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H.R. 1227 (110th): Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007

The text of the bill below is as of Feb 28, 2007 (Introduced).


I

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1227

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 28, 2007

(for herself and Mr. Frank of Massachusetts) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To assist in the provision of affordable housing to low-income families affected by Hurricane Katrina.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007.

I

Community development block grants

101.

Flexibility of Federal funds for Road Home program

(a)

Flexibility of funds

Subject to subsection (b) and notwithstanding any other provision of law, of the amounts previously made available to the Louisiana Recovery Authority under the Hazard Mitigation Grants program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $1,200,000,000 of such unexpended amounts shall be considered to have been made available to such Authority under the terms of the heading relating to Department of Housing and Urban Development—Community Planning and Development—Community Development Fund in chapter 9 of title II of Public Law 109–234 (120 Stat. 472) and approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for use under the Road Home Program of such Authority.

(b)

Monthly reports on program

(1)

In general

The Louisiana Recovery Authority shall submit reports under this subsection regarding the Road Home Program to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate. Each report under this subsection shall describe and analyze the implementation, status, and effectiveness of the Road Home Program and shall include the following information, for the applicable reporting period and for the entire period of the program:

(A)

The number of applications submitted for assistance under the program.

(B)

The number of households for which assistance has been provided under the program.

(C)

The average amount of assistance provided for each household under the program and the total amount of assistance provided under the program.

(D)

The number of personnel involved in executing all aspects of the program.

(E)

Actions taken to improve the program and recommendations for further such improvements.

(2)

Reporting periods

The first report under this subsection shall be submitted not later than the expiration of the 30-day period that begins upon the date of the enactment of this Act and reports shall be submitted not later than the expiration of each successive 30-day period thereafter during the term of the program.

102.

Elimination of prohibition of use for match requirement

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any amounts made available before the date of the enactment of this Act for activities under the community development block grant program under title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) for expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, and restoration of infrastructure in the areas impacted or distressed by the consequences of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma in States for which the President declared a major disaster may be used by a State or locality as a matching requirement, share, or contribution for any other Federal program.

103.

Reimbursement of CDBG amounts used for rental housing assistance

There are authorized to be appropriated, from any amounts made available before the date of the enactment of this Act under any provision of law to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster relief under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act relating to the consequences of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma that remain unobligated, such sums as may be necessary for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to provide assistance under title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) to metropolitan cities and urban counties that used amounts previously made available under such title to provide rental housing assistance for families residing in such city or county pursuant to evacuation from their previous residences because of such hurricanes in the amount necessary to provide each such city and county with an amount equal to the aggregate amount of previous assistance under such title so used.

II

Public Housing

201.

Survey of public housing residents

(a)

Survey

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide for the conducting of a survey, by an independent entity or organization, to determine, of the households who as of August 25, 2005, resided in public housing (as such term is defined in section 3(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437a(b))) operated or administered by the Housing Authority of New Orleans, in Louisiana—

(1)

which and how many such households intend to return to residence in such public housing or a comparable unit, when presented with the options of—

(A)

returning to residence in a repaired public housing or comparable dwelling unit in New Orleans; or

(B)

continuing to receive rental housing assistance from the Federal Government; and

(2)

when such households intend to return.

(b)

Participation of residents

The Secretary shall solicit recommendations from resident councils and residents of public housing operated or administered by such Housing Authority in designing and conducting the survey under subsection (a).

(c)

Proposed survey document

The Secretary shall submit the proposed document to be used in conducting the survey to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate not less than 10 business days before the commencement of such survey.

(d)

Report

The Secretary shall submit a report the Committees referred to in subsection (c) detailing the results of the survey conducted under subsection (a) not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

202.

Right of return for previous residents of public housing

(a)

Requirement to provide dwelling units

Not later than August 1, 2007, the Housing Authority of New Orleans shall make available for occupancy, subject to subsection (b), a number of dwelling units (including those currently occupied) described in subsection (d) that is not less than the greater of—

(1)

3,000; or

(2)

the number of households who have indicated, in the survey conducted pursuant to section 201, that they intend to return to residence in public housing operated or administered by such public housing agency.

