Text: H.R.1227 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (03/23/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1227

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 23, 2007

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs


AN ACT

To assist in the provision of affordable housing to low-income families affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007”.

SEC. 2. Limitation on use of authorized amounts.

None of the amounts authorized by this Act may be used to lobby or retain a lobbyist for the purpose of influencing a Federal, State, or local governmental entity or officer.

TITLE ICommunity development block grants

SEC. 101. Flexibility of Federal funds for Road Home program.

(a) Prohibition of restriction on use of amounts.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraph (2) and notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency may not prohibit or restrict the use, by the State of Louisiana under the Road Home Program of such State, of any amounts specified in paragraph (3) based upon the existence or extent of any requirement or condition under such program that—

(A) limits or reduces the amount made available to an eligible homeowner who does not agree to remain an owner and occupant of a home in Louisiana; or

(B) waives the applicability of any limitation or reduction referred to in subparagraph (A) for homeowners who are elderly or senior citizens.

(2) SAVINGS PROVISION.—Except as provided in paragraph (1), all other provisions of section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170c) shall apply to amounts specified in paragraph (3) that are used by the State of Louisiana under the Road Home Program of such State.

(3) COVERED AMOUNTS.—The amounts specified in this paragraph are any amounts provided for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita under the Hazard Mitigation Grant program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the State of Louisiana.

(b) Reports.—

(1) LOUISIANA ROAD HOME PROGRAM.—The State of Louisiana shall submit reports under this subsection regarding the Road Home Program of such State to the Committees identified in paragraph (5). Each such report under this subsection shall describe and analyze the implementation, status, and effectiveness of the Road Home Program and shall include the information described in paragraph (3) regarding such program, for the applicable reporting period and for the entire period of the program.

(2) OTHER STATES’ HOUSEHOLD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS FUNDED WITH CDBG DISASTER ASSISTANCE.—Each State that received amounts made available under the heading “Department of Housing and Urban Development—Community Planning and Development—Community Development Fund” in chapter 9 of title I of division B of Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2779) or under such heading in chapter 9 of title II of Public Law 109–234 (120 Stat. 472) shall submit reports under this subsection regarding each grant program of the State for assistance for individual households funded in whole or in part with such amounts to the Committees identified in paragraph (5). Each such report under this subsection shall describe and analyze the implementation, status, and effectiveness of each such grant program and shall include the information described in paragraph (3) regarding each such program, for the applicable reporting period and for the entire period of such program.

(3) CONTENTS.—The information described in this paragraph with respect to a program is the following information:

(A) The number of applications submitted for assistance under the program.

(B) The number of households for which assistance has been provided under the program.

(C) The average amount of assistance provided for each household under the program and the total amount of assistance provided under the program.

(D) The number of personnel involved in executing all aspects of the program.

(E) Actions taken to improve the program and recommendations for further such improvements.

(4) REPORTING PERIODS.—With respect to any program described in paragraph (1) or (2), the first report under this subsection shall be submitted not later than the expiration of the 30-day period that begins upon the date of the enactment of this Act. Reports shall be submitted, during the term of each such program, not later than the expiration of each successive: (A) 30-day period thereafter, in the case of the program described in paragraph (1); and (B) calendar quarter thereafter, in the case of the programs described in paragraph (2).

(5) RECEIVING COMMITTEES.—The Committees specified in this paragraph are—

(A) the Committees on Financial Services and Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and

(B) the Committees on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.

(c) New Orleans Redevelopment Authority pilot program.—

(1) AVAILABILITY OF AMOUNTS.—The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall require the State of Louisiana to make available, from any amounts made available for such State under the heading “Department of Housing and Urban Development—Community Planning and Development—Community Development Fund” in chapter 9 of title I of division B of Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2779) or under such heading in chapter 9 of title II of Public Law 109–234 (120 Stat. 472) and that remain unexpended, $15,000,000 to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (in this subsection referred to as the “Redevelopment Authority”), subject to paragraph (3), only for use to carry out the pilot program under this subsection.

(2) PURPOSE.—The pilot program under this subsection shall fund, through the combination of amounts provided under this subsection with public and private capital from other sources, the purchase or costs associated with the acquisition or disposition of individual parcels of land in New Orleans, Louisiana, by the Redevelopment Authority to be aggregated, assembled, and sold for the purpose of development by private entities only in accordance with, and subject to, the Orleans Parish Recovery Plan, developed and adopted by the City of New Orleans. The costs associated with acquisition or disposition of a parcel of land may include costs for activities described paragraph (3)(C) with respect to such parcel and costs described in paragraph (3)(F).

