Summary: H.R.3524 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (01/17/2008)

HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2008 - (Sec. 2) Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to make promoting housing choice among low- and very low-income families one of the purposes of the HOPE VI grant program for revitalization of severely distressed public housing.

(Sec. 3) Authorizes the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to waive the matching contribution requirement in cases of extreme distress or emergency.

(Sec. 4) Prohibits the award of demolition-only grants for any revitalization plan that proposes to demolish public housing without revitalization of any existing public housing dwelling units.

(Sec. 6) Revises the list of activities eligible for the use of grants to carry out revitalization plans. Eliminates rental assistance from such activities, as well as homeownership downpayment assistance for displaced residents. Makes eligible with regard to replacement housing only the acquisition and development of such housing.

Increases from 15% to 25% the amount of any such grant that may be used for necessary supportive services.

Makes eligible for the use of HOPE VI grants: (1) necessary costs of ensuring the effective temporary and permanent relocation of residents displaced as a result of project revitalization; and (2) certain activities undertaken to comply with requirements for green developments and replacement housing for hard-to-house families.

(Sec. 7) Revises factors the Secretary must include when establishing criteria for selection of proposals for grants. Divides such criteria into mandatory core components and mandatory graded components.

Declares that, in the case of any grant application that relies on the allocation of any federal low-income housing income tax credit as part of the revitalization plan proposed in the application, the Secretary shall not require that the first phase of any project to be developed under the plan possess such an allocation at the time of the application.

Directs the Secretary to provide for appropriate HUD officers or employees involved in a final selection of grant applications to visit the site of the public housing involved in the revitalization plan proposed under each such application. Limits the purpose of such a visit to obtaining information to assist in determining whether the projects involved in the application are severely distressed public housing.

Requires the Secretary to exclude any costs of compliance with green building rating systems and levels when determining total development costs for a revitalization plan.

(Sec. 8) Specifies requirements for mandatory core components of revitalization plans, including among others: (1) involvement of public housing residents in planning and implementation; (2) a program for temporary and permanent relocation, including comprehensive relocation assistance; (3) a right for resident households to expanded housing opportunities; (4) one-for-one replacement of demolished dwelling units, including onsite and off-site mixed-income housing; (5) monitoring of displaced households; and (6) green developments.

Provides that, if a public housing agency (PHA) has limited areas within its jurisdiction having low concentrations of poverty, the off-site replacement housing units provided in addition to the on-site mixed income dwelling units may be provided within a 25-mile radius of the mixed-income development required within the PHA's jurisdiction.

Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2015 for replacement vouchers for project-based rental assistance to comply with the one-for-one replacement requirement.

Requires the Secretary to identify green buildings rating systems and levels most likely to encourage a comprehensive and environmentally-sound approach to such ratings and standards.

Requires each PHA receiving a grant to establish performance benchmarks for each component of its revitalization plan. Requires the Secretary to impose specified administrative sanctions for agency failure to meet such benchmarks.

Makes an exception to certain public housing and section 8 eviction provisions of the United States Housing Act of 1937 that require termination of the tenancy of a tenant where the public assistance is provided under a revitalization plan grant, and a member of the tenant's household, or any guest or other person under the tenant's control, engages in certain criminal or drug-related criminal activity. Waives application of such requirement if the tenant: (1) is an elderly person or a person with disabilities; and (2) did not know and should not have known of the activity, or the tenant or member of household was the victim of the criminal activity.

(Sec. 9) Instructs the Secretary to use not less than 2% for grants in a fiscal year to assist certain grant recipients in obtaining technical assistance in carrying out revitalization programs.

(Sec. 13) Authorizes appropriations for FY2008-FY2015.

(Sec. 14) Extends the HOPE VI program through FY2015.

(Sec. 15) Directs the Comptroller General to review and make recommendations to Congress regarding activities, actions, and methods used in revitalization plans assisted under the Act to determine which may be transferable to other federally-assisted housing programs.

(Sec. 16) Prohibits the Secretary, before FY2009, from recapturing any portion of a grant made to a PHA to carry out a revitalization plan, if the PHA has suffered project delays, and cost increases due to shortages in labor and materials, as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina, Wilma, or Rita of 2005.

(Sec. 18) Makes persons not lawfully permitted to be in or remain in the United States ineligible for housing assistance under this Act or its amendments.

Declares that nothing in this Act or the amendments made by it alters the rules under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 (prohibiting the Secretary from making assisted housing available to nonimmigrant aliens).