Housing authorities. 66.1201(2)
(2) Finding and declaration of necessity.
It is declared that there exist in the state insanitary or unsafe dwelling accommodations and that persons of low income are forced to reside in 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 these persons are forced to occupy overcrowded and congested dwelling accommodations; that the conditions described in this subsection 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 and safety, fire and accident protection, and other public services and facilities; that these slum areas cannot be cleared, nor can the shortage of safe and sanitary dwellings for persons of low income be relieved, through the operation of private enterprise, and that the construction of housing projects for persons of low income would, therefore, not be competitive with private enterprise; that 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 are public uses and purposes for which public money may be spent and private property acquired and are governmental functions of state concern; that it is in the public interest that work on these projects be commenced as soon as possible in order to relieve unemployment which now constitutes an emergency; and the necessity in the public interest for the provisions of this section, is declared as a matter of legislative determination.
Persons otherwise entitled to any right, benefit, facility, or privilege under ss. 66.1201
may not be denied the right, benefit, facility, or privilege in any manner for any purpose nor be discriminated against because of sex, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, as defined in s. 106.50 (1m) (u)
, or national origin.
“Area of operation" includes the city for which a housing authority is created, the area within 5 miles of the territorial boundaries of the city but not beyond the county limits of the county in which the city is located and the area within the limits of the city unless the city annexes the area of operation. “Area of operation" does not include any area which lies within the territorial boundaries of any city for which another housing authority is created by this section.
“Authority" or “housing authority" means any of the public corporations established pursuant to sub. (4)
“Bonds" means any bonds, interim certificates, notes, debentures or other obligations of the authority issued pursuant to ss. 66.1201
“City clerk" and “mayor" mean the clerk and mayor, respectively, of the city or the officers of the city charged with the duties customarily imposed on the clerk and mayor, respectively.
“Community facilities" includes real and personal property, and buildings and equipment for recreational or social assemblies, for educational, health or welfare purposes and necessary utilities, when designed primarily for the benefit and use of the housing authority or the occupants of the dwelling accommodations, or for both.
“Contract" means any agreement of an authority with or for the benefit of an obligee whether contained in a resolution, trust indenture, mortgage, lease, bond or other instrument.
“Council" means the common council or other body charged with governing a city.
“Federal government" includes the United States of America and any agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.
“Government" includes the state and federal governments and any subdivision, agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of either of them.
“Housing projects" includes all real and personal property, building and improvements, and community facilities acquired or constructed pursuant to a single plan either to demolish, clear, remove, alter or repair insanitary or unsafe housing or to provide safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations for persons of low income, or both. “Housing projects" includes the planning of buildings and improvements, the acquisition of property, the demolition of existing structures, the construction, reconstruction, alteration and repair of the improvements and all other related work.
“Mixed development” means all real and personal property, buildings and improvements, and community facilities acquired, rehabilitated, or constructed pursuant to a single plan to revitalize, redevelop, or transfer one or more properties into a mixed-use or mixed-income development primarily to serve persons of low income or persons of low income and persons of moderate income with housing, commercial, and neighborhood amenities or other support services. “Mixed development" includes the planning of buildings and improvements, the acquisition of property, the demolition of existing structures, the construction, reconstruction, alteration, and repair of the improvements, and all other related work.
“Mortgage" includes deeds of trust, mortgages, building and loan contracts, land contracts or other instruments conveying real or personal property as security for bonds and conferring a right to foreclose and cause a sale of the real property or personal property.
“Obligee of the authority" or “obligee" includes any bondholder, trustee or trustees for any bondholders, any lessor demising property to the authority used in connection with a housing project or any assignee of the lessor's interest or any part of the lessor's interest, and the federal government, when it is a party to any contract with the authority.
“Persons of low income" means persons or families who lack the amount of income 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.
“Persons of moderate income” means persons or families who qualify as having moderate income, as determined by the authority. The authority may not consider a household to be a person of moderate income if the household's income exceeds 120 percent of the median income for the area, unless an applicable guideline or regulation of the federal department of housing and urban development permits the household to qualify as having moderate income.
“Real property" includes lands, lands under water, structures, and any easements, franchises and incorporeal hereditaments and every estate and right in an estate, legal and equitable, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage or otherwise.
