S. 532 (108th): Colonias Gateway Initiative Act

108th Congress, 2003–2004. Text as of Mar 05, 2003 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

S 532 IS

108th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 532

To enhance the capacity of organizations working in the United States-Mexico border region to develop affordable housing and infrastructure and to foster economic opportunity in the colonias.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 5, 2003

Mrs. Hutchison (for herself, Mr. Domenici, Mr. Bingaman, and Mr. McCain) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs


A BILL

To enhance the capacity of organizations working in the United States-Mexico border region to develop affordable housing and infrastructure and to foster economic opportunity in the colonias.

    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 ‘Colonias Gateway Initiative Act’.

SEC. 2. COLONIAS GATEWAY INITIATIVE.

    (a) DEFINITIONS- In this section:

      (1) COLONIA- The term ‘colonia’ means any identifiable community that--

        (A) is located in the State of Arizona, California, New Mexico, or Texas;

        (B) is located in the United States-Mexico border region;

        (C) is determined to be a colonia on the basis of objective criteria, including lack of potable water supply, lack of adequate sewage systems, and lack of decent, safe, and sanitary housing; and

        (D) was in existence and generally recognized as a colonia before the date of enactment of this Act.

      (2) REGIONAL ORGANIZATION- The term ‘regional organization’ means a nonprofit organization or a consortium of nonprofit organizations with the capacity to serve colonias.

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

      (4) UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER REGION- The term ‘United States-Mexico border region’ means the area of the United States within 150 miles of the border between the United States and Mexico, except that such term does not include any standard metropolitan statistical area that has a population exceeding 1,000,000.

    (b) GRANT PROGRAM- To the extent amounts are made available to carry out this section, the Secretary may make grants under this section to 1 or more regional organizations to enhance the availability of affordable housing, economic opportunity, and infrastructure in the colonias.

    (c) GRANTS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Grants under this section may be made only to regional organizations selected pursuant to subsection (d).

      (2) SELECTION- After a regional organization has been selected pursuant to subsection (d) to receive a grant under this section, the Secretary may provide a grant to such organization in subsequent fiscal years, subject to subsection (f)(2).

    (d) SELECTION OF REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall select 1 or more regional organizations that submit applications for grants under this section to receive such grants.

      (2) COMPETITION- The selection under paragraph (1) shall be made pursuant to a competition, which shall--

        (A) consider the proposed work plan of the applicant under subsection (f); and

        (B) be based upon the criteria described in paragraph (3).

      (3) CRITERIA- Criteria for the selection of a grant recipient shall include a demonstration of the extent to which the applicant organization has the capacity to--

        (A) enhance the availability of affordable housing, economic opportunity, and infrastructure in the colonias by carrying out the eligible activities set forth in subsection (g);

        (B) provide assistance in each State in which colonias are located;

        (C) form partnerships with the public and private sectors and local and regional housing and economic development intermediaries to leverage and coordinate additional resources to achieve the purposes of this section;

        (D) ensure accountability to the residents of the colonias through active and ongoing outreach to, and consultation with, residents and local governments; and

        (E) meet such other criteria as the Secretary may specify.

      (4) DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDING- In making the selection under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall ensure that--

        (A) each State in the United States-Mexico border region receives a grant under this Act; and

        (B) each State receives not less than 15 percent of the amounts appropriated to carry out this Act.

    (e) ADVISORY BOARD-

      (1) MEMBERSHIP- The Secretary shall appoint an Advisory Board that shall consist of 9 members, who shall include--

        (A) 1 individual from each State in which colonias are located;

        (B) 3 individuals who are members of non-profit or private sector organizations having substantial investments in the colonias, at least 1 of whom is a member of such a private sector organization; and

        (C) 2 individuals who are residents of a colonia.

      (2) CHAIRPERSON-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall designate a member of the Advisory Board to serve as Chairperson for a 1-year term.

        (B) ALTERNATING CHAIRPERSON- At the end of the 1-year term referred to in subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall designate a different member to serve as Chairperson, ensuring that the Chairperson position rotates to a member from every State in which colonias are located.

      (3) TERM- Advisory Board members shall be appointed for 2-year terms that shall be renewable at the discretion of the Secretary.

      (4) COMPENSATION- Advisory Board members shall serve without compensation, but the Secretary may provide members with travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.

