skip to main content

S. 1668 (110th): Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007

The text of the bill below is as of Jun 20, 2007 (Introduced).


II

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1668

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 20, 2007

(for himself and Ms. Landrieu) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

A BILL

To assist in providing affordable housing to those affected by the 2005 hurricanes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

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

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Limitation on use of authorized amounts.

TITLE I—Community development block grants

Sec. 101. Flexibility of Federal Funds for Road Home Program.

Sec. 102. Household assistance programs funded with CDBG disaster assistance.

Sec. 103. Community development pilot programs.

Sec. 104. Road Home Program shortfall.

Sec. 105. Elimination of prohibition of use for match requirement.

Sec. 106. Reimbursement of amounts used for rental housing assistance.

TITLE II—Public Housing

Sec. 201. Survey of public housing residents.

Sec. 202. Housing for previous residents of public housing.

Sec. 203. Replacement of public housing dwelling units.

Sec. 204. Resident support services.

Sec. 205. Public housing in Katrina and Rita disaster areas.

Sec. 206. Reports on proposed conversions of public housing units.

Sec. 207. Authorization of appropriations for repair and rehabilitation for Katrina and Rita disaster areas.

Sec. 208. Existing public housing redevelopment.

Sec. 209. Reports on compliance.

Sec. 210. Independent administration of Housing Authority of New Orleans.

Sec. 211. Definition.

TITLE III—Disaster Voucher Program and Project-Based Rental Assistance

Sec. 301. Disaster voucher program.

Sec. 302. Tenant replacement vouchers for all lost units.

Sec. 303. Voucher assistance for households receiving FEMA assistance.

Sec. 304. Voucher assistance for supportive housing.

Sec. 305. Project-basing of vouchers.

Sec. 306. Preservation of project-based housing assistance payments contracts for dwelling units damaged or destroyed.

Sec. 307. GAO study of wrongful or erroneous termination of Federal rental housing assistance.

TITLE IV—Damages arising from FEMA actions

Sec. 401. Reimbursement of landlords.

TITLE V—FHA housing

Sec. 501. Treatment of nonconveyable properties.

Sec. 502. FHA single-family insurance.

Sec. 503. FHA-New Orleans Homeownership Opportunities Initiative.

TITLE VI—Fair Housing Enforcement

Sec. 601. Fair housing initiatives program.

TITLE VII—Improved distribution of Federal hurricane housing funds for hurricane relief

Sec. 701. GAO study of improved distribution of Federal housing funds for hurricane relief.

TITLE VIII—Commending Americans for their rebuilding efforts

Sec. 801. Commending Americans.

2.

Limitation on use of authorized amounts

None of the amounts authorized by this Act may be used to lobby or retain a lobbyist for the purpose of influencing a Federal, State, or local governmental entity or officer.

I

Community development block grants

101.

Flexibility of Federal Funds for Road Home Program

(a)

Prohibition of restriction on use of amounts

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (4) and notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall allow the uses specified in paragraph (2), by the State of Louisiana under the Road Home Program of such State, of any amounts specified in paragraph (5), provided such funds are used in full compliance with the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Supplemental Community Development Block Grant Program, as such requirements are established under title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.).

(2)

Eligible uses

As specified in paragraph (1), the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall allow the State of Louisiana to use any amounts specified in paragraph (5) for the purposes of—

(A)

acquiring property, including both land and buildings, for the purposes of removing any structure located on such property and permanently returning the property to a use compatible with open space, as required pursuant to section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170c);

(B)

covering all or a portion of the cost of elevating a damaged residential structure located on any property acquired under subparagraph (A) in order to make the property compliant with State building codes, local ordinances or building requirements, and the National Flood Insurance Program, including elevating the lowest habitable level to at least 1 foot above the base flood elevation or the elevation described using the current best available data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, whichever elevation is higher;

(C)

covering all or a portion of the cost of—

(i)

the demolition of any home deemed to be more than 50 percent damaged as a result of an inspection; and

(ii)

the reconstruction of another home on the same property on which a home was demolished under clause (i), including site preparation, utility connection, and transactional costs, such that the newly constructed home is elevated so the lowest habitable level will be at least 1 foot above the base flood elevation or the elevation described using the current best available data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, whichever elevation is higher;

(D)

funding individual mitigation measures that can be incorporated into a home to reduce risk to both life and property, provided that no individual measure to be funded costs in excess of $7,500; and

(E)

covering the reasonable cost to manage and administer such funds consistent with existing funding formulas identified under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) and its implementing regulations.

(3)

Consistency requirement

Uses specified in paragraph (2) shall be deemed eligible when implemented in a way consistent with the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Supplemental Community Development Block Grant Program, as such requirements are established under title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.), irrespective of any other requirements mandated under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program under section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170c).

(4)

Savings provision

Except as provided in paragraph (3), all other provisions of section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170c) shall apply to amounts specified in paragraph (3) that are used by the State of Louisiana under the Road Home Program of such State.

(5)

Covered amounts

The amounts specified in this paragraph is $1,170,000,000 designated for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the State of Louisiana as of June 1, 2007.

(6)

Expedited transfer of funds

(A)

In general

The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall, not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, transfer the amounts specified in paragraph (5) to the State of Louisiana.

(B)

Procedures

The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall identify and implement mechanisms to be applied to all funds made available to the State of Louisiana as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program under section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170c) that will simplify the requirements of such program and ensure the expedited distribution of such funds under the program, including—

(i)

creating a programmatic cost-benefit analysis to provide a means of conducting cost-benefit analysis by project type and geographic factors rather than on a structure-by-structure basis; and

(ii)

developing a streamlined environmental review process to significantly speed the approval of project applications.

