Housing and Slum Clearance

CHAPTER 40. The Delaware State Housing Authority

Subchapter IV. Council on Housing

§ 4040. Council on Housing.

(a) The Council on Housing is continued and shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Governor, Housing Director and the General Assembly and shall consider matters relating to housing in this State and such other matters as may be referred to it by the Governor, the Housing Director or the General Assembly. The Council shall study, research, plan and advise the Governor, Housing Director and the General Assembly on matters it deems appropriate to enable DSHA to function in the best possible manner.

(b) The Council shall review, advise and make recommendations on all DSHA programs.

(c) The Council on Housing shall be composed of 11 members to be appointed by the Governor. There shall be 2 members from each county, 2 members that reside in the City of Wilmington and 3 members at large, 1 of which is a member of a tenant organization. The term of appointment to the Council shall be 3 years. Members shall be eligible for reappointment. A member of the Council shall be suspended or removed by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance, malfeasance, misconduct, incompetency, or neglect of duty. A member subject to disciplinary hearing shall be disqualified from Council business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded. A member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.

(d) At least 5, but no more than 6, members of the Council shall be affiliated with one of the major political parties and at least 4, but no more than 5, members shall be affiliated with the other major political party; provided however, that there shall be no more than a bare majority representation of one major political party over the other major political party. Any person who declines to announce that person’s own political affiliation shall also be eligible for appointment as a member of the Council.

(e) Members of the Council shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties as members of the Council.

(f) A Chairperson of the Council shall be chosen by the members of the Council from among its members and shall serve in that capacity for a term of 1 year. The Chairperson shall be eligible for reelection but may not serve as Chairperson for more than 3 consecutive 1-year terms.

(g) Any appointment pursuant to this section to replace a member whose position becomes vacant prior to the expiration of the member’s term shall be filled only for the remainder of that term. Any person appointed to serve out the remainder of an unexpired term shall be eligible for reappointment.

(h) The Chairperson of the Council shall direct the Council’s operations and shall perform such other duties as the Housing Director may direct.

(i) The Council shall have the authority to draft and adopt bylaws governing its operations, consistent with the provisions herein. The Housing Director may assign to employment on behalf of the Council such secretarial, clerical and other assistants in DSHA as the internal operation of the Council shall require and for such purposes as the Housing Director shall consider necessary.

(j) The Council shall issue an annual report to the Governor, the Housing Director and the General Assembly on its activities, as well as the housing needs of this State, key statistics and trends, Housing Development Fund expenditures and any recommendations for changes in law, policy and/or funding related to housing.

71 Del. Laws, c. 357, §  670 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  176 Del. Laws, c. 191, §§  2-8

§ 4041. Investigative powers; power to compel assistance of witnesses and production of books.

(a) The Council may investigate the affairs of housing authorities and all urban renewal and rehabilitation activities by municipal, county and regional agencies and authorities and the dealings, transactions or relationships of such authorities with other persons. The Council may act through a committee of its members in conducting any of the investigations provided for in this chapter and the chairperson of any such committee shall have all the powers of the Council. Each member of the Council may administer oaths, take affidavits and make personal inspections of all places to which that member’s duties relate. The Council may subpoena and require the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers pertaining to the investigations and inquiries authorized in this chapter and examine them in relation to any matter it has power to investigate and issue commissions for the examination of witnesses who are out of the State or unable to attend before the Council or are excused from attendance.

(b) The Council may hold hearings at such places and at such times as shall be determined by the Council to hear complaints on housing by any aggrieved person as contemplated by this chapter. The procedure outlined in subsection (a) of this section shall apply to such hearings. Written reports shall be rendered in all cases to the Housing Director within 10 days after such hearing. The notice of complaint by any aggrieved person shall be in writing stating the nature thereof and may be made to any member of the Council.

(c) Upon the failure of any person to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Council, the Council may seek an order from the Superior Court of the county in which the person subpoenaed resides, has a place of business or can be found, to show cause why that person should not be held in contempt for failure to comply with the subpoena.

71 Del. Laws, c. 357, §  670 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  1