CHAPTER 161

FORMERLY HOUSE BILL NO. 278

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENTS NO. 1,2 AND 4

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO HOUSING AUTHORITIES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 43, Title 31, Section 4301, Delaware Code, by striking the "." at the end of said section and inserting in lieu thereof a ";", and by adding a new definition to read as follows:

" 'Department' means the Department of Community Affairs and Economic Development."

Section 2. Chapter 43, Title 31, Delaware Code, is amended by striking Section 4303 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following Section 4303:

§4303. Creation of authority; appointment and removal of commissioners; area of operation

Whenever the Department shall have determined that there is need for a housing authority in any county or in any part of a county of the State, it shall issue to each appointing officer named in this chapter a certificate of such determination, describing the area of operation of the proposed authority, and as soon as possible thereafter an authority shall be created by the appointment of Commissioners who shall constitute the authority, all of whom shall be residents of the area in which the authority operates. In the case of a New Castle County Housing Authority, there shall be seven commissioners who shall be appointed by the County Executive with the advice and consent of the County Council; no more than a bare majority of the Commissioners shall be affiliated with any one major political party; one member shall serve as Chairman and shall serve at the pleasure of the County Executive; six members shall serve for terms of three years each, provided that the terms of the original members shall be established in a manner that two shall expire each year, and that

one member from each Councilmanic District shall be represented on the Commission. In the case of authorities other than a New Castle County Housing Authority, there shall be six commissioners who shall be appointed as follows: three by the Governor for initial terms of six years, four years and three years respectively; three by the Mayor of the most populous incorporated city or town in the area of operation in accordance with the last federal census for initial terms of five years, two years and one year respectively. Not more than two appointees of the Governor or of the Mayor at any one time shall be from the same political party or subdivision thereof. The terms of the Commissioners appointed before July 1, 1959 shall continue until the expiration of the terms thereof; the first occurring appointment to succeed the appointee of the Resident Judge shall be made by the Mayor; the second occurring appointment to succeed the appointee of the Resident Judge shall be made by the Governor.

Forthwith upon the appointment of the original commissioners, the appointing officers shall execute and file or cause to be filed in the office of the Secretary of State a certificate or certificates stating that such appointments have been duly made and setting forth the name and term of office of each commissioner. Such certificate or certificates shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper creation of the authority. Each appointing officer shall execute and file or cause to be filed in the office of the Secretary of State a certificate with respect to each appointment of a successor commissioner stating the fact of such appointment and setting forth the name of the successor commissioner and his term of office. The respective appointing, officers shall appoint successors to commissioners appointed by them or by their respective predecessors in office. In the case of an authority other than a New Castle County Housing Authority each successor commissioner shall be appointed to hold office in the case of a vacancy for the unexpired term, or in the case of expiration for a term of six years or until his successor shall have been appointed and qualified. In the case of a New Castle County Housing Authority each successor commissioner shall be appointed to hold office in the case of a vacancy for the unexpired term, or in the case of expiration of a term for a term of three years from the date of expiration of such term or until his successor shall have been appointed and qualified.

Housing Authority the Governor and the Mayor by unanimous vote may remove a Commissioner of the Authority for official misconduct, neglect of duty or incompetence, but only after the Commissioner shall have been given a copy of the charges against him and an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel in his own defense; pending the determination of the charges against the Commissioner, the Governor and the Mayor by unanimous vote may suspend him from office. A copy of the charges and the result of the hearing shall be forwarded to the Department.

In the case of a New Castle County Housing Authority, the County Executive, with the advice and consent of County Council may remove a Commissioner of the Authority for official misconduct, neglect of duty or incompetence, but only after the Commissioner shall have been given a copy of the charges against him and an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel in his own defense; pending the determination of the charges against the Commissioner, the County Executive with the advice and consent of County Council by unanimous vote may suspend him from office. A copy of the charges and the result of the hearing shall be forwarded to the Department.

Section 3. Chapter 43, Title 31, Delaware Code, is amended by striking Section 4312 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following Section 4312:

§4312. Projects subject to zoning regulations

All projects of an authority shall be subject to the comprehensive development plan, including the housing component thereof, planning, zoning, sanitary, and building laws, ordinances and regulations applicable to the locality in which the project is to be situated.

Section 4. Chapter 43, Title 31, Delaware Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof a new Section 4323 to read as follows:

§4323. Additional powers of Department

Whenever the Department determines that the purposes of this Chapter will be better accomplished by a revision of the area of operations of any authority or by the consolidation of two or

more authorities or by the performance of the functions of an authority by the State Housing Authority, the Department may, after due notice to all authorities affected and subsequent to a public hearing thereon, and with the concurrence of the local governing bodies, make such revision, consolidation or perform such functions; provided that adequate provision shall be made by the Department for the protection of such authority, its creditors, contracting parties and tenants.

Approved June 25, 1971.