(7)

Future amounts

Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, for the period beginning June 1, 2007 and ending December 31, 2007, any amounts in addition to the $1,170,000,000 described under paragraph (5) that are made available to the State of Louisiana as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program under section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170c) shall be provided by such State to local government entities, based upon the severity of hurricane damage incurred in such areas, to be used solely for the purposes set forth under such section 404.

(b)

Reporting requirement

The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall provide quarterly reports to the Committees on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the Committees on Financial Services and Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives on—

(1)

specific mechanisms that are being utilized to expedite funding distribution under this section; and

(2)

how such mechanisms are performing.

102.

Household assistance programs funded with CDBG disaster assistance

(a)

Reporting requirement

Each State that received amounts made available under the heading Department of Housing and Urban Development—Community Planning and Development—Community Development Fund in chapter 9 of title I of division B of Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2779) or under such heading in chapter 9 of title II of Public Law 109–234 (120 Stat. 472) shall submit reports, and make such reports available to the public on the Internet, under this subsection regarding each grant program of the State for assistance for individual households funded in whole or in part with such amounts to the committees identified in paragraph (4). Each such report under this subsection shall describe and analyze the status and effectiveness of each such grant program and shall include the information described in paragraph (2) regarding each such program, for the applicable reporting period and for the entire period of such program.

(b)

Contents

The following information shall be included in any report submitted under subsection (a):

(1)

The number of applications submitted for assistance under the program.

(2)

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

(3)

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

(4)

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

(5)

Actions to affirmatively further fair housing.

(6)

Comprehensive data, by program, on who is served during the period, by number, percentage, and zip code, including data on race, ethnicity, income, disability, family size, and family status.

(7)

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

(c)

Reporting periods

With respect to any program described in subsection (a), the first report under this section shall be submitted not later than the expiration of the 30-day period that begins upon the date of the enactment of this Act. Reports shall be submitted, during the term of each such program, not later than the expiration of each successive calendar quarter thereafter.

(d)

Receiving committees

The committees specified in this paragraph are—

(1)

the Committees on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate; and

(2)

the Committees on Financial Services and Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

(e)

Ongoing reports on use of amounts

(1)

Quarterly reports

During the period that amounts are being expended under the State grant programs referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall submit reports on a quarterly basis to the Committees on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, the Committees on Financial Services and Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States. Such reports shall be made available to the public on the Internet. Such reports shall—

(A)

describe and account for the use of all such amounts expended during the applicable quarterly period;

(B)

certify that internal controls are in place to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse; and

(C)

identify any waste, fraud, or abuse involved in the use of such amounts.

(2)

Monitoring

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall monitor funds expended by each State required to submit reports under subsection (a) and, pursuant to such monitoring—

(A)

upon determining that at least 2 percent of such amount has been expended, shall include in the first quarterly report thereafter a written determination of such expenditure; and

(B)

upon determining, at any time after the determination under subparagraph (A), that the portion of such total amount expended at such time that was subject to waste, fraud, or abuse exceeds 10 percent, shall include in the first quarterly report thereafter a certification to that effect.

(3)

Actions in response to waste, fraud, and abuse

If at any time the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development submits a report under paragraph (1) that includes a certification under paragraph (2)(B), the Comptroller General shall submit a report to the Committees referred to in paragraph (1) within 90 days recommending actions to be taken—

(A)

to recover any improper expenditures; and

(B)

to prevent further waste, fraud, and abuse in expenditure of such amounts.

103.

Community development pilot programs

(a)

Availability of amounts

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall require the State of Louisiana to make available, from any amounts made available for such State under the heading Department of Housing and Urban Development—Community Planning and Development—Community Development Fund in chapter 9 of title I of division B of Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2779) or under such heading in chapter 9 of title II of Public Law 109–234 (120 Stat. 472) and that remain unexpended, the following amounts:

(1)

For Orleans Parish

$30,000,000 to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (in this section referred to as the Redevelopment Authority), subject to subsection (c), only for use to carry out the pilot program under this section, provided that, of such amounts, $5,000,000 be used to provide low-interest loans for second mortgages (commonly referred to as soft loans) for homes sold to low-income individuals.

(2)

Other Parishes

$25,000,000 to the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency to provide grants to parishes, not including Orleans Parish, that were declared a disaster area by the President as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita of 2005 to establish redevelopment programs in those parishes that have requirements that are the same or substantially similar to the requirements under this section.

(b)

Purpose

The pilot program under this section shall fund, through the combination of amounts provided under this section with public and private capital from other sources, the purchase or costs associated with the acquisition or disposition of individual parcels of land in New Orleans, Louisiana, by the Redevelopment Authority to be aggregated, assembled, and sold for the purpose of development by the Redevelopment Authority or private entities only in accordance with, and subject to, any recovery and redevelopment plans developed and adopted by the City of New Orleans. The costs associated with acquisition or disposition of a parcel of land may include costs for activities described in subsection (c)(3) with respect to such parcel and costs described in subsection (c)(6).

(c)

Certifications

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall ensure that amounts are made available pursuant to subsection (a) to the Redevelopment Authority only upon the submission to the Secretary of certifications to ensure that the Redevelopment Authority—

(1)

has the authority to purchase land for resale for the purpose of development in accordance with the pilot program under this section;

(2)

has bonding authority (either on its own or through a State bonding agency) or has credit enhancements sufficient to support public/private financing to acquire land for the purposes of the pilot program under this section;

(3)

has the authority and capacity to ensure clean title to land sold under the pilot program and to reduce the risk attributable to and indemnify against environmental, flood, and other liabilities;

(4)

will, where practicable, provide a first right to purchase any land acquired by the Redevelopment Authority to the seller who sold the land to the Redevelopment Authority, consistent with any recovery and redevelopment plans developed and adopted by the City of New Orleans;

(5)

has in place sufficient internal controls to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse and to ensure that funds made available under this subsection may not be used to fund salaries or other administrative costs of the employees of the Redevelopment Authority; and

(6)

will, in carrying out the pilot program under this section, consult with the City of New Orleans regarding coordination of activities under the program with the recovery and redevelopment plans referred to in subsection (b), reimbursement of such City for costs incurred in support of the program, and use of program income and other amounts generated through the program.