“Slum" means 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.
“State public body" means any city, town, village, county, municipal corporation, commission, district, authority, other subdivision or public body of the state.
“Trust indenture" includes instruments pledging the revenues of real or personal properties.
When a council declares by resolution that there is need for an authority to function in the city, a public body corporate and politic then exists in the city and shall be known as the “housing authority" of the city. The authority may then transact business and exercise any powers granted to it under this section.
The council shall adopt a resolution declaring that there is need for a housing authority in the city if the council finds that insanitary or unsafe inhabited dwelling accommodations exist in the city or that there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations in the city available to persons of low income at rentals they can afford. In determining whether dwelling accommodations are unsafe or insanitary the council may take into consideration the degree of overcrowding, the percentage of land coverage, the light, air, space and access available to the inhabitants of the dwelling accommodations, the size and arrangement of the rooms, the sanitary facilities, and the extent to which conditions exist in the buildings which endanger life or property by fire or other causes.
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 under this section upon proof of the adoption of a resolution by the council declaring the need for the authority. The resolution is sufficient if it declares that there is a need for an authority and finds that either or both of the conditions described in par. (b)
exist in the city. A copy of the resolution duly certified by the city clerk is admissible evidence in any suit, action or proceeding.
(5) Appointment, qualifications and tenure of commissioners. 66.1201(5)(a)(a)
When the council adopts a resolution under sub. (4)
, it shall promptly notify the mayor. Upon receiving the notice, the mayor shall, with the confirmation of the council, appoint 5 persons as commissioners of the authority, except that the mayor of a 1st class city that has created a housing authority before May 5, 1994, shall appoint 7 commissioners, at least 2 of whom shall be residents of a housing project acquired or constructed by the authority. No commissioner may be connected in any official capacity with any political party nor may more than 2 be officers of the city in which the authority is created. The powers of each authority shall be vested in the commissioners of the authority.
The first 5 commissioners who are first appointed shall be designated by the mayor to serve for terms of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years respectively from the date of their appointment and the 2 additional commissioners appointed by the mayor of a 1st class city under par. (a)
shall be first appointed to terms of 3 and 5 years respectively. Thereafter, the term of office shall be 5 years. A commissioner shall hold office until his or her successor has been appointed and has qualified. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as other appointments. Three commissioners constitute a quorum, except that in an authority with 7 commissioners, 4 commissioners constitute a quorum. The mayor shall file with the city clerk a certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner and the certificate is conclusive evidence of the proper appointment of that commissioner if that commissioner has been confirmed under this paragraph and has taken and filed the official oath before entering office. The council of a city may pay commissioners a per diem and mileage and other necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their duties at rates established by the council.
When the office of the first chairperson of the authority becomes vacant, the authority shall select a chairperson from among its members. An authority shall select from among its members a vice chairperson, and it may employ a secretary, who shall be executive director, technical experts and other officers, agents and employees, permanent and temporary and shall determine their qualifications, duties and compensation. An authority may call upon the city attorney or chief law officer of the city for legal services. An authority may delegate to one or more of its agents or employees powers or duties of the authority.
(6) Duty of the authority and its commissioners.
The authority and its commissioners shall comply or cause compliance strictly with all provisions of ss. 66.1201
, with the laws of the state and with any contract of the authority.
(7) Interested commissioners or employees.
No commissioner or employee of an authority may acquire any direct or indirect interest in any housing project or in any property included in any project or have any direct or indirect interest in any contract for insurance, 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 a direct or indirect interest in any property included in any housing project, that person shall immediately disclose the interest in writing to the authority and the disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the authority. Failure to so disclose the interest constitutes misconduct in office.
(8) Removal of commissioners.
For inefficiency or neglect of duty or misconduct in office, a commissioner of an authority may be removed by the mayor, but a commissioner may be removed only after having been given a copy of the charges at least 10 days before the hearing on the charges and an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel. If a commissioner is removed, a record of the proceedings, together with the charges and findings, shall be filed in the office of the city clerk. To the extent applicable, the provisions of s. 17.16
relating to removal for cause apply to any removal.
(9) Powers of authority.
