CHAPTER 319uu
HOUSING ASSISTANCE

Table of Contents

Sec. 17b-801. (Formerly Sec. 17-591). Fuel and weatherization assistance programs. Crime prevention and safety program.
Sec. 17b-802. (Formerly Sec. 17-599). Security deposit guarantee program.

      Sec. 17b-801. (Formerly Sec. 17-591). Fuel and weatherization assistance programs. Crime prevention and safety program. (a) The Commissioner of Social Services shall administer a state-appropriated fuel assistance program to provide, within available appropriations, fuel assistance to elderly and disabled persons whose household gross income is above the income eligibility guidelines for the Connecticut energy assistance program but does not exceed two hundred per cent of federal poverty guidelines. The income eligibility guidelines for the state-appropriated fuel assistance program shall be determined, annually, by the Commissioner of Social Services, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this subsection.

      (b) The commissioner shall administer a state-appropriated weatherization assistance program to provide, within available appropriations, weatherization assistance in accordance with the provisions of the state plan implementing the weatherization assistance block grant program authorized by the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, and programs of fuel assistance and weatherization assistance with funds authorized by the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 and by the U.S. Department of Energy in accordance with 10 CFR Part 440 promulgated under Title IV of the Energy Conservation and Production Act, as amended, and oil settlement funds in accordance with subsections (b) and (c) of section 4-28. The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, (1) establishing priorities for determining which households shall receive such weatherization assistance, (2) requiring that the only criterion for determining which energy conservation measures shall be implemented pursuant to this subsection in any such dwelling unit shall be the simple payback calculated for each energy conservation measure recommended in the energy audit conducted for such unit, (3) establishing the maximum allowable payback period for such energy conservation measures, and (4) establishing conditions for the waiver of the provisions of subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of this subsection in the event of emergencies. The programs provided for under this subsection shall include a program of fuel and weatherization assistance for emergency shelters for homeless individuals and victims of domestic violence. The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to implement and administer the program of fuel and weatherization assistance for emergency shelters.

      (c) The Commissioner of Social Services shall administer, within available appropriations, a crime prevention and safety program for residences occupied by elderly and disabled persons who are eligible for the weatherization assistance block grant program authorized by the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 or the state-appropriated weatherization assistance program. The program shall be operated through the community action agencies and the municipal agency responsible for said low income weatherization program. The program may provide for the purchase and installation, where necessary, of devices which allow a person inside a dwelling unit to view the area outside the door, or doors with windows, locks on windows and doors, and smoke detectors. The installation of devices under this program shall be done at the time weatherization is done.

      (P.A. 84-267, S. 1, 2; P.A. 85-406, S. 1, 2; 85-499, S. 1, 3; P.A. 86-177, S. 1, 2; P.A. 87-216, S. 2; P.A. 91-234, S. 2, 3; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 11-80, S. 50.)

      History: P.A. 85-406 added Subsec. (b), requiring commissioner to administer a state-appropriated weatherization assistance program; P.A. 85-499 added Subsec. (c) re crime prevention and safety program; P.A. 86-177 added provisions in Subsec. (b) requiring commissioner to adopt regulations establishing priorities for weatherization assistance; P.A. 87-216 amended Subsec. (b) by requiring commissioner to administer federally funded fuel and weatherization assistance programs and a program of fuel and weatherization assistance for emergency shelters; Sec. 17-31w transferred to Sec. 17-591 in 1991; P.A. 91-234 revised provisions re determination of eligibility for the state-appropriated fuel assistance program in Subsec. (a); 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. 17-591 transferred to Sec. 17b-801 in 1995; (Revisor's note: In 1997 the reference in Subsec. (a) to "Commissioner of the Department of Social Services" was replaced editorially by the Revisors with "Commissioner of Social Services" for consistency with customary statutory usage); P.A. 11-80 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting former Subdiv. (2) re requirement for energy audits and renumbering existing Subdivs. (3) to (5) as Subdivs. (2) to (4), effective July 1, 2011.

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      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 writ, summons and complaint 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 claims by landlords. 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) A landlord may submit a claim for damages not later than forty-five days after the date of termination of the tenancy. Payment shall be made only for a claim that includes receipts for repairs made. No claim shall be paid for an apartment from which a tenant vacated because substandard conditions made the apartment uninhabitable, as determined by a local, state or federal regulatory agency.

      (h) Any person with income exceeding one hundred fifty per cent of the federal poverty level, who is found eligible to receive a security deposit guarantee under this section and for whom the commissioner has paid a claim by a landlord, shall contribute five per cent of one month's rent to the payment of the security deposit. The commissioner may waive such payment for good cause.

      (i) 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 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; P.A. 11-44, S. 96.)

      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 18-month period, amended Subsec. (b) to authorize eligibility for subsequent guarantee within 18 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 Subdiv. (2)(B) 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; P.A. 11-44 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing "notice to quit" with "writ, summons and complaint", deleting reference to "immediately preceding five-year period" re denial of eligibility for security deposit guarantee program and making a technical change, added new Subsec. (g) re landlord's submission of a claim for damages, added new Subsec. (h) re persons required to contribute to payment of security deposit, redesignated existing Subsec. (g) as Subsec. (i) and amended same by deleting reference to program implementation "until June 30, 2003", effective July 1, 2011.

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