(d)

Development requirements

In carrying out the pilot program under this section, the Redevelopment Authority shall—

(1)

sell land acquired under the pilot program only as provided in subsection (b);

(2)

use any proceeds from the sale of such land to replenish funds available for use under the pilot program for the purpose of acquiring new parcels of land or to repay any private financing for such purchases;

(3)

require that in instances where land is developed under this section, and used for housing, not less than 25 percent of such housing be affordable and made available to low-, very low-, and extremely low-income households;

(4)

sell land only—

(A)

to purchasers who agree to develop such sites for sale to the public;

(B)

to purchasers pursuant to subsection (c)(4); or

(C)

to developers who are developing sites, including public housing development sites, as part of a neighborhood revitalization plan;

(5)

ensure that any—

(A)

development under the program is consistent with neighborhood revitalization plans and in accordance with any recovery and redevelopment plans developed and adopted by the City of New Orleans; and

(B)

uses of such development are not inconsistent with redevelopment of adjacent parcels, where possible; and

(6)

where properties are located in neighborhoods where public housing redevelopment is occurring, give priority consideration to making such properties available to meet the housing replacement requirements under this Act.

(e)

Inapplicability of stafford act limitations

Any requirements or limitations under or pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act relating to use of properties acquired with amounts made available under such Act for certain purposes, restricting development of such properties, or limiting subsequent alienation of such properties shall not apply to amounts provided under this section or properties acquired under the pilot program with such amounts.

(f)

GAO study and report

(1)

In general

Upon the expiration of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study of the pilot program carried out under this section to determine the effectiveness and limitations of, and potential improvements for, such program.

(2)

Timing of report

Not later than 180 days after the expiration of the 2-year period described in paragraph (1), the Comptroller General shall submit a report to the Committees on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the Committees on Financial Services and Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and regarding the results of the study.

(3)

Required content

The report required under paragraph (2) shall include a forensic audit that examines the effectiveness of internal controls to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse within the pilot program.

104.

Road Home Program shortfall

(a)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the State of Louisiana to carry out the Road Home Program, provided that as of June 1, 2007, the State of Louisiana has provided at least $1,000,000,000 for such program.

(b)

Exception from prohibition on duplication of benefits

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, to the extent that amounts made available under the heading Department of Housing and Urban Development-Community Planning and Development—Community Development Fund in chapter 9 of title I of division B of Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2779), under such heading in chapter 9 of title II of Public Law 109–234 (120 Stat. 472), and under section 101 of this title, are used by the State of Louisiana under the Road Home Program, the procedures preventing duplication of benefits established pursuant to the penultimate proviso under such heading in Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2781) and the 15th proviso under such heading in Public Law 109–234 (120 Stat. 473) shall not apply with respect to any benefits received from disaster payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or disaster assistance provided from the Small Business Administration, except to the extent that the inapplicability of such procedures would result in a household receiving more than is necessary to repair or rebuild their structure and property, and pay for temporary relocation and necessities.

105.

Elimination of prohibition of use for match requirement

(a)

In general

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, or made available before such date of enactment for such activities for such expenses in the areas impacted or distressed by the consequences of Hurricane Dennis, may be used by a State or locality as a matching requirement, share, or contribution for any other Federal program.

(b)

Efficient environmental review

If an environmental review for a project funded by any amounts referred to in subsection (a) has been completed by a Federal agency, such environmental review shall be considered sufficient for receipt and use of all Federal funds, provided that such environmental review is substantially similar to an environmental review under the procedures authorized under section 104(g) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5304(g)).

106.

Reimbursement of 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, and from any amounts made available before such date of enactment under any provision of law to such Agency for such disaster relief relating to the consequences of Hurricane Dennis that remain unobligated, such sums as may be necessary to be made available to the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for transfer to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, for such Secretary to provide assistance under title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) to reimburse metropolitan cities and urban counties for amounts used, including amounts from the Community Development Block Grant Program, the HOME Investment Partnership Program, and other programs, to provide rental housing assistance for families residing in such city or county pursuant to evacuation from their previous residences because of such hurricanes, provided that such city or county has not previously been reimbursed for such expenditures.

II

Public Housing

201.

Survey of public housing residents

(a)

Survey

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall contract with an independent research entity to conduct a survey, using appropriate scientific research methods to determine, of the households who as of August 28, 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 residences in dwelling units described in section 202(d) of this Act, when presented with the options of—

(A)

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

(B)

returning to residence in a temporary repaired residence in New Orleans immediately, and then moving from such repaired residence to a newly redeveloped public housing unit at a later date; or

(C)

continuing to receive rental housing assistance from the Federal Government in a location other than New Orleans or in New Orleans; and

(2)

when households who choose the options described under subparagraphs (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) 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 full research design of the proposed document to be used in conducting the survey to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives not less than 10 business days before the commencement of such survey.

(d)

Report

The Secretary shall submit a report to the committees referred to in subsection (c) detailing the results of the survey conducted under subsection (a) not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

202.

Housing for previous residents of public housing

(a)

Provision of dwelling units

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Housing Authority of New Orleans shall make available for temporary or permanent 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 within 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, in public housing operated or administered by such public housing agency.

