CHAPTER 319uu
HOUSING ASSISTANCE

Table of Contents

Sec. 17b-802. (Formerly Sec. 17-599). Security deposit guarantee program.
Sec. 17b-812. (Formerly Sec. 8-345). Rental assistance for low-income families living in privately-owned rental housing. Regulations.

      Sec. 17b-802. (Formerly Sec. 17-599). Security deposit guarantee program. (a) The Commissioner of Social Services shall establish, within available appropriations, and administer a security deposit guarantee program for persons who (1) (A) are recipients of temporary family assistance, aid under the state supplement program, or state-administered general assistance, or (B) have a documented showing of financial need, and (2) (A) are residing in emergency shelters or other emergency housing, cannot remain in permanent housing due to any reason specified in subsection (a) of section 17b-808, or are served a notice to quit in a summary process action instituted pursuant to chapter 832, or (B) have a rental assistance program or federal Section 8 certificate or voucher. Under such program, the Commissioner of Social Services may provide security deposit guarantees for use by such persons in lieu of a security deposit on a rental dwelling unit. Eligible persons may receive a security deposit guarantee in an amount not to exceed the equivalent of two months' rent on such rental unit. No person may apply for and receive a security deposit guarantee more than once in any eighteen-month period without the express authorization of the Commissioner of Social Services, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section. The Commissioner of Social Services may deny eligibility for the security deposit guarantee program to an applicant for whom the commissioner has paid two or more claims by landlords during the immediately preceding five-year period. The Commissioner of Social Services may establish priorities for providing security deposit guarantees to eligible persons described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subdivision (2) of this subsection in order to administer the program within available appropriations.

      (b) In the case of any person who qualifies for a guarantee, the Commissioner of Social Services, or any emergency shelter under contract with the Department of Social Services to assist in the administration of the security deposit guarantee program established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, may execute a written agreement to pay the landlord for any damages suffered by the landlord due to the tenant's failure to comply with such tenant's obligations as defined in section 47a-21, provided the amount of any such payment shall not exceed the amount of the requested security deposit. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, if a person who has previously received a grant for a security deposit or a security deposit guarantee becomes eligible for a subsequent security deposit guarantee within eighteen months after a claim has been paid on a prior security deposit guarantee, such person may receive a security deposit guarantee. The amount of the subsequent security deposit guarantee for which such person would otherwise have been eligible shall be reduced by (1) any amount of a previous grant which has not been returned to the department pursuant to section 47a-21, or (2) the amount of any payment made to the landlord for damages pursuant to this subsection.

      (c) Any payment made pursuant to this section to any person receiving temporary family assistance, aid under the state supplement program or state-administered general assistance shall not be deducted from the amount of assistance to which the recipient would otherwise be entitled.

      (d) On and after July 1, 2000, no special need or special benefit payments shall be made by the commissioner for security deposits from the temporary family assistance, state supplement, or state-administered general assistance programs.

      (e) The Commissioner of Social Services may, within available appropriations, on a case-by-case basis, provide a security deposit grant to a person eligible for the security deposit guarantee program established under subsection (a) of this section, in an amount not to exceed the equivalent of one month's rent on such rental unit provided the commissioner determines that emergency circumstances exist which threaten the health, safety or welfare of a child who resides with such person. Such person shall not be eligible for more than one such grant without the authorization of said commissioner. Nothing in this section shall preclude the approval of such one-month security deposit grant in conjunction with a one-month security deposit guarantee.

      (f) The Commissioner of Social Services may provide a security deposit grant to a person receiving such grant through any emergency shelter under an existing contract with the Department of Social Services to assist in the administration of the security deposit program, but in no event shall a payment be authorized after October 1, 2000. Nothing in this section shall preclude the commissioner from entering into a contract with one or more emergency shelters for the purpose of issuing security deposit guarantees.

      (g) The Commissioner of Social Services shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to administer the program established pursuant to this section and to set eligibility criteria for the program, but may implement the program until June 30, 2003, while in the process of adopting such regulations provided notice of intent to adopt the regulations is published in the Connecticut Law Journal within twenty days after implementation.

