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S. 1387 (104th): Homesteading and Neighborhood Restoration Act of 1995

The text of the bill below is as of Nov 2, 1995 (Introduced).


S 1387 IS

104th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1387

To provide for innovative approaches for homeownership opportunity, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 2, 1995

Mr. NUNN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs


A BILL

To provide for innovative approaches for homeownership opportunity, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Homesteading and Neighborhood Restoration Act of 1995’.

SEC. 2. ASSISTANCE FOR HABITAT FOR HUMANITY AND OTHER SELF-HELP HOUSING PROVIDERS.

    (a) GRANT AUTHORITY- The Secretary shall, to the extent that amounts are made available to carry out this section and the requirements of this section are met, make grants for use in accordance with this section to--

      (1) Habitat for Humanity International, whose organizational headquarters are located in Americus, Georgia; and

      (2) other national or regional organizations or consortia that have experience in providing or facilitating self-help housing homeownership opportunities.

    (b) GOALS AND ACCOUNTABILITY-

      (1) GOALS- In making grants under this section, the Secretary shall take such actions as may be necessary to ensure that--

        (A) assistance provided under this section is used to facilitate and encourage innovative homeownership opportunities through the provision of self-help housing, under which the homeowner contributes a significant amount of sweat equity toward the construction of the new dwelling;

        (B) assistance provided under this section for land acquisition and infrastructure development results in the development of not less than 5,000 new dwellings;

        (C) the dwellings constructed in connection with assistance provided under this section are dwellings that comply with local building and safety codes and standards and are available at prices below the prevailing market prices;

        (D) the provision of assistance under this section establishes and fosters a partnership between the Federal Government and Habitat for Humanity International, the affiliates thereof, and other organizations and consortia, resulting in efficient development of affordable housing with minimal governmental intervention, limited governmental regulation, and significant involvement by private entities;

        (E) activities to develop housing assisted pursuant to this section involve community participation similar to the homeownership program carried out by Habitat for Humanity International, in which volunteers assist in the construction of dwellings; and

        (F) dwellings are developed in connection with assistance under this section on a geographically diverse basis, which includes areas having high housing costs, rural areas, and areas underserved by other homeownership opportunities that are populated by low-income families that are otherwise unable to afford housing.

      (2) ACCOUNTABILITY- If, at any time, the Secretary determines that the goals under this subsection cannot be met by providing assistance in accordance with the terms of this section, the Secretary shall immediately notify the applicable committees in writing of such determination and any proposed changes to such goals or to this section.

    (c) ALLOCATION- Of any amounts available for grants under this section--

      (1) 50 percent shall be used for a grant to the organization specified in subsection (a)(1); and

      (2) 50 percent shall be used for grants to organizations and consortia under subsection (a)(2).

    (d) USE-

      (1) PURPOSE- Amounts from grants made under this section shall be used only for eligible expenses in connection with developing new decent, safe, and sanitary nonluxury dwellings in the United States for families and persons who are otherwise unable to afford to purchase a dwelling.

      (2) ELIGIBLE EXPENSES-

        (A) COSTS INCLUDED- For purposes of paragraph (1), the term ‘eligible expenses’ means costs only for the following activities:

          (i) LAND ACQUISITION- Acquiring land (including financing and closing costs).

          (ii) INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT- Installing, extending, constructing, rehabilitating, or otherwise improving utilities and other infrastructure.

        (B) COSTS NOT INCLUDED- The term does not include any costs for the rehabilitation, improvement, or construction of dwellings.

    (e) ESTABLISHMENT OF GRANT FUND-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Any amounts from any grant made under this section shall be deposited by the grantee organization or consortium in a fund that is established by such organization or consortium for such amounts, administered by such organization or consortium, and available for use only in accordance with subsection (d). Any interest, fees, or other earnings of the fund shall be deposited in the fund and shall be considered to be grant amounts for purposes of this section.

      (2) ASSISTANCE TO HABITAT FOR HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATES- Habitat for Humanity International may use amounts in the fund established for such organization pursuant to paragraph (1) in accordance with subsection (d) by providing assistance from the fund to local affiliates of such organization.

    (f) REQUIREMENTS FOR ASSISTANCE TO OTHER ORGANIZATIONS- The Secretary may make a grant to an organization or consortium under subsection (a)(2) only pursuant to--

      (1) an expression of interest by such organization or consortium to the Secretary for a grant for such purposes;

      (2) a determination by the Secretary that the organization or consortium has the capability and has obtained financial commitments (or has the capacity to obtain financial commitments) necessary to--

        (A) develop not less than 50 dwellings in connection with the grant amounts; and

        (B) otherwise comply with a grant agreement under subsection (i); and

      (3) a grant agreement entered into under subsection (i).

    (g) TREATMENT OF UNUSED AMOUNTS- Upon the expiration of the 6-month period beginning on the date on which the Secretary initially provides notice of the availability of amounts for grants under subsection (a)(2), the Secretary shall determine whether the amount remaining from the aggregate amount reserved under subsection (c)(2) exceeds the amount needed to provide funding in connection with any expressions of interest under subsection (f)(1) made by such date that are likely to result in grant agreements under subsection (i). If the Secretary determines that such excess amounts remain, the Secretary shall provide the excess amounts to Habitat for Humanity International by making a grant to that organization in accordance with this section.

