H.R. 2180 (112th): Shelter, Land, and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2011

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Jun 14, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2180

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 14, 2011

(for himself, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Ms. Moore, Mr. McNerney, Mr. Jackson of Illinois, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Blumenauer, and Mr. Honda) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

A BILL

To authorize assistance for affordable housing and sustainable urban development in developing countries, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Shelter, Land, and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2011.

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Approximately 51 percent of the world’s population currently lives in cities of all sizes and produces the majority of the world’s economic output.

(2)

Approximately one billion people currently live in slums, and more than half of this population is under the age of 25.

(3)

It is estimated that by 2030 the number of people living in slums will double.

(4)

Slums are characterized by inadequate access to safe water, sanitation, and other essential infrastructure, overcrowding, poorly structured housing, and insecure residential and property ownership status.

(5)

Eighty-eight percent of all disease is caused by unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene and almost 50 percent of all people in developing countries suffer health problems caused by water and sanitation deficits.

(6)

Over 1.1 billion people lack adequate access to safe water and nearly 2.5 billion lack access to sanitation services.

(7)

The costs of diseases and productivity losses linked to water and sanitation in less developed countries amount to two percent of gross domestic product and up to five percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

(8)

Insecure lease and real property ownership tenure often subject slum dwellers to arbitrary, often supra-market rents, forced evictions, threats, and harassment.

(9)

In 2007, approximately five million people were subject to forced evictions, and projections show that the number of forced evictions are likely to increase to between 40 million and 70 million in the next 20 years.

(10)

Insecurity of tenure severely inhibits economic development by undermining investment incentives and constraining the growth of credit markets, imperils the ability of families to achieve sustainable livelihoods and assured access to shelter, and often contributes to conflict over property rights.

(11)

Women make up 66 percent of the world’s work force, but own less than 15 percent of the property globally.

(12)

Women are affected disproportionally by forced evictions and insecure tenure as a result of gender discrimination, often including gender-biased laws that define women as legal minors or otherwise prevent them from acquiring and securing land, property, and housing lease or ownership rights, making them more vulnerable to poverty, violence, and sexual abuse.

(13)

Adequate housing and universal access to basic shelter serve as catalysts for social and democratic development.

(14)

The 2006 National Security Strategy states, America’s national interests and moral values drive us in the same direction: to assist the world’s poor citizens and least developed nations and help integrate them into the global economy..

(15)

Goal 7 Target 11 of the Millennium Development Goals sets the target that By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers..

(16)

The United States formerly provided significant levels of overseas development assistance for shelter and affordable housing, but in recent years this amount has declined.

3.

Statement of policy

It should be the policy of the United States—

(1)

to establish and implement, as a major objective of United States overseas development assistance strategy, particularly in developing countries, programs that foster improved urban management, that foster sustainable urban development, that increase the security of real property tenure, and that expand access to basic shelter, affordable urban housing, and essential urban services and infrastructure, particularly by the poor and others who lack such access in whole or in part;

(2)

to allocate increased levels of United States bilateral assistance for programs described in paragraph (1); and

(3)

in order to prevent waste and duplication in the use of United States overseas development assistance with respect to the programs described in paragraph (1) and in order to foster cooperative relations with foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, and private business and nonprofit entities that singly or jointly support or implement programs similar to those described in paragraph (1), to seek and actively support innovative international mechanisms designed to increase coordination and mutual complementarity in the planning, financing, and implementation of sustainable urban development policies and programs implemented by the United States and other donors described in this paragraph.

4.

Assistance to provide affordable housing and sustainable urban development in developing countries

(a)

Purposes of assistance

The purposes of assistance under this section are to—

(1)

support economically and environmentally sustainable and administratively feasible urban socioeconomic growth, development, and poverty reduction efforts and to produce improved health and other basic quality of life indicators for residents of slums, other densely populated, impoverished urban areas, and urban areas experiencing rapid population growth in developing countries, including by increasing—

(A)

access to basic shelter and affordable housing, particularly by residents of slums and similar densely populated, impoverished urban areas;

(B)

affordable and equitable access to safe water, sanitation, and solid waste removal services, and shared communal infrastructure, such as sidewalks, roads, public lighting;

(C)

access to and security of land and other real property use, lease, and ownership rights and legal recognition and protections thereof by all income groups, including by supporting efforts to enhance the effectiveness of transaction and dispute resolution systems, equitable and sustainable national land policies, and enhanced land administration services; and