(b)

Housing for former public housing residents

(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 28, 2005, was a tenant of public housing operated or administered by such public housing agency, permanent or temporary occupancy (as may be necessary for redevelopment plans) for such household in a dwelling unit provided pursuant to subsection (a), so long as—

(A)

the tenant—

(i)

notifies the Housing Authority of New Orleans, not later than 75 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, of that tenant's intent to return; and

(ii)

identifies a date that the tenant intends to occupy such a dwelling unit, which shall be not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(B)

the tenant was rightfully occupying a public housing unit of the Housing Authority of New Orleans on August 28, 2005.

(2)

Preferences

In making dwelling units available to households pursuant to paragraph (1), such Housing Authority shall provide to each returning tenant the choice to live in—

(A)

a dwelling unit in the same public housing project occupied by the tenant as of August 28, 2005, or in the surrounding neighborhood in which such public housing project was located, if available; or

(B)

in any other available dwelling unit in various other areas of the City of New Orleans, provided that the Housing Authority give each resident a choice of available units in various neighborhoods throughout the City of New Orleans.

(c)

Prohibition of exclusion

The Housing Authority of New Orleans 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 that such Housing Authority or other manager shall prevent a household from occupying such a dwelling unit, and shall provide for occupancy in such dwelling units, as follows:

(1)

Notwithstanding any priority under paragraph (4), a household shall be prevented from such occupancy to the extent that any other provision of Federal law prohibits occupancy or tenancy of such household, or any individual who is a member of such household, in the type of housing of the replacement dwelling unit provided for such household.

(2)

Notwithstanding any priority under paragraph (4), a household shall be prevented from such occupancy if it includes any individual who has been convicted of a drug dealing offense, sex offense, or crime of domestic violence.

(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 located in the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority of New Orleans for which the sum of the amount required to be contributed by the tenant for rent and any separate utility costs for such unit borne by the tenant is comparable to the sum of the amount required to be contributed by the tenant for rental of a comparable public housing dwelling unit and any separate utility costs for such unit borne by the tenant.

(e)

Relocation assistance

The Housing Authority of New Orleans 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.

Replacement of public housing dwelling units

(a)

Conditions on demolition

After the date of the enactment of this Act, the Housing Authority of New Orleans may only demolish or dispose of dwelling units of public housing operated or administered by such agency (including any uninhabitable unit) pursuant to a plan for replacement of such units, as approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to subsection (b).

(b)

Plan requirements

The Secretary may only approve a plan for demolition or disposition of dwelling units of public housing referred to in subsection (a), if—

(1)

there is a clear process for the opportunity to comment by the residents and resident councils of public housing operated or administered by such Housing Authority or the City of New Orleans, and the community in which such demolition or disposition is to occur, including the opportunity for comment on specific proposals at each stage of 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 at least 1 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 additional affordable housing as set forth under subsection (c);

(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 for offering public housing units built on site, first to former residents of that public housing development who indicate they would like to return, subject to exclusions permitted under Federal law for criminal activity;

(7)

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;

(8)

such plan provides for comprehensive resident services; and

(9)

such plan provides for procedures for people who were on the waiting list on August 28, 2005, to receive consideration to receive housing for any units that are not needed for returning residents.

(c)

Replacement units

(1)

Previously occupied units

For each public housing unit demolished or disposed of under this section, which was occupied by tenants on August 28, 2005, the Housing Authority of New Orleans and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide at least 1 of the following replacement housing opportunities:

(A)

The acquisition or development of additional public housing dwelling units, including units in the neighborhood where the demolished or disposed of units were located.

(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, including units in the neighborhood where the demolished or disposed of units were located.

(C)

The development or contracting of project-based voucher assistance under section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)), for not less than 15 years.

(2)

Nonoccupied units

For each public housing unit demolished or disposed of under this section, which was not occupied by tenants on August 28, 2005, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide, and the Housing Authority of New Orleans shall provide a replacement housing unit as described in paragraph (1) or shall issue a voucher under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)), provided that the Housing Authority establishes, within 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, a system to project base such vouchers, as permitted under section 8(o)(13) of such Act.

(d)

Inapplicable provisions

Subparagraphs (B) and (D) of section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)) shall not apply with respect to vouchers used to comply with the requirements of subsection (b)(3) of this section, except that not more than 50 percent of the units in any such affordable housing project may be assisted under a housing assistance contract for project-based assistance under such section 8(o)(13), unless all units are specifically made available to seniors or people with disabilities.

(e)

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.

Resident support services

(a)

In general

In any instance where the Housing Authority of New Orleans is providing housing vouchers or affordable housing that is not public housing, as described in section 203, the Housing Authority shall, directly or through the use of contractors—

(1)

provide mobility counseling to residents of such housing;

(2)

conduct outreach to landlords of such housing in all areas of the City of New Orleans and the region; and

(3)

work with developers to project-base voucher assistance under section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)) in low-poverty neighborhoods, and neighborhoods undergoing revitalization.

(b)

Reports

Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, and every 6 months thereafter, the Housing Authority of New Orleans shall submit a report to the Secretary and Congress on its activities under this section, including—

(1)

the number and location of nonpublic housing units provided;

(2)

the census tract in which those units are located;

(3)

the poverty rate in those census tracts;

(4)

the rent burdens of households assisted under this section;

(5)

any demographic data, reported by census tract, on who is served in the program; and

(6)

the efforts of the Authority to affirmatively further fair housing.

205.

Public housing in Katrina and Rita disaster areas

(a)

Conditions on demolition

For the 2-year period after the date of the enactment of this Act, a public housing agency may only dispose or demolish public housing dwelling units located in any area for which a major disaster or emergency was declared by the President pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act as a result of Hurricane Katrina or Rita of 2005, other than those covered under section 203, pursuant to a plan for replacement of such units in accordance with, and approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to subsections (b) and (c).