      (P.A. 86-272; P.A. 87-455, S. 5, 6; P.A. 91-211; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 83, 165; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-2, S. 24, 53; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2, S. 32; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 129, 131; P.A. 02-79, S. 3; P.A. 04-76, S. 25; P.A. 05-280, S. 39; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3, S. 83.)

      History: P.A. 87-455 amended Subsec. (a) by making persons having documented financial need who reside in emergency shelters or emergency housing eligible for grants and amended Subsec. (b) by authorizing emergency shelters under contract with department of human resources to pay security deposit to landlords; Sec. 17-31jj transferred to Sec. 17-599 in 1991; P.A. 91-211 amended Subsec. (b) to allow the commissioner to enter into a written agreement with a landlord to pay for certain damages if incurred in lieu of paying a security deposit, to require the reduction of any amount owed to the department under the program by a grant recipient from any subsequent grant provided to the recipient and to require that the issuance of grants and agreements for payment of damages in any fiscal year not exceed the amount available for the program in that fiscal year; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-599 transferred to Sec. 17b-802 in 1995; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 made technical and conforming changes, effective July 1, 1997; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-2 amended Subsec. (a) by changing program of grants to persons residing in emergency shelters or housing to security deposit guarantee program for use in lieu of a security deposit, deleting reference to "public assistance", inserting provision re recipients of temporary family assistance or aid under the state supplement program, adding provision re persons who cannot remain in permanent housing due to any reason specified in Subsec. (a) of Sec. 17b-808, and making conforming changes, amended Subsec. (b) by deleting provisions re payment of security deposit directly to the landlord, deleting provision re annual amounts available in program, and making conforming changes, amended Subsec. (c) by adding provision re persons receiving temporary family assistance or aid under the state supplement program, added new Subsecs. (d) to (f), inclusive, re special need or special benefit payments and security deposit grants, redesignated former Subsec. (d) as Subsec. (g) and amended said Subsec. by adding provision allowing for implementation of the program until January 1, 2002, while in the process of adopting regulations and making conforming and technical changes, effective July 1, 2000; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 amended Subsec. (a) to expand program to persons served a notice to quit in summary process action, to increase maximum amount from one to two months' rent, to delete provision re documented showing of financial need and to require authorization for more than one guarantee "in any eighteen-month period", amended Subsec. (b) to authorize eligibility for subsequent guarantee within eighteen months after claim has been paid and to make technical changes, amended Subsec. (e) to delete provision re safety net account, to include person served a notice to quit in summary process action and to add provision re approval of grant in conjunction with guarantee and amended Subsec. (f) to add provision re contract for issuing security deposit guarantees; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 revised effective date of June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 but without affecting this section; P.A. 02-79 amended Subsec. (a) by inserting Subdiv. numbers and Subpara. letters, adding Subpara. (B) in Subdiv. (2) to extend eligibility under the security deposit guarantee program to persons having a rental assistance program or federal Section 8 certificate or voucher, and adding provision authorizing Commissioner of Social Services to establish priorities for allocating security deposit guarantees, amended Subsec. (e) to revise provisions re eligibility for security deposit grants, and amended Subsec. (g) by changing "January 1, 2002" to "June 30, 2003", effective July 1, 2002; P.A. 04-76 amended Subsecs. (a), (c) and (d) by deleting references to "general assistance" and making conforming changes; P.A. 05-280 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that commissioner may deny eligibility for security deposit guarantee program to an applicant who has made more than two claims in a five-year period, to add "in order to administer the program within available appropriations" and to make technical changes, effective July 1, 2005; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing "who has made more than two claims in a" with "for whom the commissioner has paid two or more claims by landlords during the immediately preceding" re denial of eligibility, effective July 1, 2005.

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      Sec. 17b-812. (Formerly Sec. 8-345). Rental assistance for low-income families living in privately-owned rental housing. Regulations. (a) The Commissioner of Social Services shall implement and administer a program of rental assistance for low-income families living in privately-owned rental housing. For the purposes of this section, a low-income family is one whose income does not exceed fifty per cent of the median family income for the area of the state in which such family lives, as determined by the commissioner.

