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S. 811 (108th): American Dream Downpayment Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 16, 2003.

Title I: Downpayment Assistance - American Dream Downpayment Act - (Sec. 102) Amends the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act to: (1) authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to make grants to State and local participating jurisdictions for downpayment assistance and related home repair to low-income, first-time home buyers; and (2) limit family assistance to the greater of six percent of the purchase price or $10,000. Requires a participating jurisdiction to include intended grant uses in its fiscal year comprehensive housing affordability strategy under such Act.

Sets forth State and local jurisdiction allocation formulas. Permits fund reallocation.

Requires the Comptroller General to report respecting the impact of such grants on a State-by-State basis.

Terminates grant authority after December 31, 2007. Authorizes specified FY 2004 through 2007 appropriations.

Makes the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 inapplicable to such assistance.

Title II: Intergenerational Housing Assistance - Living Equitably: Grandparents Aiding Children and Youth Act of 2003, or LEGACY Act of 2003 - (Sec. 203) Directs the Secretary to: (1) carry out a five-year pilot program in connection with the supportive housing program to provide assistance to private nonprofit organizations for expanding the supply of intergenerational dwelling units for intergenerational families (families headed by an elderly person); and (2) report on such program's effectiveness. Authorizes specified appropriations.

(Sec. 204) Amends the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act to provide Department of Housing and Urban Development personnel with related training.

(Sec. 205) Directs the Secretary and the Director of the Bureau of the Census to conduct a joint study of such families' housing needs.

Title III: Adjustable Rate Single Family Mortgages and Loan Limit Adjustments - (Sec. 301) Revises certain fixed-interest criteria for adjustable rate single-family mortgages which are insurable by the Federal Housing Administration.

(Sec. 302) FHA Multifamily Loan Limit Adjustment Act of 2003 - Amends the National Housing Act to increase high-cost area and project-based additional mortgage loan limits for Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured mortgages for: (1) rental housing; (2) cooperative housing; (3) rehabilitation and neighborhood conservation housing; (4) moderate income and displaced family housing; (5) housing for the elderly; and (6) condominiums.

Increases: (1) "amount per space" rental housing mortgage limits; and (2) certain cooperative housing mortgage limits.

Title IV: Hope VI Program Reauthorization - HOPE VI Program Reauthorization and Small Community Mainstreet Rejuvenation and Housing Act of 2003 - (Sec. 402) Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to revise criteria for HOPE VI (urban revitalization demonstration program) grants, including addition of criteria regarding tenant displacement, existing tenant occupancy priority, and timeliness of project completion.

Revises the definition of "severely distressed public housing" to include areas lacking sufficient affordable housing, transportation, supportive services, economic opportunity, schools, civic and religious institutions, and public services.

Directs the Comptroller General to report respecting the extent of, and recommended improvements for, severely distressed elderly and non-elderly disabled public housing.

Authorizes appropriations through FY 2006. Extends program authority through September 30, 2006.

(Sec. 403) Includes within the program's purposes assisting smaller communities to provide affordable low-income housing in connection with main street revitalization or redevelopment projects.

Authorizes main street grants (maximum $1 million per fiscal year) to smaller communities for affordable low-income housing in a commercial area in connection with an eligible project. Requires recipient grant use reports.

Requires that a project be focused on: (1) joint public-private revitalization or redevelopment of a historic or traditional commercial area; and (2) affordable housing rather than severely distressed public housing.

Defines "smaller community" as a local government unit that: (1) has a population of 50,000 or less, and is without a public housing agency; or (2) has a public housing agency that administers 100 or fewer public housing dwelling units.

Defines "affordable housing" as rental or home ownership units that are made available for initial occupancy subject to the same income and occupant contribution rules as dwelling units in public housing projects assisted with HOPE VI grants.

Obligates up to five percent of HOPE VI appropriations for smaller community grants.

Title V: Community Development Grants - (Sec. 501) Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 to: (1) define "insular area" as each of Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and make such areas eligible for community development loan guarantees; and (2) obligate specified annual amounts (exclusive of special purpose grants) for such areas.