Officials denounce Patrick’s housing authority bill

Braintree officials are decrying legislation proposed by Governor Deval Patrick that would consolidate the state’s 240 municipal housing authorities into a few regional agencies. Patrick’s proposal, which is pending before the Legislature, was drafted in the wake of a scandal at the Chelsea Housing Authority that ended with its former director being sent to federal prison for corruption. “We’re hoping they’ll keep local control where it belongs,” Lauren Murphy, executive director of Braintree’s Housing Authority, told town councilors last week. “The way the governor has written the reform, they would come in and take everything — all our money, our desks, everything.” Several councilors said they would draft letters to Braintree’s state legislators expressing their opposition to the plan. “I think it would be a disaster,” said Councilor Dan Clifford. “We know the people in Braintree, we know who needs the help. The state doesn’t.”