H.R. 4145 (112th): Section 8 Reform, Responsibility, and Accountability Act of 2012

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Mar 06, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4145

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 6, 2012

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services

A BILL

To reform the program for rental assistance under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Section 8 Reform, Responsibility, and Accountability Act of 2012.

2.

Prohibition of section 8 rental assistance for felons and illegal aliens

(a)

In general

Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) is amended by inserting after subsection (i) the following new subsection:

(j)

Prohibition of assistance for felons

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, assistance under this section (including tenant- and project-based assistance) may not be provided for any family that includes an individual who—

(1)

at any time, has been convicted of a felony under any State or Federal law; or

(2)

is unlawfully present in the United States.

.

(b)

Applicability

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply beginning upon the expiration of the 24-month period that begins on the date of the enactment of this Act.

3.

5-year time limitation on section 8 rental assistance

Section 16 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437n) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(g)

5-Year time limitation on section 8 assistance

(1)

In general

Except as otherwise provided in this subsection and notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, assistance under section 8 may not be provided on behalf of any family that includes a member who has previously been provided such assistance for 60 months (whether or not consecutive) or longer.

(2)

Exception for elderly and disabled families

In determining the number of months for which an individual has been provided assistance under section 8, for purposes of paragraph (1), a public housing agency shall disregard any month during which such individual was a member of a disabled or elderly family so assisted.

(3)

Applicability

(A)

In general

This subsection shall apply beginning upon the expiration of the 24-month period that begins on the date of the enactment of the Section 8 Reform, Responsibility, and Accountability Act of 2012.

(B)

Treatment of assistance before effective date of limitation

Except as provided in subparagraph (C), any months that commenced before the expiration of such period shall be considered for purposes of determining, pursuant to paragraph (1), the number of months for which an individual has been provided assistance under section 8.

(C)

Two-year safe harbor after effective date

For purposes of paragraph (1), the maximum number of months that commenced before the expiration of such 24-month period that any individual may be considered to have been provided assistance under section 8, shall be 36.

.

4.

Work requirements for section 8 rental assistance

Section 16 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437n), as amended by the preceding provisions of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(h)

Work requirement for assisted families receiving section 8 assistance

(1)

In general

Except as provided in this subsection and notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, assistance under section 8 may not be provided on behalf of any family, unless each member of the family who is 18 years of age or older performs not fewer than 20 hours of work activities (as such term is defined in section 407(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 607(d))) per week.

(2)

Exemptions

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide an exemption from the applicability of paragraph (1) for any individual family member who—

(A)

is 62 years of age or older;

(B)

is a blind or disabled individual, as defined under section 216(i)(1) or 1614 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 416(i)(1); 1382c), and who is unable to comply with this section, or is a primary caretaker of such individual;

(C)

meets the requirements for being exempted from having to engage in a work activity under the State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) or under any other welfare program of the State in which the public housing agency administering rental assistance described in paragraph (1) is located, including a State-administered welfare-to-work program;

(D)

is in a family receiving assistance under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) or under any other welfare program of the State in which the public housing agency administering such rental assistance is located, including a State-administered welfare-to-work program, and has not been found by the State or other administering entity to be in noncompliance with such program; or

(E)

is a single custodial parent caring for a child who has not attained 6 years of age, and the individual proves that the individual has a demonstrated inability (as determined by the State) to obtain needed child care, for one or more of the following reasons:

(i)

Unavailability of appropriate child care within a reasonable distance from the individual's home or work site.

(ii)

Unavailability or unsuitability of informal child care by a relative or under other arrangements.

(iii)

Unavailability of appropriate and affordable formal child care arrangements.

(3)

Administration

A public housing agency providing rental assistance described in paragraph (1) may administer the work activities requirement under this subsection directly, through a resident organization, or through a contractor having experience in administering work activities programs within the service area of the public housing agency. The Secretary may establish qualifications for such organizations and contractors.

(4)

Participation of nonprofit employment and work development organizations

In administering this subsection, each public housing agency shall provide for the active participation of nonprofit employment assistance and training organizations and nonprofit work development organizations in assisting families receiving rental assistance under section 8, in accordance with such requirements as the Secretary shall establish.