      (b) Housing eligible for participation in the program shall comply with applicable state and local health, housing, building and safety codes.

      (c) In addition to an element in which rental assistance certificates are made available to qualified tenants, to be used in eligible housing which such tenants are able to locate, the program may include a housing support element in which rental assistance for tenants is linked to participation by the property owner in other municipal, state or federal housing repair, rehabilitation or financing programs. The commissioner shall use rental assistance under this section so as to encourage the preservation of existing housing and the revitalization of neighborhoods or the creation of additional rental housing.

      (d) The commissioner may designate a portion of the rental assistance certificates available under the program for tenant-based and project-based supportive housing units. To the extent practicable rental assistance certificates issued for supportive housing shall adhere to the requirements of the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program, 42 USC 1437f(o), relative to calculating the tenant's share of the rent to be paid.

      (e) The commissioner shall administer the program under this section to promote housing choice for certificate holders and encourage racial and economic integration. The commissioner shall establish maximum rent levels for each municipality in a manner that promotes the use of the program in all municipalities. Any certificate issued pursuant to this section may be used for housing in any municipality in the state. The commissioner shall inform certificate holders that a certificate may be used in any municipality and, to the extent practicable, the commissioner shall assist certificate holders in finding housing in the municipality of their choice.

      (f) Nothing in this section shall give any person a right to continued receipt of rental assistance at any time that the program is not funded.

      (g) The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to carry out the purposes of this section. The regulations shall establish maximum income eligibility guidelines for such rental assistance and criteria for determining the amount of rental assistance which shall be provided to eligible families.

      (P.A. 85-452, S. 1, 3; P.A. 86-384, S. 1, 2; P.A. 87-517, S. 1, 2; P.A. 91-362, S. 5; P.A. 93-262, S. 8, 87; P.A. 96-268, S. 16, 17, 34; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 116, 165; P.A. 05-280, S. 34.)

      History: P.A. 86-384 extended program for one year, allowed commissioner to conduct program in more than three towns and replaced term "rent subsidies" with "rental assistance"; P.A. 87-517 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting reference to three-year pilot program, adding provisions making program applicable to elderly persons residing in state-assisted rental housing for the elderly and changing income percentage from fifty to sixty per cent, amended Subsec. (b) by deleting provisions re towns in which pilot program is conducted, amended Subsec. (c) by deleting reference to pilot program, amended Subsec. (d) by deleting reference to pilot period, amended Subsec. (e) by adding provisions requiring regulations establishing maximum income eligibility guidelines and criteria for determining amount of assistance, and amended Subsec. (f) by deleting reference to pilot program; P.A. 91-362 inserted new Subsec. (d) to require the commissioner to administer the program to promote housing choice and encourage racial and economic integration and added new Subsec. (h) to require the commissioner to submit to the legislative committee on housing a report on the program, relettering previously existing Subsecs. as necessary; P.A. 93-262 replaced commissioner of housing with commissioner of social services and deleted Subsecs. (g) and (h) re reports to general assembly, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 8-345 transferred to Sec. 17b-812 in 1995; P.A. 96-268 amended Subsec. (a) to change the income level threshold for a low-income family from sixty per cent to fifty per cent of the median family income for the area of the state in which such family lives and amended Subsec. (f) to provide that "effective November 1, 1995, the amount of assistance for elderly persons who are certificate holders shall be the difference between thirty per cent of their adjusted gross income, less a utility allowance and the base rent", effective July 1, 1996; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 eliminated references to elderly persons in the program of rental assistance, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 05-280 added new Subsec. (d) re designating a portion of available rental assistance certificates for supportive housing units and requiring that rental assistance certificates issued for such purpose adhere to requirements of federal Housing Choice Voucher program and redesignated existing Subsecs. (d) to (f), inclusive, as new Subsecs. (e) to (g), inclusive, effective July 1, 2005.

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