An authority is a public body and a body corporate and politic, exercising public powers, and has all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of ss. 66.1201
, including the following powers in addition to others granted in this section:
Within its area of operation to prepare, carry out, acquire, lease and operate housing projects approved by the council; to provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration or repair of any housing project or any part of a housing project.
On any property wholly or partially owned by a housing authority before October 1, 2021, and within its area of operation to prepare, carry out, acquire, lease, and operate mixed developments; and to provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration, or repair of any mixed development or any part of a mixed development. This paragraph applies only to a housing authority created by a 1st class city.
To take over by purchase, lease or otherwise any housing project undertaken by any government and located within the area of operation of the authority when approved by the council; to purchase, lease, obtain options upon, acquire by gift, grant, bequest, devise, or otherwise, any real or personal property or any interest in the real or personal property.
To act as agent for any government in connection with the acquisition, construction, operation or management of a housing project or any part of a housing project.
To arrange or contract for the furnishing of services, privileges, works, or facilities for, or in connection with, a housing project or the occupants of a housing project.
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 section, to establish and revise the rents or charges for the housing project.
Within its area of operation to investigate into living, dwelling and housing conditions and into the means and methods of improving those conditions; and to engage in research and studies on the subject of housing.
To acquire by eminent domain any real property, including improvements and fixtures on the real property.
To own, hold, clear and improve property, to insure or provide for the insurance of the property or operations of the authority against any risks, to procure insurance or guarantees from the federal government of the payment of any debts or parts of debts secured by mortgages made or held by the authority on any property included in any housing project.
To contract for the sale of, and to sell, any part or all of the interest in real estate acquired and to execute contracts of sale and conveyances as the authority considers desirable.
In connection with any loan, to agree to limitations upon its right to dispose of any housing project or part of a housing project.
In connection with any loan by a government, to agree to limitations upon the exercise of any powers conferred upon the authority by ss. 66.1201
To invest any funds held in reserve 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 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 make and amend and repeal bylaws, rules and regulations not inconsistent with ss. 66.1201
, to carry into effect the powers and purposes of the authority.
To exercise all or any part or combination of powers granted in this section. No provisions of law with respect to the acquisition or disposition of property by other public bodies are applicable to an authority unless otherwise provided.
To execute bonds, notes, debentures or other evidences of indebtedness which, when executed by a housing authority, are not a debt or charge against any city, county, state or any other governmental authority, other than against the authority itself and its available property, income or other assets in accordance with the terms of an evidence of indebtedness and of this section, and no individual liability exists for any official act done by any member of the authority. No authority may levy any tax or assessment.
To provide by all means available under ss. 66.1201
housing projects for veterans and their families regardless of their income. The projects are not subject to the limitations of s. 66.1205
Notwithstanding the provisions of any law, to acquire sites; to prepare, carry out, acquire, lease, construct and operate housing projects to provide temporary dwelling accommodations for families regardless of income who are displaced under ss. 66.1201
; to further slum clearance, urban redevelopment and blight elimination; and to provide temporary dwelling accommodations for families displaced by reason of any street widening, expressway or other public works project causing the demolition of dwellings.
To participate in an employee retirement or pension system of the city which has declared the need for the authority and to expend funds of the authority for this purpose.
To join or cooperate with one or more authorities in the exercise, either jointly or otherwise, of any of their powers for the purpose of financing, including the issuance of bonds, notes or other obligations and giving security for these obligations, planning, undertaking, owning, constructing, operating or contracting with respect to a housing project located within the area of operation of any one or more of the authorities. For this purpose an authority may by resolution prescribe and authorize any other housing authority, joining or cooperating with it, to act on its behalf with respect to any powers, as its agent or otherwise, in the name of the authority joining or cooperating or in its own name.
To establish a procedure for preserving records of the authority by the use of microfilm, another reproductive device, optical imaging, or electronic formatting if authorized under s. 19.21 (4) (c)
. The procedure shall assure that copies of records that are open to public inspection continue to be available to members of the public requesting them. A photographic reproduction of a record or copy of a record generated from optical disc or electronic storage is deemed the same as an original record for all purposes if it meets the applicable standards established in ss. 16.61
To exercise any powers of a redevelopment authority operating under s. 66.1333
if done in concert with a redevelopment authority under a contract under s. 66.0301
To, within its area of operation, either by itself or with the department of veterans affairs, undertake and carry out studies and analyses of veterans housing needs and meeting those needs and make the study results available to the public, including the building, housing and supply industries.