(b)

Plan requirements

The Secretary may only approve a plan for demolition or disposition of dwelling units of public housing referred to in subsection (a), if—

(1)

there is a clear process for the opportunity to comment by the residents and resident councils of public housing operated or administered by the Housing Authority, and the community in which such demolition or disposition is to occur, including the 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 at least 1 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 additional affordable replacement housing as set forth under subsection (c);

(4)

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;

(5)

such plan provides for comprehensive resident services;

(6)

such plan provides for offering public housing units built on site, first to former residents of that public housing development who indicate they would like to return, subject to exclusions permitted under Federal law for criminal activity; and

(7)

such plan provides for procedures for people who were on the waiting list on August 28, 2005, to receive consideration to receive housing for any units that are not needed for returning residents.

(c)

Replacement units

(1)

Previously occupied units

For each public housing unit demolished or disposed of under this section, which was occupied by tenants on August 28, 2005, the Housing Authority shall provide at least 1 of the following replacement housing opportunities:

(A)

The acquisition or development of additional public housing dwelling units.

(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.

(C)

Project-based voucher assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)), for not less than 10 years.

(2)

Nonoccupied units

For each public housing unit demolished or disposed of under this section, which was not occupied by tenants on August 28, 2005, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide, and the Housing Authority shall provide a replacement housing unit as described in paragraph (1) or shall issue a voucher under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)).

(d)

Relocation assistance

A public housing agency shall provide, to each household relocated pursuant to a plan under this section for demolition or disposition, assistance under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisitions Policy Act of 1970 for relocation to their new residence.

(e)

Return of public housing tenants

A public housing agency administering or operating public housing dwelling units described in subsection (a) shall—

(1)

use its best efforts to locate tenants displaced from such public housing as a result of Hurricane Katrina or Rita; and

(2)

provide such residents occupancy in public housing dwelling units of such agency that become available for occupancy, or other comparable affordable units, and to ensure such residents a means to return to such housing if they so choose.

(f)

Inapplicability of certain project-based voucher limitations

Subparagraphs (B) and (D) of section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)) shall not apply with respect to any project-based vouchers used to comply with the requirements of a plan under subsection (c), except that not more than 50 percent of the units in any such affordable housing project may be assisted under a housing assistance contract for project-based assistance under such section 8(o)(13), unless all units are specifically made available to seniors or people with disabilities.

(g)

Displacement from habitable units

A public housing agency may not displace a tenant from any public housing dwelling unit described in this section that is administered or operated by such agency and is habitable (including during any period of rehabilitation), unless the agency provides a suitable and comparable replacement dwelling unit for such tenant.

206.

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 Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives 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)

An analysis of the impact on residents and low-income families on the waiting list of such transfer.

207.

Authorization of appropriations for repair and rehabilitation for Katrina and Rita disaster areas

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, rehabilitation, redevelopment, and replacement of public housing in a designated disaster area, and for relocation expenses and community and supportive services for the residents of public housing operated or administered by housing agencies in such designated disaster areas.

208.

Existing public housing redevelopment

Notwithstanding the provisions of any 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 a housing agency in a designated disaster area, the housing agency shall provide replacement housing as required under section 203 or 205, as applicable.

209.

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 Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives, the resident councils of, and residents of public housing operated or administered by, a housing agency in a disaster area, and the City of New Orleans.

210.

Independent administration of Housing Authority of New Orleans

(a)

Receivership

Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall petition for judicial receivership of the Housing Authority of New Orleans pursuant to section 6(j)(3)(A)(ii) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437d(j)(3)(A)(ii)).

(b)

Effect of receivership

Any judicial receiver of the Housing Authority of New Orleans appointed pursuant to subsection (a) shall be required to comply with all the provisions of this Act.

(c)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of the Congress that the judicial receiver of the Housing Authority of New Orleans appointed pursuant to subsection (a) shall consider new and innovative models for administration of the Housing Authority of New Orleans, including public-private partnerships.

211.

Definition

For purposes of this title, the term designated disaster area means any area that was the subject of a disaster declaration by the President under title IV of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) in response to Hurricanes Katrina or Rita of 2005.

III

Disaster Voucher Program and Project-Based Rental Assistance

301.

Disaster voucher program

(a)

Authorization

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to provide assistance under the Disaster Voucher Program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development established pursuant to Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2779) through June 30, 2008, and, to the extent that amounts for such purpose are made available, such program, 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 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) in administering assistance under such program, shall be so extended.

(b)

Transfer of Disaster Voucher Program to tenant-based assistance

(1)

Transfer to section 8 voucher program

There are authorized to be appropriated, for tenant-based assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)), such sums as may be necessary to provide vouchers for households transitioning from the Disaster Voucher Program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development established pursuant to Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2779) for the period that such household is eligible for such voucher assistance, as of the termination date of the Disaster Voucher Program, for each household that—

(A)

is assisted under such program;

(B)

did not receive assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)) at the time of Hurricane Katrina or Rita of 2005;

(C)

is not eligible for tenant replacement voucher assistance under section 302 of this Act; or

(D)

is eligible for tenant replacement voucher assistance under section 302, but has not received such assistance.

(2)

Eligibility for assistance

Subject to the availability of appropriations, as of January 1, 2008, any household meeting the requirements in paragraph (1) shall receive tenant-based assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)).

(3)

Administration of assistance

Voucher assistance provided under this subsection shall be administered by the public housing agency having jurisdiction of the area in which such assisted family resides as of such termination date.

(4)

Temporary vouchers

If at any time a household for whom a voucher for rental housing assistance is provided pursuant to this section becomes ineligible for such rental assistance—

(A)

the public housing agency administering such voucher pursuant to this section may not provide rental assistance under such voucher for any other household;

(B)

the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall recapture from such agency any remaining amounts for assistance attributable to such voucher and may not reobligate such amounts to any public housing agency; and

(C)

such voucher shall not be taken into consideration for purposes of determining future allocation of amounts for tenant-based rental assistance for any public housing agency.