(b)

Right of return

(1)

In general

Subject only to subsection (c), the Housing Authority of New Orleans shall make available, upon the request of any household who, as of August 25, 2005, was a tenant of public housing operated or administered by such public housing agency, occupancy for such household in a dwelling unit provided pursuant to subsection (a). As a condition of exercising a right under this paragraph to occupancy in such a dwelling unit, not later than August 1, 2007, a tenant shall provide notice to such Housing Authority of intent to exercise such right and shall identify a date that the tenant intends to occupy such a dwelling unit, which shall not be later than October 1, 2007.

(2)

Preferences

In making dwelling units available to households pursuant to paragraph (1), such Housing Authority shall provide preference to each such household for occupancy in a dwelling unit in the following locations, in the following order:

(A)

A dwelling unit in the same public housing project occupied by the household as of August 25, 2005, if available.

(B)

A dwelling unit in the same census tract in which was located the public housing dwelling unit occupied by the household as of August 25, 2005, if available.

(C)

A dwelling unit in a census tract adjacent to the census tract in which was located the public housing dwelling unit occupied by the household as of August 25, 2005, if available.

(D)

A dwelling unit in the neighborhood in which was located the public housing dwelling unit occupied by the household as of August 25, 2005, if available.

(c)

Prohibition of exclusion

The Housing Authority of New Orleans, and any other manager of replacement dwelling units set forth in this section shall not, including through the application of any waiting list or eligibility, screening, occupancy, or other policy or practice, prevent any household referred to in subsection (b)(1) from occupying a replacement dwelling unit provided pursuant to subsection (a), except to the extent that any other provision of Federal law prohibits occupancy or tenancy of such household in the type of housing of the replacement dwelling unit provided for such household.

(d)

Replacement dwelling units

A dwelling unit described in this subsection is—

(1)

a dwelling unit in public housing operated or administered by the Housing Authority of New Orleans; or

(2)

a dwelling unit in other comparable housing for which the amount required to be contributed by the tenant for rent is comparable to the amount required to be contributed by the tenant for rental of a comparable public housing dwelling unit.

(e)

Relocation assistance

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide, to each household provided occupancy in a dwelling unit pursuant to subsection (b), assistance under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisitions Policy Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.) for relocation to such dwelling unit.

203.

One-for-one replacement of all public housing dwelling units

(a)

Conditions on demolition

After the date of the enactment of this Act, the Housing Authority of New Orleans may not demolish or dispose of any dwelling unit of public housing operated or administered by such agency (including any uninhabitable unit and any unit previously approved for demolition) except pursuant to a plan for replacement of such units in accordance with, and approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to, subsection (b).

(b)

Plan requirements

The Secretary may not approve a plan that provides for demolition or disposition of any dwelling unit of public housing referred to in subsection (a) unless—

(1)

such plan is developed with the active participation of the resident councils of, and residents of public housing operated or administered by, such Housing Authority and with the City of New Orleans, at every phase of the planning and approval process, through a process that provides opportunity for comment on specific proposals for redevelopment, demolition, or disposition;

(2)

not later than 60 days before the date of the approval of such plan, such Housing Authority has convened and conducted a public hearing regarding the demolition or disposition proposed in the plan;

(3)

such plan provides that for each such dwelling unit demolished or disposed of, such public housing agency will provide an additional dwelling unit through—

(A)

the acquisition or development of additional public housing dwelling units; or

(B)

the acquisition, development, or contracting (including through project-based assistance) of additional dwelling units that are subject to requirements regarding eligibility for occupancy, tenant contribution toward rent, and long-term affordability restrictions which are comparable to public housing units;

(4)

such plan provides for the implementation of a right for households to occupancy housing in accordance with section 202;

(5)

such plan provides priority in making units available under paragraph (3) to residents identified in section 201;

(6)

such plan provides that the proposed demolition or disposition and relocation will be carried out in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing, as described in subsection (e) of section 808 of the Civil Rights Act of 1968; and

(7)

to the extent that such plan provides for the provision of replacement or additional dwelling units, or redevelopment, in phases over time, such plan provides that the ratio of dwelling units described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (3) that are provided in any such single phase to the total number of dwelling units provided in such phase is not less than the ratio of the aggregate number of such dwelling units provided under the plan to the total number of dwelling units provided under the plan.