      (5) FUNCTIONS- The Advisory Board shall--

        (A) assist any regional organization that receives a grant under this section in the development and implementation of its final work plan under subsection (f);

        (B) review and approve all final work plans;

        (C) assist the Secretary in monitoring and evaluating the performance of any regional organization in implementing its final work plan; and

        (D) provide such other assistance as the Secretary may request.

    (f) WORK PLANS-

      (1) APPLICATION- Each regional organization applying for a grant under this section shall include in its application a proposed work plan.

      (2) ANNUAL SUBMISSION- To be eligible to continue receiving annual grants under this section after selection pursuant to subsection (d), a regional organization shall, on an annual basis after such selection and subject to the determination of the Secretary to continue to provide grant amounts to such regional organization, submit a proposed work plan to

the Advisory Board and the Secretary for review and approval.

      (3) FINAL WORK PLAN- In any fiscal year, including the fiscal year in which any regional organization is selected pursuant to subsection (d), prior to final determination and allocation of specific grant amounts, each selected regional organization shall, with the assistance of the Advisory Board, develop a final work plan that thoroughly describes how the regional organization will use specific grant amounts to carry out its functions under this section, which shall include--

        (A) a description of outcome measures and other baseline information to be used to monitor success in promoting affordable housing, economic opportunity, and infrastructure in the colonias;

        (B) an account of how the regional organization will strengthen the coordination of existing resources used to assist residents of the colonias, and how the regional organization will leverage additional public and private resources to complement such existing resources;

        (C) an explanation, in part, of the effects that implementation of the work plan will have on areas in and around colonias; and

        (D) such assurances as the Secretary may require that grant amounts will be used in a manner that results in assistance and investments for colonias in each State containing colonias, in accordance with requirements that the Advisory Board and the Secretary may establish that provide for a minimum level of such investment and assistance as a condition of the approval of the work plans.

      (4) APPROVAL-

        (A) IN GENERAL- No grant amounts under this section for a fiscal year may be provided to a regional organization until the Secretary approves the final work plan of the organization, including a specific grant amount for the organization.

        (B) CONSIDERATIONS- In determining whether to approve a final work plan, the Secretary shall consider whether the Advisory Board approved the plan.

        (C) NONAPPROVAL OF PLAN- To the extent that the Advisory Board or the Secretary does not approve a work plan, the Advisory Board or the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, assist the selected regional organization that submitted the plan to develop an approvable plan.

    (g) ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES- Grant amounts under this section may be used only to carry out eligible activities to benefit the colonias, including--

      (1) coordination of public, private, and community-based resources and the use of grant amounts to leverage such resources;

      (2) technical assistance and capacity building, including training, business planning and investment advice, and the development of marketing and strategic investment plans;

      (3) initial and early-stage investments in activities to provide--

        (A) housing, infrastructure, and economic development;

        (B) housing counseling and financial education, including counseling and education about avoiding predatory lending; and

        (C) access to financial services for residents of colonias;

      (4) development of comprehensive, regional, socioeconomic, and other data, and the establishment of a centralized information resource, to facilitate strategic planning and investments;

      (5) administrative and planning costs of any regional organization in carrying out this section, except that the Secretary may limit the amount of grant funds used for such costs; and

      (6) such other activities as the Secretary considers appropriate to carry out this section.

    (h) GRANT AGREEMENTS- A grant under this section shall be made only pursuant to a grant agreement between the Secretary and a regional organization selected under this section.

    (i) TERMINATION AND RECAPTURE- If the Secretary determines that a regional organization that was awarded a grant under this section has not substantially fulfilled its obligations under its final work plan or grant agreement, the Secretary shall terminate the participation of that regional organization under this section, and shall recapture any unexpended grant amounts.

    (j) DETAILS FROM OTHER AGENCIES- Upon request of any selected regional organization that has an approved work plan, the head of any Federal agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of such agency to that regional organization to assist it in carrying out its duties under this section.

    (k) ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW- For purposes of environmental review, projects assisted by grant amounts under this section shall--

      (1) be treated as special projects that are subject to section 305(c) of the Multifamily Housing Property Disposition Reform Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 3547); and

      (2) be subject to regulations issued by the Secretary to implement such section 305(c).

    (l) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section--

      (1) $16,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; and

      (2) such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009.

    (m) SUNSET- No new grants may be provided under this section after September 30, 2009.