(c)

Former voucher program participants

Households who were receiving assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)) as of August 28, 2005, shall continue to be assisted under such section (8)(o), subject to all the requirements under that section.

(d)

Identification and notification of DVP-eligible households not assisted

Prior to October 31, 2007, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and State and local housing agencies to identify households who, as of the date of the enactment of this Act, are eligible for assistance under this section but are not receiving assistance under this section. Upon identification of each such household, the Secretary shall—

(1)

notify such household of the housing options available under this Act; and

(2)

to the extent that the family is eligible for such options at such time of identification, offer the household assistance under this section.

302.

Tenant replacement vouchers for all lost units

(a)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated 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 are equal to—

(1)

the number of assisted dwelling units (whether occupied or unoccupied) located in covered assisted multifamily housing projects (as such term is defined in section 308(e) of this Act) that are not approved for reuse or resiting by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; plus

(2)

the number of public housing dwelling units that, as of August 28, 2005, were located in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and 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; plus

(3)

the number of public housing dwelling units that, as of September 24, 2005, were located in areas affected by Hurricane Rita and were considered for purposes of allocating operating or 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

(4)

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

(b)

Allocation

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 on the number of dwelling units described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) that are located in the jurisdiction of the public housing agency.

(c)

Issuance

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall issue replacement vouchers for all units approved for reuse, resiting, or replacement that are not available for occupancy on January 1, 2010.

303.

Voucher assistance for households receiving FEMA assistance

(a)

FEMA transfer of assistance

As of December 21, 2007, the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall transfer to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development all of its authority and power relating to the administration of rental assistance, and funding for such rental assistance, under the Disaster Relief Fund established under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.).

(b)

HUD administration of rental assistance

(1)

In general

Beginning on January 1, 2008, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide temporary housing assistance to households who received assistance under section 408(c)(1) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174(c)(1)) as follows:

(A)

Required Tenant assistance

Households receiving assistance shall be required to pay up to 30 percent of their income towards rent and utility costs.

(B)

Minimum rental amount

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may implement a minimum rent of up to $100 per month, only if the Secretary provides for hardship exemptions for households including seniors and people with disabilities.

(C)

Limitation on excessive rents

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall work with landlords to minimize the payment of rents in excess of 120 percent of the fair market rent for comparable housing in the area.

(2)

Definition of fair market rent

In this subsection, the term fair market rent means the rent (including utilities, except telephone service), as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, for units of varying sizes (by number of bedrooms), that must be paid in the market area to rent privately-owned, existing, decent, safe, and sanitary rental housing of modest (nonluxury) nature with suitable amenities

(c)

Rental assistance for households residing in FEMA trailers

(1)

Provision of assistance

There are authorized to be appropriated, for rental assistance, such sums as may be necessary to provide such assistance for each individual and household who, as of the date of the enactment of this Act, receives direct assistance for temporary housing under section 408(c)(2) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174(c)(2)) as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma and is eligible for tenant-based rental assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)).

(2)

Offer

Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall offer tenant-based rental assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)) to each individual or household who, as of the date of enactment of this Act, is residing in a trailer provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the direct assistance that individual or household received under section 408(c)(2) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174(c)(2)) as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma.

(3)

Conditions on assistance

The provision of temporary housing assistance under this subsection shall be subject to the following requirements:

(A)

Required Tenant assistance

Households receiving assistance shall be required to pay up to 30 percent of their income towards rent and utility costs.

(B)

Minimum rental amount

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may implement a minimum rent of up to $100 per month, only if the Secretary provides for hardship exemptions for household including seniors and people with disabilities.

(C)

Limitation on excessive rents

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall work with landlords to minimize the payment of rents in excess of 120 percent of the fair market rent for comparable housing in the area.

(d)

Temporary assistance

(1)

Eligibility

Individuals or households receiving rental assistance under this section shall be eligible for such assistance only if they are eligible for tenant-based rental assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o).

(2)

Effect of becoming ineligible

If at any time an individual or household for whom a voucher for rental housing assistance is provided pursuant to this section becomes ineligible for further such rental assistance—

(A)

the public housing agency administering such voucher pursuant to this section may not provide rental assistance under such voucher for any other household;

(B)

the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall recapture from such agency any remaining amounts for assistance attributable to such voucher and may not reobligate such amounts to any public housing agency; and

(C)

such voucher shall not be taken into consideration for purposes of determining any future allocation of amounts for such tenant-based rental assistance for any public housing agency.

304.

Voucher assistance for supportive housing

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to provide 4,500 vouchers for project-based rental assistance under section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)), and 1,000 units under the Shelter Plus Care Program as authorized under subtitle F of title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11403 et seq.) for use in areas impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita for supportive housing dwelling units for elderly families, persons with disabilities, or homeless persons. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall make available to the State of Louisiana or its designee or designees, upon request, 3,000 of such vouchers. Subparagraphs (B) and (D) of section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)) shall not apply with respect to vouchers made available under this section.

305.

Project-basing of vouchers

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may waive the limitations on project-basing under section 8(o)(13)(B) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)(B)) for public housing agencies located in any area in which the President declared a major disaster as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma, if—

(1)

the public housing agency is working to project-base vouchers in—

(A)

a mixed-income community; or

(B)

a low-poverty neighborhood, or a neighborhood undergoing revitalization; or

(2)

not more that 50 percent of any project is assisted under such 8(o)(13)(B), unless all units in such project are specifically designated for seniors or the disabled.

306.

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 that is not less than 3 months after the dwelling units in the project or in a replacement project are first made habitable.

