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Bob Ferguson

AGO 1955 No. 16 -
Attorney General Don Eastvold


 A housing authority as authorized to operate an existing commercial building embraced within its limits.

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                                                                 January 26, 1955

 Honorable Charles O. Carroll
Prosecuting Attorney
King County
County City Building
Seattle 4, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 16

 Attention  !ttMr. K. G. Smiles, Civil Deputy

 Dear Sir:

             In your letter of January 10, 1955, you have requested an opinion on

             "* * * whether a housing authority organized under the laws of the State of Washington, such as the Housing Authority of the County of King, can operate commercial buildings for such purposes as restaurants, lunch counters, barber shops, etc., on or in conjunction with its housing projects."

             Our answer is in the affirmative.


             The facts briefly, as they appear from your letter requesting this opinion and your enclosures therewith, show that the Housing Authority of the County of King is presently negotiating with the Public Housing Administration of the United States for the acquisition of the White Center Housing Project.  It  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] appears that within the confines of said housing project is located a building which has been leased by the United States Government to a private individual for the operation of a small grocery store and delicatessen.

             Section 21, chapter 23, Laws of 1939, specifically permits housing authorities organized under its term to

             "* * * take over or lease or manage any housing project or undertaking constructed or owned by the Federal government, and to these ends, to comply with such conditions and enter into such mortgages, trust indentures, leases or agreements as may be necessary, convenient or desirable.  * * *" (Emphasis supplied)

             Section 8 (d), chapter 23, Laws of 1939, grants to a housing authority organized under its terms the right

             "To lease or rent any dwellings, houses, accommodations, lands, buildings, structures orfacilities embraced in any housing project and (subject to the limitations contained in this act) to establish and revise the rents or charges therefor; * * *" (Emphasis supplied)

             The words of the statute are plain and unambiguous.  The housing authority has the power to acquire the White Center Housing Project and once acquired has the right to lease or rent the existing buildings, structures or facilities "embraced" therein for the uses and for purposes for which they were designed.

 Very truly yours,
Attorney General 

Assistant Attorney General