(D)

support for efforts to enhance the capacity of developing country governments, including regional and municipal governments, to plan and manage urban growth in an operationally and financially effective and transparent, participatory, and accountable manner, to pursue policy reforms that foster such objectives, and to provide urban services and infrastructure, such as basic water and sanitation, transport, solid waste removal, and electrical power service delivery, including in impoverished urban zones; and

(2)

achieve the objectives described in paragraph (1) by—

(A)

promoting the growth of functional, commercially oriented housing markets in target countries and expanding access to individual and institutional investment capital and financing for housing and municipal infrastructure, including by public-private partnerships, municipal bonds, micro-credit financing, and strengthening national and regional public or private institutions involved in the regulation or provision of finance of such purposes;

(B)

supporting institutional, procedural, and legal reforms that seek to enhance the rights and access to shelter, urban infrastructure and services, and property ownership and lease rights of groups that are socioeconomically vulnerable or marginalized, or subject to discrimination, including women, children, the poor, and people living in urban slums and informal settlements;

(C)

prioritizing support for cross-sectoral, multi-purpose projects that simultaneously advance one or more of the objectives described in subparagraphs (A) and (B); and

(D)

promoting partnerships between the public and private sectors and community-based organizations to plan and implement projects described in subparagraph (C).

(b)

Authorization of assistance

To carry out the purposes of subsection (a), the President is authorized—

(1)

to furnish technical assistance and financial support to developing countries, to include, as appropriate, diverse means of support, including technical or financial assistance to public-private partnerships, grants, direct loans, seed credit, contracted technical services, investment insurance, loan guarantees, and other forms of assistance;

(2)

to carry out paragraph (1) during fiscal year 2012 through the use of existing United States Government programs, implementing authorities, and organizations, including—

(A)

specialized organizational units of the United States Agency for International Development, including the Urban Programs Team (EGAT/PR/UP), the Development Credit Authority (EGAT/DC/DCA), the Land Resources Management Team (EGAT/NRM/LRM), the Water Team (EGAT/NRM/W), the Office of Infrastructure and Engineering (EGAT/IE), and the Engineering Services Team (EGAT/I&E/ES);

(B)

the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC); and

(C)

other United States Government agencies with relevant technical expertise or policy mandates pertaining to urban development and housing in foreign countries; and

(3)

to strengthen and enhance the operational capabilities and capacities of United States Government programs, implementing authorities, and organizations described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (2) in furtherance of the purposes and objectives described in subsection (a)(1), including efforts to increase their manpower, diversity of expertise, and levels of funding, and to enhance their ability to jointly coordinate and collaborate in carrying out such purposes and objectives.

5.

Affordable housing and sustainable urban development strategy

(a)

Strategy

The President, acting through the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall develop a strategy to provide affordable housing and sustainable urban development in developing countries.

(b)

Consultation

The strategy required by subsection (a) shall be developed in part through a process of consultation between the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and the heads of units of such Agency and other United States Government agencies with relevant technical expertise or policy mandates pertaining to urban development and housing in foreign countries, and shall draw upon best practices and successful models of urban development undertaken or developed by international intergovernmental organizations, international finance institutions, recipient countries, United States and international nongovernmental organizations, and other appropriate entities.

(c)

Content

The strategy required by the subsection (a) shall include or address—

(1)

a review and assessment of existing or past United States programs and foreign assistance strategies designed to increase access to basic shelter and affordable housing in developing countries, extending affordable and equitable access to safe water, sanitation, and solid waste removal services, and shared communal infrastructure, such as sidewalks, roads, public lighting, enhancing security of real property use, lease, and ownership rights;

(2)

a review and assessment of small scale, grassroots, and community-based efforts that have successfully improved access to basic shelter and urban services;

(3)

a process to define short- and long-term objectives and performance measures by which progress should be measured;

(4)

measures necessary to improve and expand United States programs and foreign assistance strategies in existence on the date of enactment of this Act that address urban development issues in foreign countries;

(5)

operational plans to improve the ability of United States foreign assistance agencies to develop and implement programs described in section 4 of this Act, including through support for innovative international mechanisms;

(6)

a plan for integrating into the broader strategic foreign assistance plans of the Department of State and United Stated Agency for International Development the programs and objectives described in section 4 of this Act; and

(7)

a plan for providing long-term United States support for sustainable urban growth and development initiatives in developing countries involving a process of regular coordination between United States Government agencies with relevant technical expertise or policy mandates, where appropriate, including the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of the Treasury, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and drawing upon the expertise, whenever possible, of United States-based mayors and professionals in community, public and banking sectors, major United States private foundations, and United Nations organizations and multilateral development banks, among others.

(d)

Report

Not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit to Congress a report that describes the strategy required by subsection (a).

6.

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2012 and each subsequent fiscal year such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.