Bill would revamp Mass. public housing system - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Bill would revamp Mass. public housing system

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BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal to streamline the state's public housing system is running into opposition from local officials who say it goes too far.

The plan calls for eliminating 240 local housing authorities and replacing them with six regional agencies.

The state's top housing official, Aaron Gornstein, told a legislative committee on Tuesday that the bill would modernize and strengthen the state's public housing system while maintaining the input of local communities.

But Thomas Connelly, Massachusetts director of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment officials, called the bill "misguided" because it would remove control from locally elected boards. The group supports an alternative bill that calls for enhanced performance standards for housing authorities.

Patrick filed the bill after revelations that former Chelsea Housing Authority director Michael McLaughlin was earning an inflated $360,000 salary.

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