The authority may acquire by eminent domain any real property, including fixtures and improvements, which it deems necessary to carry out the purposes of ss. 66.1201
after the adoption by it of a resolution declaring that the acquisition of the property described in the resolution is in the public interest and necessary for public use. The authority may exercise the power of eminent domain pursuant to ch. 32
or pursuant to any other applicable statutory provisions.
At any time at or after the filing for condemnation, and before the entry of final judgment, the authority may file with the clerk of the court in which the petition is filed a declaration of taking signed by the duly authorized officer or agent of the authority declaring that all or any part of the property described in the petition is to be taken for the use of the authority. The declaration of taking is sufficient if it sets forth all of the following:
A statement of the estate or interest in the property being taken.
A statement of the sum of money estimated by the authority to be just compensation for the property taken, which sum shall be not less than the last assessed valuation for tax purposes of the estate or interest in the property to be taken.
From the filing of the declaration of taking under par. (b)
and the deposit in court of the amount of the estimated compensation stated in the declaration, title to the property specified in the declaration vests in the authority and the property is condemned and taken for the use of the authority and the right to just compensation for the property vests in the persons entitled to the compensation. Upon the filing of the declaration of taking the court shall designate a day not exceeding 30 days after the filing, except upon good cause shown, on which the person in possession shall surrender possession to the authority.
The ultimate amount of compensation vests in the manner provided by law. If the amount vested exceeds the amount deposited in court by the authority, the court shall enter judgment against the authority in the amount of the deficiency together with interest at the rate of 6 percent per year on the deficiency from the date of the vesting of title to the date of the entry of the final judgment subject to abatement for use, income, rents or profits derived from the property by the owner subsequent to the vesting of title in the authority. The court shall order the authority to deposit the amount of the deficiency in court.
At any time before the vesting of title of property in the authority the authority may withdraw or dismiss its petition with respect to any of the property described in the petition.
Upon vesting of title to any property in the authority, all the right, title and interest of all persons having an interest in, or lien upon, the property are divested immediately and these persons are entitled only to receive compensation for the property.
Except as provided in this subsection with reference to the declaration of taking, the proceedings shall be as provided by law for condemnation, and the deposit in court of the amount estimated by the authority upon a declaration of taking shall be disbursed as provided by law for an award in condemnation proceedings.
Property already devoted to a public use may be acquired, provided that no property belonging to any municipality or to any government may be acquired without its consent and that no property belonging to a public utility corporation may be acquired without the approval of the public service commission or other officer or tribunal, if any, having regulatory power over the public utility corporation.
If a housing project or mixed development involves federal financial assistance, the duration of replacement housing payments to displaced tenants under the relocation plan is as provided under 42 USC 4624
. This paragraph applies only to a project or development on a property wholly or partially owned before October 1, 2021, by a housing authority created by a 1st class city.
(11) Acquisition of land for government.
The authority may acquire, by purchase or by the exercise of its power of eminent domain under sub. (10)
, any property, real or personal, for any housing project being constructed or operated by a government. The authority upon such terms and conditions, with or without consideration, as it shall determine, may convey title or deliver possession of property so acquired or purchased to the government for use in connection with a housing project.
(12) 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.
An authority may issue any bonds for its corporate purposes, including bonds on which the principal and interest are payable by any of the following methods:
Exclusively from the income and revenues of the housing project financed with the proceeds of the bonds, or with those proceeds together with a grant from the federal government in aid of the project.
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 the bonds.
Any of the bonds under subd. 1.
may be additionally secured by a pledge of any revenues or, subject to the limitations imposed under pars. (b)
, a mortgage of any housing project, projects or other property of the authority.
Neither the commissioners of the authority nor any person executing the bonds is liable personally on the bonds by reason of their issuance.
The bonds and other obligations of the authority are not a debt of any municipality located within its boundaries or of the state and this fact shall be stated on their face. Neither the state nor any municipality is liable for the bonds or other obligations, nor are they payable out of any funds or properties other than those of the authority.