    (h) GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY-

      (1) USE OF GRANT AMOUNTS- In using grant amounts provided under subsection (a)(1), Habitat for Humanity International shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the amounts are used in a manner that results in national geographic diversity among housing developed using such amounts.

      (2) MAKING GRANTS- In making grants under subsection (a)(2), the Secretary shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that grants are provided and grant amounts are used in a manner that results in national geographic diversity among housing developed using grant amounts under this section.

    (i) GRANT AGREEMENT- A grant under this section shall be made only pursuant to a grant agreement entered into by the Secretary and the organization or consortium receiving the grant, which shall--

      (1) require such organization or consortium to use grant amounts only as provided in this section;

      (2) provide for the organization or consortium to develop a specific and reasonable number of dwellings using the grant amounts, which number shall be established taking into consideration costs and economic conditions in the areas in which the dwellings will be developed, but in no case shall be less than 50;

      (3) require the organization or consortium to use the grant amounts in a manner that leverages other sources of funding (other than grants under this section), including private or public funds, in developing the dwellings;

      (4) require the organization or consortium to comply with the other provisions of this section;

      (5) in the case only of a grant under subsection (a)(2), provide that if the organization or consortium has not used any grant amounts during the 24-month period beginning on the date on which such amounts are initially disbursed to the organization or consortium, the Secretary shall recapture such unused amounts; and

      (6) contain such other terms as the Secretary may require to provide for compliance with subsection (b) and the requirements of this section.

    (j) GRANT PAYMENTS-

      (1) ONE-STEP DISBURSEMENT- With respect to any grant under subsection (a)(2) in an amount less than $8,000,000, the Secretary shall make the total amount of the grant available to the grantee organization or consortium upon entering into the grant agreement under subsection (i) and providing notice under paragraph (3).

      (2) TWO-STEP DISBURSEMENT- With respect to the grant under subsection (a)(1) and any grant under subsection (a)(2) in an amount equal to or exceeding $8,000,000, the Secretary shall disburse the grant amounts in 2 equal payments, as follows:

        (A) INITIAL PAYMENT- The first payment shall be made available to the grantee organization or consortium upon entering into the grant agreement under subsection (i) and providing notice under paragraph (3).

        (B) FINAL PAYMENT- The second payment shall be made available to the organization or consortium subject to the following requirements:

          (i) NOTICE- The amounts may not be made available until 30 days after the Secretary certifies to the applicable committees that the grant amounts provided under subparagraph (A) to the organization or consortium have been used in accordance with this section to develop the new dwellings required under the grant agreement.

          (ii) FULFILLMENT OF GRANT AGREEMENT- If the Secretary determines that the organization or consortium has not, during the 24-month period beginning on the date on which amounts are initially made available under subparagraph (A) to the organization or consortium, substantially fulfilled the obligations under the grant agreement, including development of the appropriate number of dwellings under the agreement, the Secretary shall provide any undisbursed amounts remaining from such grant to Habitat for Humanity International by making a grant to such organization in accordance with this section.

      (3) NOTIFICATION TO CONGRESS- Notification under this paragraph is written notification to the applicable committees of a grant, the amount of the grant, and the terms of the grant agreement.

      (4) FAILURE TO REPORT- If the Secretary fails to report to the applicable committees as required in this subsection, the Secretary may not make any grant under this section after that failure and may not disburse any amounts under any grant made prior to that failure.

    (k) RECORDS AND AUDITS- During the period beginning on the date on which a grant is made under this section and ending on close-out of the grant under subsection (l)--

      (1) the grantee organization or consortium shall keep such records and adopt such administrative practices as the Secretary may require to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section and the grant agreement; and

      (2) the Secretary and the Comptroller General of the United States, and any of their duly authorized representatives shall have access for the purpose of audit and examination to any books, documents, papers, and records of the grantee organization or consortium and the affiliates thereof that are pertinent to the grant made under this section.

    (l) Close-Out-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall close out a grant made under this section upon determining that the aggregate amount of any assistance provided from the fund established under subsection (d)(1) by the grantee organization or consortium exceeds the amount of the grant. For purposes of this paragraph, any interest, fees, and other earnings of the fund shall be excluded from the amount of the grant.

      (2) EFFECT- After a close-out under paragraph (1), no grantee organization or consortium, or any affiliates thereof, may be required to comply with any provision of this section or the grant agreement or to account to the Secretary for use of grant amounts.

    (m) ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW- A grant under this section shall be considered to be funds for a special project for purposes of section 305(c) of the Multifamily Housing Property Disposition Reform Act of 1994.

    (n) REPORT TO CONGRESS- Not later than 90 days after the date on which the close-out of all grants under this section is completed, the Secretary shall submit to the applicable committees a report describing the grants made under this section, the grantees, the housing developed in connection with the grant amounts, and the purposes for which the grant amounts were used.

    (o) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

      (1) APPLICABLE COMMITTEES- The term ‘applicable committees’ means the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the House of Representatives.

      (2) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

      (3) UNITED STATES- The term ‘United States’ includes the States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

    (p) FUNDING- Of any amounts made available for annual contributions for assisted housing before the date of enactment of this Act, $50,000,000 shall be used by the Secretary to carry out this section. Any such amounts shall remain available for such purposes until expended.

    (q) REGULATIONS- Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue any final regulations necessary to carry out this section. The regulations shall take effect upon issuance and may not exceed, in length, 5 full pages in the Federal Register.