Newly filed legislation opposing the governor’s plan to create six regional housing authorities for the state was discussed in Taunton Monday during a public hearing of the state’s Joint Committee on Public Housing.
State Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton, a member of the housing committee, argued in favor of a new housing authority bill that would allow for the voluntary consolidation of smaller housing authorities with larger ones nearby. Pacheco filed the bill in the Senate, which had its first hearing last week on Beacon Hill, while state Rep. John Binienda, D-Worcester, filed matching legislation in the House.
Pacheco’s bill comes in response to Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed legislation, which would streamline the state’s public housing system by eliminating the 240 local housing authorities and replacing them with six regional authorities, which would assume the management of about 80,000 housing units the state. Some critics, including the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, or NAHRO, which worked closely with Pacheco to write his bill, have called Patrick’s regionalization plan an “overreaction” to the corruption scandal involving the disgraced former head of the Chelsea Housing Authority.