(c)

Monitoring

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide for the appropriate field offices of the Department to monitor and supervise enforcement of this section and plans approved under this section and to consult, regarding such monitoring and enforcement, with resident councils of, and residents of public housing operated or administered by, the Housing Authority of New Orleans and with the City of New Orleans.

204.

Reports on proposed conversions of public housing units

Not later than the expiration of the 15-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall submit to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate a detailed report identifying all public housing projects located in areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina or Rita of 2005, for which plans exist to transfer ownership to other entities or agencies. Such report shall include the following information for each such project:

(1)

The name and location.

(2)

The number of dwelling units.

(3)

The proposed new owner.

(4)

The existing income eligibility and rent provisions.

(5)

Duration of existing affordability restrictions.

(6)

The proposed date of transfer.

(7)

Any other relevant information regarding the project.

205.

Authorization of appropriations for repair and rehabilitation

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out activities eligible for funding under the Capital Fund under section 9 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437g) for the repair and rehabilitation of public housing of the Housing Authority of New Orleans.

206.

Compliance of existing requests for proposals

Each request for qualification or proposal issued before the date of the enactment of this Act with respect to any public housing operated or administered by the Housing Authority of New Orleans shall, notwithstanding any existing terms of such requests, be subject to and comply with all provisions of this title and, to the extent necessary to so comply, such Housing Authority shall reissue such requests.

207.

Reports on compliance

Not later than the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and not later than the expiration of each calendar quarter thereafter, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall submit a detailed report regarding compliance with the requirements of this title, including the resident participation requirement under section 203(b)(1), to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate, the resident councils of, and residents of public housing operated or administered by, the Housing Authority of New Orleans, and the City of New Orleans.

III

Disaster Voucher Program and Project-Based Rental Assistance

301.

Extension of DVP program

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Disaster Voucher Program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, established pursuant to Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2779) and the authority of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to waive requirements under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 in administering assistance under such program, shall be extended until January 1, 2008.

302.

Clarification of voucher allocation formula for fiscal year 2007

In carrying out section 21033 of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2007, to provide renewal funding for tenant-based rental housing assistance under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 for each public housing agency, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall make, for any public housing agency impacted by Hurricane Katrina or Rita, such adjustments as are appropriate to provide adequate funding to adjust for reduced voucher leasing rates and increased housing costs arising from such hurricanes.

303.

Preservation of project-based housing assistance payments contracts for dwelling units damaged or destroyed

(a)

Tolling of contract term

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a project-based housing assistance payments contract for a covered assisted multifamily housing project shall not expire or be terminated because of the damage or destruction of dwelling units in the project by Hurricane Katrina or Rita. The expiration date of the contract shall be deemed to be the later of the date specified in the contract or a date ending three months after the dwelling units in the project or in a replacement project are first made habitable.

(b)

Owner proposals for reuse or re-siting

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall promptly review and shall approve all feasible proposals made by owners of covered assisted multifamily housing projects submitted to the Secretary, not later than October 1, 2007, that provide for the rehabilitation of the project and the resumption of use of the assistance under the contract for the project, or, alternatively, for the transfer, pursuant to subsection (c), of the contract or, in the case of a project with an interest reduction payments contract, of the remaining budget authority under the contact, to another multifamily housing project.

(c)

Transfer of contract

In the case of any covered assisted multifamily housing project, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall, with the concurrence of the State or unit of general local government in which the project is located—

(1)

in the case of a project with a project-based rental assistance payments contract described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of subsection (d)(2), transfer the contract to another appropriate and habitable existing project or a project to be constructed (having the same or a different owner); and

(2)

in the case of a project with an interest reduction payments contract pursuant to section 236 of the National Housing Act, use the remaining budget authority under the contract for interest reduction payments to reduce financing costs with respect to dwelling units in other habitable projects not currently so assisted, and such dwelling units shall be subject to the low-income affordability restrictions applicable to projects for which such payments are made under section 236 of the National Housing Act.

