Summary: H.R.2 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (05/14/1997)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: General Provisions

Title II: Public Housing

Subtitle A: Block Grants

Subtitle B: Admissions and Occupancy Requirements

Subtitle C: Management

Subtitle D: Homeownership

Subtitle E: Disposition, Demolition, and Revitalization

of Developments

Subtitle F: Mixed-Finance Public Housing

Subtitle G: General Provisions

Title III: Choice-Based Rental Housing and Homeownership

Assistance for Low-Income Families

Subtitle A: Allocation

Subtitle B: Choice-Based Housing Assistance for

Eligible Families

Subtitle C: Payment of Housing Assistance on Behalf of

Assisted Families

Subtitle D: General and Miscellaneous Provisions

Title IV: Home Rule Flexible Grant Option

Title V: Accountability and Oversight of Public Housing

Agencies

Subtitle A: Study of Alternative Methods for Evaluating

Public Housing Agencies

Subtitle B: Housing Evaluation and Accreditation Board

Subtitle C: Interim Applicability of Public Housing

Management Assessment Program

Subtitle D: Accountability and Oversight Standards and

Procedures

Title VI: Repeals and Related Amendments

Subtitle A: Repeals, Effective Date, and Savings

Provisions

Subtitle B: Other Provisions Relating to Public Housing

and Rental Assistance Programs

Subtitle C: Limitations Relating to Occupancy in

Federally Assisted Housing

Title VII: Affordable Housing and Miscellaneous Provisions

Housing Opportunity and Responsibility Act of 1997 - Title I: General Provisions - Declares the purpose of this Act to be to provide affordable low-income housing through such means as deregulation of public housing agencies (PHAs) and increased housing assistance flexibility.

Defines specified terms for purposes of this Act.

(Sec. 105) Requires adult residents of public and assisted housing to: (1) perform eight hours of monthly community work; (2) set a target date for transition out of such housing (prohibits eviction for failure to meet such date); and (3) enter into economic self-sufficiency programs. Exempts from this requirement: (1) elderly or disabled persons; (2) persons working, attending school or vocational training, or complying with public assistance work requirements; or (4) persons unable to comply because of a doctor-certified physical impairment.

Prohibits a rent reduction based upon lessened family income due to reduced public assistance because of program fraud or self-sufficiency noncompliance, but stipulates that such lessened family income shall be considered for a rent reduction where work could not be found in spite of program compliance.

(Sec. 106) Requires PHAs to submit five-year and annual management plans to the Secretary (Secretary) of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Sets forth annual plan contents, including provisions regarding: (1) community housing needs and population served; (2) PHA financial resources; (3) rent determination; (4) operation and management; (5) grievance procedures; (6) capital improvements; (7) demolition and disposition; (8) designation of housing for elderly and disabled families; (9) conversion of public housing; (10) homeownership activities; (11) economic self-sufficiency and coordination with public assistance; and (12) safety and crime prevention. Authorizes the Secretary to waive unnecessary requirements for PHAs operating less than 250 housing units.

(Sec. 107) Sets forth plan review and reporting provisions.

(Sec. 109) Permits pet ownership in federally assisted rental housing as provided for by the Housing and Urban-Rural Recovery Act of 1983.

(Sec. 110) Requires PHAs to establish an administrative grievance procedure that provides tenants with basic due process, but authorizes exclusion (from such procedure) of certain eviction grievances in a local jurisdiction that requires a due process court hearing prior to eviction.

(Sec. 111) Authorizes the Secretary to reserve not more than two percent of appropriations under title II (public housing) of this Act for housing needs related to natural disasters and other emergencies, fair housing and other litigation, and troubled or at-risk PHAs.

(Sec. 112) Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) labor standards and volunteers; (2) nondiscrimination and civil rights compliance; and (3) prohibition of fund use to indemnify contractors against intellectual property rights judgments.

(Sec. 115) Makes the provisions of this Act inapplicable to Indian housing.

Title II: Public Housing - Subtitle A: Block Grants - Directs the Secretary to enter into block grant contracts with PHAs to establish capital and operating funds. Authorizes direct State capital fund payment (50 percent) and distribution on behalf of PHAs with less than 100 units.