(b)

Owner proposals for reuse or resiting

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, 2008, 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—

(1)

in the case of a project with a project-based rental assistance payments contract described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of subsection (e)(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.

(d)

Allowable transfers

A project-based rental assistance payments contract may be transferred, in whole or in part, under subsection (c) to—

(1)

a project with the same or 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; or

(2)

multiple projects, including some on the same site, if approximately the same number of individuals are expected to occupy the subsidized units in the replacement projects as occupied the damaged or destroyed project.

(e)

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)

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).

307.

GAO study of wrongful or erroneous termination of Federal rental housing assistance

The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study of households that received Federal assistance for rental housing in connection with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to determine if the assistance for any such households was wrongfully or erroneously terminated. The Comptroller General shall submit a report to the Congress not later than January 1, 2008, on the results of the study, which shall include an estimate of how many households were subject to such wrongful or erroneous termination and how many of those households have incomes eligible for the household to receive tenant-based rental assistance under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f).

IV

Damages arising from FEMA actions

401.

Reimbursement of landlords

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 Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide reimbursement to each landlord who entered into leases to provide emergency sheltering in response to Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma of 2005, pursuant to the 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, but not including reimbursement for any such landlord to the extent that such landlord has previously received reimbursement for such damages under any other Federal or non-Federal program.

V

FHA housing

501.

Treatment of nonconveyable properties

(a)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in the case of any property consisting of a 1- to 4-family residence that is subject to a mortgage insured under title II of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1707 et seq.) and was damaged or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina or Rita of 2005, if there was no failure on the part of the mortgagee or servicer to provide hazard insurance for the property or to provide flood insurance coverage for the property to the extent such coverage is required under Federal law, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development—

(1)

may not deny conveyance of title to the property to the Secretary and payment of the benefits of such insurance on the basis of the condition of the property or any failure to repair the property;

(2)

may not reduce the amount of such insurance benefits to take into consideration any costs of repairing the property; and

(3)

with respect to a property that is destroyed, condemned, demolished, or otherwise not available for conveyance of title, may pay the full benefits of such insurance to the mortgagee notwithstanding that such title is not conveyed.

(b)

Budget Act compliance

Insurance claims may be paid in accordance with subsection (a) only to the extent or in such amounts as are or have been provided in advance in appropriations Acts for the costs (as such term is defined in section 502 of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661(a)) of such claims.

502.

FHA single-family insurance

In determining the eligibility of any individual whose residence was damaged or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina and who was current on their mortgage prior to August 28, 2005, for mortgage insurance under section 203 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1709), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall look at the creditworthiness of such individual, as such creditworthiness was established prior to August 28, 2005.

503.

FHA-New Orleans Homeownership Opportunities Initiative

(a)

Establishment

There is established within the Department of Housing and Urban Development an FHA-New Orleans Homeownership Opportunities Initiative (in this section referred to as the Initiative), which shall provide for the conveyance or transfer of eligible homes to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority for use in the pilot program established in section 103 of this Act.

(b)

Eligible homes

For purposes of this section, an eligible home is a 1, 2, 3, or 4-family residence or multi-family project—

(1)

that is either vacant, abandoned, or has been foreclosed upon, subject to subsection (e)(2)(B), by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development;

(2)

to which the Secretary holds title; and

(3)

which is not occupied by a person legally entitled to reside in such residence or project.

(c)

Reports

(1)

Initial list of properties

Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall submit a report to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives, and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority listing all eligible homes in the New Orleans area, including a list of homes in default where foreclosure by the Secretary is imminent.

(2)

Updated lists

Not later than 90 days after the initial report is submitted under paragraph (1), and every 90 days thereafter, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall submit a follow-up report to the Committees and entities described in paragraph (1) listing all—

(A)

new eligible homes; and

(B)

1, 2, 3, or 4-family residences or multi-family projects in the New Orleans area—

(i)

that have been foreclosed upon by the Secretary, or are in default and where foreclosure is imminent; and

(ii)

where the Secretary has taken all necessary actions to avoid such foreclosure.

(d)

Donated property

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, at any time, may accept, manage, and convey to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and residential property donated to the Secretary by a nongovernmental entity for purposes of this section.

(e)

Conveyance of properties

(1)

Request by NORA

Not later than 30 days after any report is submitted under subsection (c), the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority shall, in writing, request that the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development convey any and all eligible homes listed in such report.

(2)

HUD action

(A)

In general

Not later than 30 days after the receipt of any request under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall convey to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, at no cost, title to any eligible home requested by the Authority.

(B)

Limitation

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may only convey title to an eligible home that is eligible solely because the Secretary foreclosed upon such home, if the Secretary had taken all necessary actions to avoid such foreclosure.

(f)

Use of eligible properties

Any eligible home conveyed or transferred to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority under this section shall be used in the following manner:

(1)

Minimum use requirement

Such home shall be sold, conveyed, or included in redevelopment within 18 months of such conveyance or transfer, and shall be redeveloped to meet applicable local building codes so as to ensure that such home—

(A)

will be adequately rehabilitated to support sustainable homeownership; and

(B)

may be in such physical condition that it can be offered for sale for habitation or occupancy within 36 months of such conveyance or transfer.

(2)

Low-income occupancy requirement

Notwithstanding any other redevelopment plans, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority shall ensure that a number of homes equal to the number of homes transferred or conveyed by the Secretary under this section are redeveloped and sold by the Authority to low-income households, at a price that is affordable to such households, subject to the following requirements:

(A)

Redevelopment of such eligible homes will be done in concert with other redevelopment activities, as described in section 103.

