157-35.  Creation of regional housing authority.

If the board of county commissioners of each of two or more contiguous counties having an aggregate population of more than 60,000 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 for a housing authority in such counties, a public body corporate and politic to be known as a regional housing authority for all of such counties shall (after the commissioners thereof file an application with the Secretary of State as hereinafter provided) thereupon exist for and exercise its powers and other functions in such counties; and thereupon any housing authority created for any of such counties shall cease to exist except for the purpose of winding up its affairs and executing a deed to the regional housing authority as hereinafter provided: Provided, that the board of county commissioners shall not adopt a resolution as aforesaid if there is a county housing authority created for such county which has any bonds or notes outstanding unless first, all holders of such bonds and notes consent in writing to the substitution of such regional housing authority in lieu of such county housing authority on all such bonds and notes; and second, the commissioners of such county housing authority adopt a resolution consenting to the transfer of all the rights, contracts, obligations, and property, real and personal, of such county housing authority to such regional housing authority as hereinafter provided: Provided, further, that when the above 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, real and personal, of such county housing authority shall be in the name of and vest in such regional housing authority, and all obligations of such county housing authority shall be the obligations of such regional housing authority and all rights and remedies of any person against such county housing authority may be asserted, enforced, and prosecuted against such regional housing authority to the same extent as they might have been asserted, enforced, and prosecuted against such county housing authority. When any real property of a county housing authority vests in a regional housing authority as provided above, the county housing authority shall execute a deed of such property to the regional housing authority which thereupon shall file such deed in the office provided for the filing of deeds: Provided, that nothing contained in this sentence shall affect the vesting of property in the regional housing authority as provided above.

The board of county commissioners of each of two or more said 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 board of county commissioners finds (and only if it finds)

(1)        Insanitary or unsafe dwelling accommodations exist in the area of its respective county and/or there is a lack of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations in the county available for all the inhabitants thereof and

(2)        That a regional housing authority for the proposed region would be a more efficient or economical administrative unit than a housing authority for an area having a smaller population to carry out the purposes of the housing authorities law and any amendments thereto, in such county.

In determining whether dwelling accommodations are unsafe or insanitary, the board of county commissioners shall take into consideration the following: the physical condition and age of the buildings; the degree of overcrowding; the percentage of land coverage; the light and air 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.

If it shall determine that both (1) and (2) of the above enumerated conditions exist, the board of county commissioners shall adopt a resolution so finding (which need not go into any detail other than the mere finding). After the appointment, as hereinafter provided, of the commissioners to act as the regional housing authority, said authority shall be a public body and a body corporate and politic upon the completion of the taking of the following proceedings:

The commissioners shall present to the Secretary of State an application signed by them, which shall set forth (without any detail other than the mere recital)

(1)        That the boards of county commissioners made the aforesaid determination and that they have been appointed as commissioners;

(2)        The name, and official residence of each of the commissioners, together with a certified copy of the appointment evidencing their right to office, the date and place of induction into and taking oath of office, and that they desire the housing authority to become a public body and a body corporate and politic under this Article;

(3)        The term of office of each of the commissioners;

(4)        The name which is proposed for the corporation; and

(5)        The location of the principal office of the proposed corporation.

The application shall be subscribed and sworn to by each of said commissioners before an officer authorized by the laws of the State to take and certify oaths, who shall certify upon the application that he personally knows the commissioners and knows them to be the officers as asserted in the application, and that each subscribed and swore thereto in the officer's presence. The Secretary of State shall examine the application and if he finds that the name proposed for the corporation is not identical with that of a person or of any other corporation of this State or so nearly similar as to lead to confusion and uncertainty he shall receive and file it and shall record it in an appropriate book of record in his office.

When the application has been made, filed and recorded, as herein provided, the authority shall constitute a public body and a body corporate and politic under the name proposed in the application; the Secretary of State shall make and issue to the said commissioners, a certificate of incorporation pursuant to this Article, under the seal of the State, and shall record the same with the application.

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 been established in accordance with the provisions of this Article upon proof of the issuance of the aforesaid certificate by the Secretary of State. A copy of such certificate, duly certified by the Secretary of State, shall be admissible in evidence in any such suit, action or proceeding, and shall be conclusive proof of the filing and contents thereof. (1941, c. 78, s. 4; 1943, c. 636, ss. 3, 7; 1998-217, s. 20.)