Authorizes: (1) PHAs to use up to 20 percent of capital grants for operations; and (2) full spending flexibility for PHAs with less than 250 units.

Requires PHAs to: (1) make specified payments in lieu of State and local taxation of their housing developments; and (2) enter into local cooperation agreements.

Authorizes: (1) temporary payments to ineligible PHAs while securing an alternative managing entity; and (2) recapture of capital assistance.

(Sec. 203) Sets forth: (1) eligible and required activities, including required (with tenant protections) conversion of certain distressed public housing to rental assistance (vouchers); (2) permanent and interim grant allocations; and (3) improper grant use sanctions.

Subtitle B: Admissions and Occupancy Requirements - Requires public housing produced under this Act or the United States Housing Act of 1937 to be so operated for 40 years. Authorizes mixed-income developments.

(Sec. 222) Limits public housing occupancy to families qualifying as low-income at the time of initial occupancy. Sets forth income-mix provisions. Prohibits concentration of very low-income tenants. Authorizes waiver of eligibility requirements for police and security personnel.

(Sec. 223) Authorizes PHAs to establish local preferences. Expresses the sense of the Congress that preference should be given to domestic violence victims.

(Sec. 224) Sets forth tenant admissions provisions, including: (1) a hearing for admission denial; and (2) authorization for site-based waiting lists.

(Sec. 225) Permits tenants to annually choose either a flat or income-based (not to exceed 30 percent of income) rent.

(Sec. 226) Sets forth lease provisions.

(Sec. 227) Authorizes housing designated only for elderly families, disabled families, or elderly and disabled families.

Subtitle C: Management - Requires PHAs to ensure sound management practices and comply with applicable housing standards.

(Sec. 234) Authorizes: (1) public housing residents to establish resident councils and resident management corporations (RMCs); (2) PHA-RMC housing management corporations; and (3) the Secretary to transfer management from a troubled PHA to an independent management entity upon resident request.

(Sec. 237) Provides for a resident (management) opportunity program. Obligates FY 1998 program funding.

Subtitle D: Homeownership - Authorizes PHAs to develop home ownership programs to sell public housing units to: (1) residents or other low-income buyers; or (2) entities for resale to such buyers. Exempts sales from specified disposition provisions. Requires a one percent buyer-provided downpayment. Imposes specified resale restrictions.

Subtitle E: Disposition, Demolition, and Revitalization of Developments - Authorizes and sets forth requirements for PHA demolition and disposition of nonviable or nonmarketable housing, including tenant relocation assistance and local consultation. Eliminates the one-for-one replacement requirement. Gives RMCs and other resident organizations right of first refusal.

(Sec. 262) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to PHAs for: (1) site revitalization; (2) density reduction (demolition); (3) replacement housing; and (4) choice-based assistance for replacement housing and displaced tenant aid. Authorizes FY 1998 through 2000 appropriations. Terminates such program after September 30, 2000.

(Sec. 263) Authorizes PHAs to convert a public housing development to a choice-based rental housing assistance system.

Subtitle F: Mixed-Finance Public Housing - Authorizes the Secretary to allow PHAs to use capital fund or revitalization amounts for mixed-finance housing. Sets forth related provisions regarding housing plans, rent levels, and assistance carryovers.

Subtitle G: General Provisions - Permits rental or use value to be used as the non-Federal share where required.

(Sec. 282) Authorizes FY 1998 through 2002 appropriations for the capital and operating funds.

(Sec. 283) Obligates specified FY 1998 and 1999 funds from the Community Partnerships Against Crime Act of 1976 for the operation safe home program.

(Sec. 284) Obligates specified FY 1998 through 2002 funds from choice-based housing under title III of this Act for relocation of domestic violence victims.

Title III: Choice-Based Rental Housing and Home-Ownership Assistance for Low-Income Families - Subtitle A: Allocation - Authorizes the Secretary to enter into one-year contracts with PHAs to provide low-income housing assistance under this title. Sets forth allocation provisions.

(Sec. 306) Authorizes FY 1998 through 2002 appropriations for: (1) incremental and contract renewal assistance under this title; and (2) section 8 contract renewal.

Authorizes appropriations for nonelderly disabled families. Obligates specified funds for witness relocation assistance.

