H. R. 2437
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 19, 2013
Mr. Fattah introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services
To authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to establish a national program to create jobs and increase economic development by promoting cooperative development.
This Act may be cited as the
Creating Jobs Through Cooperatives
Findings and purpose
The Congress finds the following:
That Federal policy can promote cooperative development, which demonstrably has the following benefits for communities located in such areas:
Advancing local economic stability.
Increasing local circulation of capital, thereby increasing economic multipliers and the impact of community investment to spur locally oriented economic growth.
Developing, attracting, and anchoring new productive capital in low-income communities.
Expanding investment opportunities and asset creation for low- and moderate-income Americans.
Cooperatives operate in all 50 States and across all sectors of the United States economy, including industries such as energy, telecommunications, food distribution, insurance, credit unions, agriculture, health, housing, and wholesale and retail purchasing and distribution
There are 29,000 cooperatives in the United States that account for more than $3 trillion in assets, over $500 billion in total revenue, $25 billion in wages and benefits, and nearly two million jobs
The purpose of this Act is to establish a Federal program that will create jobs and increase economic development by promoting cooperative development.
In this Act:
The term cooperative development means technical assistance provided for the purpose of—
providing financial forecasting, feasibility analysis, business planning, and other preparatory activity to ensure that a cooperative organization, or organizations that are in the process of establishing such an organization, are grounded in sound business practices;
assisting with establishing incorporation documents, bylaws, and policies that ensure that cooperative organizations—
adhere to legal obligations of a local or State government or the Federal Government; and
are governed by transparent and agreed-upon rules;
educating, with respect to how cooperative organizations function—
board members, management, and employees of cooperative organizations;
local communities affected by such organizations and the general public; and
professionals involved in cooperative development;
providing organizational planning for cooperative organizations, including board meetings and board development, and strategic planning;
hosting networking activities and conferences involving cooperative organizations, entities that work with such organizations, and professional organizations that engage in cooperative development;
providing professional development of professionals involved in cooperative development by offering training focused on cooperative development; and
providing administrative and operational set-up of cooperative organizations.
The term cooperative organization means an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
Eligible project area
The term eligible project area means an area located within—
a census tract that is defined as low- or moderate-income by the Bureau of the Census of the Department of Commerce;
a population census tract that is treated as a low-income community under section 45D(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
subject to subparagraph (B), an area that—
is adjacent or close to an area that meets the requirements of either clause (i) or (ii); and
is given special approval by the Secretary to be classified as an eligible project area.
The Secretary shall limit the number of projects funded under this Act that are located in an area described in subparagraph (A)(iii).
Local cooperative development center
The term local cooperative development center means a nonprofit organization, college, or university, or a group of such organizations, colleges, or universities, with expertise in establishing and developing cooperative organizations.
program means the National Cooperative Development Program
established under section 4.
The term Secretary means the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or the Secretary’s designee.
National Cooperative Development Program
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall establish a program to be known as the National Cooperative Development Program to carry out the purpose described in section 2(b).
Assistance for cooperative development
The Secretary shall use amounts made available for the program for—
providing grants to local cooperative development centers, to carry out activities that promote cooperative development, that are selected for such grants under paragraph (3)(B);
partnering with one or more financial institutions to—
establish a revolving loan program that will provide loans to cooperative organizations to undertake cooperative development; and
develop other loan programs and financial products that can be accessed by cooperative organizations; and
carrying out any other activities that the Secretary deems necessary to the furtherance of the purposes of this Act.
Allocation of amounts
The Secretary shall allocate not less than 50 percent of the amounts made available for the program for grants under paragraph (1)(A) to local cooperative development centers.
Grants to local cooperative development centers
The Secretary may make grants, pursuant to paragraph (1)(A)(i), to local development centers selected under this paragraph, and shall enter into grant agreements with such centers selected and provide grants in accordance with such agreements. Each grant agreement for a local development center shall provide for a grant for at least one fiscal year and may provide for grants for a period not to exceed 3 fiscal years.
The Secretary shall select, through a competitive process, local cooperative development centers to receive grants pursuant to paragraph (1)(A)(i).
Criteria for selection
In selecting local cooperative development centers to receive such grants, the Secretary shall take into consideration the following:
The technical capacity of the center to carry out eligible projects.
The ability of the center to deliver technical assistance.
The capacity and commitment of the center to offering cooperative development.
Whether the center can provide matching funding of at least 15 percent of grant amounts provided under the program to the center.
The record of the center in developing successful cooperative organizations.
The ability of the center to have a positive economic impact on an area through job creation or retention, affordable housing creation, or wealth creation.
Such other considerations as the Secretary may consider appropriate.
Failure to meet performance targets
If the Secretary determines that an entity awarded funds under the program has not met the performance targets established pursuant to subsection (e), is not making reasonable progress toward meeting such measures, or is otherwise in violation of a grant agreement entered into pursuant to paragraph (3)(C) of this subsection, the Secretary may—
withhold financial assistance under this Act until the performance measures are met; or
in the case of a grant made pursuant to paragraph (1)(A), terminate the grant agreement.
Under the program, the Secretary shall—
develop and provide technical assistance, educational, and other materials to assist local cooperative development centers that are receiving funds under the program to develop cooperative organizations;
monitor and evaluate the performance of such local centers;
provide guidance, information on best practices, and technical assistance to communities seeking to establish cooperative organizations;
establish the eligibility criteria for projects to be carried out using assistance provided under this Act; and
develop program and reporting guidelines.
The Secretary shall establish performance targets for the program, which shall include, at a minimum, a requirement that a significant percentage of projects funded under the program shall involve cooperative organizations that are women- or minority-owned.
By local cooperative development centers and financial institutions
For each grant that a local cooperative development center or financial institution receives pursuant to section 4(b)(1)(A), the local center or institution shall submit to the Secretary, not later than the expiration of the 12-month period after initial receipt of such grant amounts, a report that includes—
identification of the total amount of such grant amounts that have been expended;
a description of the activities undertaken by such local center or institution with such grant amounts; and
other information as the Secretary may require.
By the Secretary
Not later than 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter for each year assistance is provided under this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Congress a report that includes—
identification of the number of cooperative organizations created using amounts made available under this Act;
best practices from the local cooperative development centers that are awarded grants under this Act and the economic benefits to the local communities that such centers serve resulting from such use of funds;
an evaluation of compliance with the performance targets established pursuant to section 4(d);
case studies featuring select cooperative development organizations that benefitted from the program; and
any additional information, including statistics, that would help promote future cooperative development.
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue regulations necessary to carry out this Act.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the National Cooperative Development Program , to remain available until expended, $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017.