(5)

Applicability

This subsection shall apply beginning upon the expiration of the 24-month period that begins on the date of the enactment of the Section 8 Reform, Responsibility, and Accountability Act of 2012.

.

5.

Preference for providing section 8 rental assistance to veterans

(a)

In general

Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (d)(1)(A)—

(A)

by inserting after ‘‘except that’’ the following: ‘‘each public housing agency shall give preference to families that include a member who is a veteran as such term is defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code) who will reside in the dwelling unit assisted, and except that’’; and

(B)

by inserting after local preferences, the following: ‘‘which shall be subordinate to the preference for veterans and shall be’’; and

(2)

in subsection (o)—

(A)

in paragraph (6)(A)—

(i)

in clause (ii)—

(I)

by striking ‘‘this subparagraph’’ and inserting ‘‘clause (ii)’’; and

(II)

by inserting before the period at the end the following: ‘‘, and shall be subordinate to the preference established under clause (i)’’;

(ii)

by redesignating clauses (i) and (ii) (as so amended) as clauses (ii) and (iii), respectively; and

(iii)

by inserting before clause (ii) (as so redesignated by clause (ii) of this subparagraph) the following new clause:

(i)

Required preference for veterans

In making tenant-based assistance under this subsection available on behalf of eligible families, each public housing agency shall give preference to families that include a member who is a veteran (as such term is defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code) who will reside in the dwelling unit assisted.

; and

(B)

in paragraph (13)(J)—

(i)

by striking The agency and inserting the following: In selecting families to receive project-based assistance pursuant to this paragraph, the agency shall give preference to families that include a member who is a veteran (as such term is defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code) who will reside in the unit. In addition, the agency; and

(ii)

by inserting after section 5A the following: , except that any such preferences established pursuant to this sentence shall be subordinate to the preference established by the preceding sentence..

(b)

Applicability

The amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply beginning upon the date of the enactment of this Act.

6.

Termination of section 8 assistance and termination of tenancy in assisted units

Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) is amended by inserting after subsection (k) the following new subsection:

(l)

Termination of assistance and tenancy

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or of chapter 1 or 8 of the handbook of the Secretary entitled Occupancy Requirements of Subsidized Multifamily Housing Programs, as in effect on May 18, 2011 (HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV–1), the provisions of chapter 8 (relating to termination of housing assistance and termination of tenancy) shall apply with respect to any housing assistance provided under this section, any housing assistance payments contract pursuant to this section, and any tenant of a unit assisted under this section.

.

7.

Treatment of State and local laws

Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) is amended by inserting after subsection (l), as added by the preceding provisions of this Act, the following new subsection:

(m)

Treatment of State and local laws

No provision of this Act or of any housing assistance payments contract under this section may be construed to annul, alter, affect, or exempt any person or housing assisted under this section or such a contract from complying with the laws of any State or political subdivision of a State.

.

8.

Sense of the Congress regarding the Moving to Work program

It is the sense of the Congress that the Moving to Work demonstration program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development under section 204 of the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1996 (42 U.S.C. 1437f note) should be expanded to include significantly more public housing agencies.

9.

Use of unspent housing assistance payments contract amounts for compliance measures

Amounts provided by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to a public housing agency under an annual contributions contract for rental assistance under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) that remain unused for housing assistance payments contracts may be used by such agency for actions—

(1)

to monitor compliance of owners of housing assisted under such section and tenants of such housing with all laws and regulations relating to such assistance; and

(2)

to enforce violations of such laws and regulations.

10.

Public availability of PHA plans

(a)

In general

Section 5A of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437c–1) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(m)

Public availability of plan

Each public housing agency that has a public housing agency plan approved under this section shall make the approved plan (and any approved modifications and amendments to such plan) publicly available for inspection during regular business hours at the offices of the agency and in electronic form by means of the World Wide Web.

.

(b)

Applicability

Subsection (m) of section 5A of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as added by the amendment made by subsection (a), shall apply beginning upon the date of the enactment of this Act.