(Sec. 307) Provides for: (1) conversion of unobligated section 8 assistance for use under this title; and (2) recapture and reuse of section 8 tenant- and project-based reserves.

Subtitle B: Choice-Based Housing Assistance for Eligible Families - Sets forth income eligibility (low-income) and income targeting provisions. Authorizes PHAs to establish local preferences. Expresses the sense of the Congress that such preferences should be given to domestic violence victims.

Provides for: (1) assistance portability; (2) monthly family rent contributions (with hardship exceptions); (3) owner and dwelling eligibility; (4) home ownership option; and (5) manufactured home eligibility.

Subtitle C: Payment of Housing Assistance on Behalf of Assisted Families - Authorizes participating PHAs to enter into payment contracts with owners (including owner-PHAs) of existing units as provided for by this subtitle. Prohibits assistance for vacant units.

Subtitle D: General and Miscellaneous Provisions - Authorizes PHAs to retain specified amounts of rental fraud recoveries.

(Sec. 373) Directs the Secretary to conduct a study of: (1) assisted-family geographic concentration in the areas served by the Cook County (Illinois) and the Chicago Housing Authorities; and (2) the choice-based housing assistance and the section 8 tenant-based assistance programs.

Title IV: Home Rule Flexible Grant Option - Directs the Secretary to carry out a flexible one-to-five year grant program under which jurisdictions shall enter into contracts to: (1) provide low-income housing; (2) reduce homelessness; and (3) increase low-income home ownership.

Title V: Accountability and Oversight of Public Housing Agencies - Subtitle A: Study of Alternative Methods for Evaluating Public Housing Agencies - Directs the Secretary to provide for a study of alternative PHA and other assistance provider performance evaluations. Obligates specified FY 1998 funds under the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1970 for such study.

Subtitle B: Housing Evaluation and Accreditation Board - Establishes the Housing Foundation and Accreditation Board which shall establish PHA performance benchmarks and an accreditation procedure. Subjects the Board to General Accounting Office audit authority.

Subtitle C: Interim Applicability for Public Housing Management Assessment Program - Directs the Secretary to develop and publish in the Federal register interim management assessment indicators for PHAs and other public housing managing entities.

(Sec. 533) Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish procedures for designation (and appeal) of PHAs as troubled, troubled with respect to capital activities, at risk of becoming troubled, and exemplary; and (2) provide for on-site independent inspection of troubled PHAs if not otherwise required.

Subtitle D: Accountability and Oversight Standards and Procedures - Sets forth: (1) audit provisions; (2) performance agreement requirements for at-risk and troubled PHAs; and (3) conditions of removal of ineffective PHAs and mandatory takeover of chronically troubled PHAs. Makes such provisions applicable to RMCs.

(Sec. 551) Directs the Secretary and the Housing Authority of New Orleans to establish an Authority advisory council which shall: (1) establish guidelines to assess the Authority's performance and improvement; (2) file quarterly performance reports; and (3) submit a final report with respect to whether the Authority's performance has improved sufficiently for it to continue to manage its projects, or whether a receivership should be established.

Title VI: Repeals and Related Amendments - Subtitle A: Repeals, Effective Date, and Savings Provisions - Makes this Act effective six months after its enactment, unless provided otherwise or delayed by the Secretary.

Repeals the United States Housing Act of 1937, with exceptions, effective six months after enactment of this Act. Stipulates that such Act shall remain in effect with respect to section 8 project-based assistance (as defined by this section).

(Sec. 602) Repeals specified provisions of the following Acts: (1) Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (assisted housing allocation special projects for elderly or handicapped families); (2) Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (public housing rent waivers for police, excessive rent data, Indian housing childhood development, one-stop perinatal services, energy efficiency demonstration, mixed-income new communities demonstration, youth sports programs); (3) Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (certificate and voucher holders, comprehensive transition demonstration); (4) Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 (opportunity for fair housing, Omaha homeownership demonstration); (5) Housing Act of 1954; (6) Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1981 (development managers' payment); (7) Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1991; (8) Housing and Urban-Rural Recovery Act of 1983 (childhood development); (9) Department of Housing and Urban Development-Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1988; and (10) Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1996 (public housing conversion).

