Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1954 No. 305 -
Attorney General Don Eastvold


A third class city may acquire a housing project under the Lanham Act and lease it to a non-municipal managing authority.

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                                                                 August 23, 1954

Honorable Maloy Sensney
Prosecuting Attorney
Benton County
Fisk Building
Prosser, Washington                                                                                                          Cite as: AGO 53-55 No. 305

Attention:  Mr. Herbert H. Davis, Deputy

Dear Sir:

            In a recently acknowledged letter you stated that the city of Prosser desires to purchase a housing project in that city which is to be relinquished by Federal authorities under the terms of the Lanham Act.  You ask whether, in our opinion, the city may acquire this facility and, secondly, if the city may acquire it, whether it may lease it to the present housing authority for operation.

            It is our opinion that the views of the city attorney, allowing the city to do both of these things, are correct.


            The provisions of RCW 35.21.460 (1953 Supp.) seem tailored to fit this situation, and we see no reason why they should not apply to allow Prosser to purchase the project and hold it as provided without creating a housing authority.

            "Any incorporated city or town is authorized to accept, acquire, and/or purchase from the federal  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] government, the United States housing authority, or any other agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States, and/or from a city or county housing authority, and to operate, maintain, and administer surplus war housing and facilities used in conjunction therewith and made a part thereof, for a period of ten years from June 11, 1953, without creating a housing authority as provided in chapters 74.24 and 74.28 [[chapters 74.24 and 74.28 RCW]]."

            You state in your letter that because of limited personnel the city does not desire to operate the project, but that it could be leased to the present housing authority at a substantial rental.

            Prosser is a third class city.  In that chapter of the code dealing with cities of this class, it is provided by RCW 35.24.300:

            "The city council of such city shall have power to purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire real estate and personal property necessary or proper for municipal purposes and to control, lease, sublease, convey or otherwise dispose of the same; to acquire and plat land for cemeteries and parks and provide for the regulation thereof; to lease any waterfront and other lands adjacent thereto owned by it for manufacturing, commercial or other business purposes; * * *"

            The acquisition of this project is for a municipal purpose, and so the power to lease it is granted by the above statute.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General