A project to which a project-based rental assistance payments contract is transferred may have a different number of units or bedroom configuration than the damaged or destroyed project if approximately the same number of individuals are expected to occupy the subsidized units in the replacement project as occupied the damaged or destroyed project.
(d)

Definitions

For purposes of this section:

(1)

Covered assisted multifamily housing project

The term assisted multifamily housing project means a multifamily housing project that—

(A)

as of the date of the enactment of this Act, is subject to a project-based rental assistance payments contract (including pursuant to subsection (a) of this section); and

(B)

that was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita of 2005.

(2)

Project-based rental assistance payments contract

The term project-based rental assistance payments contract includes—

(A)

a contract entered into pursuant to section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f);

(B)

a contract for project rental assistance pursuant to section 202(c)(2) of the Housing Act of 1959 (12 U.S.C. 1701q(c)(2));

(C)

a contract for project rental assistance pursuant to section 811(d)(2) of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 8013(d)(2)); and

(D)

an interest reduction payments contract pursuant to section 236 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715z–1).

304.

Tenant replacement vouchers for all lost units

There is authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2008 such sums as may be necessary to provide tenant replacement vouchers under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) for the number of households that is equal to—

(1)

the number of assisted dwelling units (whether occupied or unoccupied) located in covered assisted multifamily housing projects that are not approved for reuse or re-siting by the Secretary; plus

(2)

the number of public housing dwelling units that, as of August 25, 2005, were considered for purposes of allocating operating and capital assistance under section 9 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (whether occupied or unoccupied), that will not be put back into use for occupancy; minus

(3)

the number of previously awarded enhanced vouchers for assisted dwelling units and tenant protection vouchers for public housing units covered under this section.

Any amounts made available pursuant to this section shall, upon the request of a public housing agency for such voucher assistance, be allocated to the public housing agency based the number of dwelling units described in paragraph (1) or (2) that are located in the jurisdiction of the public housing agency.
305.

Voucher assistance for supportive housing

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall make available to the State of Louisiana or its designee, upon request, 3,000 vouchers for rental assistance under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 for the purpose of providing project-based rental assistance for supportive housing dwelling units for elderly families, persons with disabilities, or homeless persons. Such vouchers may be made available from the vouchers authorized under section 304, upon the concurrence of the appropriate public housing agency.

306.

Transfer of DVP vouchers to permanent voucher program

For purposes of allocating amounts made available for renewal of tenant-based assistance under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f), any voucher for rental assistance made available under the Disaster Voucher Program referred to in section 301 of this Act shall, as of the termination date of the Disaster Voucher Program, be considered a voucher of the public housing agency having jurisdiction of the area in which such assisted family resides as of such termination date, for purposes of determining the number of leased units and costs (or any other baseline based on previous vouchers available or used) and any limitation on the number of authorized units for such agency.

307.

Identification and notification of DVP-eligible households not assisted

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall make a good faith effort to identify all households who, as of the date of the enactment of this Act, are eligible for assistance under the Disaster Voucher Program referred to in section 301 but are not assisted under such program. Upon identification of each such household, the Secretary shall—

(1)

notify such household of the rights of the household to return a public housing or other assisted dwelling unit; and

(2)

to the extent that the family is eligible at such time of identification, offer the household assistance under the Disaster Voucher program.

IV

Damages arising from FEMA actions

401.

Authorization of appropriations to reimburse landlords for damages due to FEMA management of city lease program

There are authorized to be appropriated, from amounts made available before the date of the enactment of this Act under any provision of law to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster relief under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Emergency Assistance Act, such sums as may be necessary for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to provide reimbursement to each landlord who participated in the city lease program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency pursuant to section 403 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b) in the amount of actual, documented damages incurred by such landlord as a result of abrogation by such Agency of commitments entered into under such program.