.36 Short title.Sections 421.27-421.35 may be cited and referred to as the “Rural Housing Authorities Law of Florida.”
History.s. 1, ch. 20220, 1941.
421.46 Organization and establishment of housing authorities validated.The establishment and organization of housing authorities under the provisions of the Housing Authorities Law of this state together with all proceedings, acts and things heretofore undertaken, performed or done with reference thereto, are hereby validated, ratified, confirmed, approved and declared legal in all respects, notwithstanding any defect or irregularity therein or any want of statutory authority.
History.s. 1, ch. 20222, 1941.
421.47 Contracts and undertakings of housing authorities validated.All contracts, agreements, obligations, and undertakings of such housing authorities heretofore entered into relating to financing or aiding in the development, construction, maintenance, or operation of any housing project or projects or to obtaining aid therefor from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, loan and annual contributions contracts and leases with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, agreements with municipalities or other public bodies, including those which are pledged or authorized to be pledged for the protection of the holders of any notes or bonds issued by such housing authorities or which are otherwise made a part of the contract with such holders of notes or bonds, relating to cooperation and contributions in aid of housing projects, payments, if any, in lieu of taxes, furnishing of municipal services and facilities, and the elimination of unsafe and insanitary dwellings, and contracts for the construction of housing projects, together with all proceedings, acts, and things heretofore undertaken, performed, or done with reference thereto, are hereby validated, ratified, confirmed, approved, and declared legal in all respects, notwithstanding any defect or irregularity therein or any want of statutory authority.
History.s. 2, ch. 20222, 1941; s. 9, ch. 78-165.
421.48 Notes and bonds of housing authorities validated.All proceedings, laws and things heretofore undertaken, performed or done in or for the authorization, issuance, execution and delivery of notes and bonds by housing authorities for the purpose of financing or aiding in the development or construction of a housing project or projects, and all notes and bonds heretofore issued by housing authorities are hereby validated, ratified, confirmed, approved and declared legal in all respects, notwithstanding any defect or irregularity therein or any want of statutory authority.
History.s. 3, ch. 20222, 1941.
421.49 Area of operation of housing authorities for defense housing.In the development or the administration of projects, under ss. 421.46-421.48, to assure the availability of safe and sanitary dwellings for persons engaged in national defense activities or in otherwise carrying out the purposes of such law, or in the administration of such projects in accordance with the provisions of the housing authorities law, a housing authority of a city may exercise its powers within the territorial boundaries of said city and an area within 10 miles from said boundaries, excluding the area within the territorial boundaries of any other city which has heretofore established a housing authority.
History.s. 1, ch. 20249, 1941; s. 100, ch. 2007-5.
421.50 Decreasing area of operation of regional authority.
(1) 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 governing body 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, debentures or notes unless first, all holders of such bonds, debentures or notes consent in writing to such action; and provided, 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 s. 421.04 or s. 421.27, 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 governing body 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 only if each such governing body 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 if such county or counties were excluded from such area.
(2) The governing body of a county shall not adopt any resolution authorized by this section unless a public hearing has first been held in accordance with the provisions of the Housing Authorities Law.
(3) A certificate of the appointment of any commissioner of a regional housing authority shall be filed with the county clerk of the county from which the commissioner is appointed, and such certificate 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 4 years, except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms. Each commissioner shall hold office until a successor has been appointed and has qualified, except as otherwise provided herein. The Governor shall thereafter appoint the successor of each commissioner of a regional housing authority.
(4) The commissioners appointed as aforesaid shall constitute the regional housing authority, and the powers of such authority shall be vested in such commissioners in office from time to time.
(5) The commissioners of a regional housing authority shall elect a chair 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.
History.s. 3, ch. 21699, 1943; s. 90, ch. 97-103.
421.51 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 governing body of any such county may adopt a resolution declaring that there is a need for a housing authority in the county, if the governing body shall declare and find such need according to the provisions of the Housing Authorities Law. Thereupon a public body corporate and politic, 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 the Housing Authorities Law. 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 s. 421.28 or s. 421.29.
History.s. 4, ch. 21699, 1943.
421.52 Authorities; creation, obligations, etc., validated.
(1) The creation, establishment and organization of housing authorities under the provisions of chapter 17981, Laws of Florida, 1937, as amended, or chapter 20220, Laws of Florida, 1941 (ss. 421.01-421.36), together with all proceedings, acts and things heretofore undertaken or done with reference thereto, are hereby validated and declared legal in all respects.
(2) All agreements and undertakings of such housing authorities heretofore entered into, relating to financing, or aiding in the development or operation of any housing projects, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, loan and annual contributions contracts, agency contracts, and leases, agreements with municipalities or other public bodies, including those which are pledged or authorized to be pledged for the protection of the holders of any notes or debentures issued by such housing authorities or which are otherwise made a part of the contract with such holders of notes or debentures, relating to cooperation in aid of housing projects, payments to public bodies in the state, furnishing of municipal services and facilities and the elimination of unsafe and insanitary dwellings, and contracts for the construction of housing projects, together with all proceedings, acts and things heretofore undertaken or done with reference thereto, are hereby validated and declared legal in all respects.
(3) All proceedings, acts and things heretofore undertaken or done in or for the authorization, issuance, execution and delivery of notes and debentures by housing authorities for the purpose of financing or aiding in the development or construction of a housing project or projects, and all notes and debentures heretofore issued by housing authorities are hereby validated and declared legal in all respects.
History.ss. 1-3, ch. 21698, 1943.
PART II
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
421.55 Relocation of displaced persons.
421.55 Relocation of displaced persons.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to authorize the state and its departments, agencies, political subdivisions, and legislatively established port and airport authorities to comply with the provisions and requirements of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987, Pub. L. No. 100-17, in those public projects or programs for which federal or federal-aid funds are available and are used.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) “State” means the State of Florida, any department, agency or political subdivision thereof, or any port or airport authority established by the Legislature.
(b) “Public Law No. 100-17” means the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 adopted by the United States Congress.
(c) “Displaced person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, or association that is required to move from any real property on or after March 20, 1972, as a result of the acquisition of such real property for public purposes, or who, as the result of the acquisition for public purposes of real property on which such person is conducting a business or farm operation as defined in Pub. L. No. 100-17, is required to move said business or farm operation.
(3) The state is authorized and empowered, in acquiring real property for use in any public project or program in which federal or federal-aid funds are used, to make all such relocation and other payments to or for displaced persons as are required under the provisions of Pub. L. No. 100-17, and to provide such displaced persons with relocation services and make available to them replacement dwellings, as required by Pub. L. No. 100-17.
(4) The state is authorized and empowered, in acquiring real property for use in any public project or program in which federal or federal-aid funds are used, to follow and conform with the land acquisition policies set forth in Pub. L. No. 100-17, and to pay or reimburse owners of property so acquired in the manner specified in Pub. L. No. 100-17. This authority shall include, as to federal-aid highways and airports, as a last resort, the use of eminent domain powers to acquire real property for replacement housing as required by Pub. L. No. 100-17.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, ch. 72-71; s. 2, ch. 89-209.