Subtitle B: Other Provisions Relating to Public Housing and Rental Assistance Programs - Amends the Housing Act of 1959 to require elderly housing assistance allocations to provide for the supportive needs of frail elderly residents.

(Sec. 622) Amends the Housing and Urban-Rural Recovery Act of 1983 to permit ownership of common household pets in federally assisted rental housing (as defined by this section).

(Sec. 623) Directs the Secretary to: (1) review specified PHA drug elimination program contracts to determine contractor compliance with hiring antidiscrimination and related requirements; and (2) either terminate or bring into compliance violating contracts.

(Sec. 624) Amends the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 to entitle a revised chapter of such Act as the "Community Partnerships Against Crime Act of 1997." Revises the scope of the public housing drug elimination program to apply to all crime. Authorizes grants for crime elimination in and around public and federally assisted low-income housing projects. Establishes separate grant procedures and funding allocations for PHAs with 250 or more units (85 percent allocation), those with fewer than 250 units (10 percent allocation), and for federally assisted low-income housing (5 percent allocation). Authorizes FY 1998 through 2002 appropriations.

Subtitle C: Limitations Relating to Occupancy in Federally Assisted Housing - Makes a household or member ineligible for federally assisted housing for: (1) at least three years (unless the evicted person(s) successfully completes a rehabilitation program) if evicted for a drug related criminal activity; or (2) reasonable time if convicted of other serious lease violations.

Directs a PHA or owner of assisted housing, or both, to establish admission and eviction standards for a person: (1) using a controlled substance; or (2) reasonably believed to be using a controlled substance or abusing alcohol in a way that would interfere with the safety, health, or peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other tenants. Directs a PHA to deny admission to a person who is a sexually violent predator (as defined by this section).

Authorizes a PHA or owner of assisted housing to require adult household members to sign a release permitting access to certain law enforcement information.

(Sec. 643) Requires a lease for federally assisted housing to contain provisions setting forth drug related or other serious grounds for termination.

(Sec. 644) Provides for, and sets forth the circumstances under which, law enforcement agencies shall provide criminal conviction information and information regarding crimes against children and sexual predators to a requesting PHA for screening and eviction use.

Title VII: Affordable Housing and Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the Housing Act of 1949 to designate the city of Altus, Oklahoma, as a rural area until receipt of data from the decennial census in the year 2000.

(Sec. 702) Prohibits the Secretary from establishing a national occupancy standard.

(Sec. 703) Directs the Secretary to implement the Ida Barbour Revitalization Plan of the city of Portsmouth, Virginia, within 120 days of enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 704) Amends the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act to prohibit lowering of income eligibility levels with respect to the home investment partnership and community development block grant (CDBG) programs.

(Sec. 705) Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 to: (1) prohibit use of CDBG funds for employment relocation activities that will result in an employment loss in the original area; and (2) include regional cooperation among the selection criteria for CDBG economic development grants.

(Sec. 707) Expresses the sense of the Congress that equipment and products purchased with funds under this Act should be American made.

(Sec. 708) Requires the Secretary to consult with affected local governmental units in connection with housing litigation settlements.

(Sec. 709) States that during the two-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall: (1) not reduce the senior citizen housing inventory owned by the Housing Authority of Las Vegas, Nevada, if such Authority complies with a specified 1997 repayment plan; and (2) assist the Authority find alternative repayment options.

(Sec. 710) Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 with respect to the use of assisted housing by aliens.

(Sec. 711) Amends the National Housing Act to prohibit unnecessary or excessive mortgage costs (estate or financial planning)and set forth related disclosure requirements for senior homeowner participants in the reverse mortgage program.

(Sec. 712) Authorizes the Secretary to require the conversion of section 8 tenant-based assistance to project-based assistance for the Tamaqua Highrise project in the Borough of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.

(Sec. 713) Amends the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 to:

(1) extend homeownership counseling authority through FY 1999; (2) extend authorization of appropriations for the prepurchase and foreclosure prevention demonstration program through FY 1999; and (3) require notification of delinquency on veterans home loans.

(Sec. 714) Authorizes conveyance of certain surplus Federal property in New York County, New York, under a public benefit discount to a non-profit organization for use as low- and moderate-income housing.

(Sec. 715) Makes this title effective upon enactment of this Act.