(B)

Preference for purchase of such eligible homes will be given to households—

(i)

who have received pre-purchase homeownership counseling; and

(ii)

which are comprised of individuals who on August 28, 2005, were residents of the City of New Orleans and—

(I)

had, with respect to any dwelling in the City of New Orleans, a valid and nonexpired lease for such dwelling;

(II)

owned a home in the City of New Orleans, but who did not receive funds under the Road Home program; or

(III)

received housing vouchers under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f), or lived in public housing.

(3)

Primary residence requirement

(A)

In general

The individual or household buying such eligible home shall agree to use the home as their primary residence for 5 years.

(B)

Limitation on flipping

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority shall ensure, by any means, including by the use of restrictive covenants, that if the individual or household who purchased the home from the Authority sells the home within 5 years of such purchase, that such sale shall only be valid if the subsequent buyer is a low-income individual or household.

(4)

Sale price requirement

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority or its redevelopment partners shall sell eligible homes at a discounted price that is affordable to families at or below 80 percent of area median income.

(5)

Excess profit to be returned to HUD

Any profit on the sale of home received by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority or a developer for the sale of an eligible home above the redevelopment costs of such home shall be paid to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

(g)

Counseling

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority shall work with local nonprofit housing counseling agencies to provide pre-purchase counseling to any interested individuals or households who seek to purchase an eligible home from the Authority under this section, as required to receive preference under subsection (f)(2)(B).

(h)

Inspection process

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority shall establish a process to inspect all eligible homes prior to sale under this section to ensure that such homes—

(1)

meet local building codes;

(2)

need no further rehabilitation; and

(3)

are safe for habitation and occupation.

(i)

Recapture procedures

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, in consultation with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, shall establish procedures to recapture amounts in instances where—

(1)

eligible homes are not sold to low-income families;

(2)

eligible home prices exceed redevelopment costs; and

(3)

eligible homes sold are not used as the purchaser's primary residences for 5 years.

(j)

Compliance Reports

(1)

In general

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority shall submit such information as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development requires to ensure that eligible homes are being used as required under subsection (f). If at any time, the Secretary determines the Authority is in noncompliance with the requirements under subsection (f), the Secretary shall, not later than 15 days after making such determination, notify, in writing, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate, and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives.

(2)

Status report

Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, and again not later than 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority shall submit a report to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate, and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representative on the implementation, status, and execution of the Initiative established under this section.

(k)

Termination

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall not convey or transfer, and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority shall not accept, any property under this section after 5 years from the date of enactment of this Act.

VI

Fair Housing Enforcement

601.

Fair housing initiatives program

(a)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out section 561 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (42 U.S.C. 3616a), in each of fiscal years 2008 and 2009, such sums as may be necessary, but not less than $5,000,000, for areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, of which, in each such fiscal year—

(1)

60 percent shall be available only for private enforcement initiatives for qualified private enforcement fair housing organizations authorized under subsection (b) of such section, and, of the amount made available in accordance with this paragraph, the Secretary shall set aside an amount for multi-year grants to qualified fair housing enforcement organizations;

(2)

20 percent shall be available only for activities authorized under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (c) of such section; and

(3)

20 percent shall be available only for education and outreach programs authorized under subsection (d) of such section.

(b)

Low funding

If the total amount appropriated to carry out the Fair Housing Initiatives Program for either fiscal year 2008 or 2009 is less than $50,000,000, not less than 5 percent of such total amount appropriated for such fiscal year shall be available for the areas described in subsection (a) for the activities described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of such subsection.

(c)

Availability

Any amounts appropriated under this section shall remain available until expended.

VII

Improved distribution of Federal hurricane housing funds for hurricane relief

701.

GAO study of improved distribution of Federal housing funds for hurricane relief

(a)

Study

The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study to examine methods of improving the distribution of Federal housing funds to assist States covered by this Act with recovery from hurricanes, which shall include identifying and analyzing—

(1)

the Federal and State agencies used in the past to disburse such funds and the strengths and weakness of existing programs;

(2)

the means by and extent to which critical information relating to hurricane recovery, such as property valuations, is shared among various State and Federal agencies;

(3)

program requirements that create impediments to the distribution of such funds that can be eliminated or streamlined;

(4)

housing laws and regulations that have caused programs to be developed in a manner that complies with statutory requirements but fails to meet the housing objectives or needs of the States or the Federal Government;

(5)

laws relating to privacy and impediments raised by housing laws to the sharing, between the Federal Government and State governments, and private industry, of critical information relating to hurricane recovery;

(6)

methods of streamlining applications for and underwriting of Federal housing grant or loan programs; and

(7)

how to establish more equitable Federal housing laws regarding duplication of benefits.

(b)

Report

Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the Congress a report describing the results of the study and any recommendations regarding the issues analyzed under the study.

VIII

Commending Americans for their rebuilding efforts

801.

Commending Americans

(a)

Congressional findings

The Congress finds that—

(1)

over 500,000 individuals in the United States have volunteered their time in helping rebuild the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita;

(2)

over $3,500,000,000 in cash and in-kind donations have been made for hurricane victims;

(3)

110,000,000 pounds of food have been distributed by Catholic Charities’ Food Bank through hurricane relief efforts;

(4)

almost 7,000,000 hot meals have been served by Salvation Army volunteers in hurricane relief efforts;

(5)

over 10,000,000 college students have devoted their spring and fall breaks to hurricane relief efforts;

(6)

almost 20,000 families displaced as a result of the hurricanes have been supported by Traveler’s Aid volunteers; and

(7)

faith based and community organizations donated thousands of man-hours, as well as assistance, to evacuees and assistance in clean-up and recovery in the Gulf States.

(b)

Commendation

The Congress hereby commends the actions and efforts by the remarkable individuals and organizations who contributed to the hurricane relief effort and recognizes that the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast region rests on the selfless dedication of private individuals and community spirit.