(3) CERTIFICATIONS.—The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may make amounts available pursuant to paragraph (1) to the Redevelopment Authority only upon the submission to the Secretary of certifications, sufficient in the determination of the Secretary to ensure that the Redevelopment Authority—

(A) has the authority to purchase land for resale for the purpose of development in accordance with the pilot program under this subsection;

(B) has bonding authority (either on its own or through a State bonding agency) or has credit enhancements sufficient to support public/private financing to acquire land for the purposes of the pilot program under this subsection;

(C) has the authority and capacity to ensure clean title to land sold under the pilot program and to reduce the risk attributable to and indemnify against environmental, flood, and other liabilities;

(D) will provide a first right to purchase any land acquired by the Redevelopment Authority to the seller who sold the land to the Redevelopment Authority;

(E) has in place sufficient internal controls to ensure that funds made available under this subsection may not be used to fund salaries or other administrative costs of the employees of the Redevelopment Authority; and

(F) will, in carrying out the pilot program under this subsection, consult with the Office of Recovery Management of the City of New Orleans regarding coordination of activities under the program with the Recovery Plan referred to in paragraph (2), reimbursement of such City for costs incurred in support of the program, and use of program income and other amounts generated through the program.

(4) DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS.—In carrying out the pilot program under this subsection, the Redevelopment Authority shall—

(A) sell land acquired under the pilot program only as provided in paragraph (2);

(B) use any proceeds from the sale of such land to replenish funds available for use under the pilot program for the purpose of acquiring new parcels of land or to repay any private financing for such purchases;

(C) sell land only—

(i) to purchasers who agree to develop such sites for sale to the public; or

(ii) to purchasers pursuant to paragraph (3)(D); and

(D) in the case of a purchaser of land pursuant to paragraph (3)(D), ensure that the developer of any adjacent parcels sold by the Redevelopment Authority makes an offer to the purchaser to develop such land for a fee.

(5) INAPPLICABILITY OF STAFFORD ACT LIMITATIONS.—Any requirements or limitations under or pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act relating to use of properties acquired with amounts made available under such Act for certain purposes, restricting development of such properties, or limiting subsequent alienation of such properties shall not apply to amounts provided under this subsection or properties acquired under the pilot program with such amounts.

(6) GAO STUDY AND REPORT.—Upon the expiration of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study of the pilot program carried out under this subsection to determine the effectiveness and limitations of, and potential improvements for, such program. Not later than 90 days after the expiration of such period, the Comptroller General shall submit a report to the Committees on Financial Services and Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate regarding the results of the study.

(d) Ongoing GAO reports on use of amounts.—

(1) QUARTERLY REPORTS.—During the period that amounts referred to in subsection (a)(3) are being expended under the Road Home Program of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit reports on a quarterly basis to the Committees on Financial Services and Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate. Such reports shall describe and account for the use of all such amounts expended during the applicable quarterly period and identify any waste, fraud, or abuse involved in the use of such amounts.

(2) MONITORING.—The Comptroller General shall monitor the total amount referred to in subsection (a)(3) that has been expended by such Authority and, pursuant to such monitoring—

(A) upon determining that at least two percent of such amount has been expended, shall include in the first quarterly report thereafter a written determination of such expenditure; and

(B) upon determining, at any time after the determination under subparagraph (A), that the portion of such total amount expended at such time that was subject to waste, fraud, or abuse exceeds 10 percent, shall include in the first quarterly report thereafter a certification to that effect.

(3) ACTIONS IN RESPONSE TO WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE.—If at any time the Comptroller General submits a report under paragraph (1) that includes a certification under paragraph (2)(B)—

(A) the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs of the Senate shall each hold hearings within 60 days to identify the reasons for such waste, fraud, and abuse; and

(B) the Comptroller General shall submit a report to the Committees referred to in paragraph (1) within 90 days recommending actions to be taken to prevent further waste fraud and abuse in expenditure of such amounts.

SEC. 102. Treatment of benefits from other programs under Road Home Program.

(a) In general.—Subject to subsection (b) and notwithstanding any other provision of law, to the extent that amounts made available under the heading “Department of Housing and Urban Development-Community Planning and Development—Community Development Fund” in chapter 9 of title I of division B of Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2779), under such heading in chapter 9 of title II of Public Law 109–234 (120 Stat. 472), and under section 101 of this title, are used by the State of Louisiana under the Road Home program, the procedures preventing duplication of benefits established pursuant to the penultimate proviso under such heading in Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2781) and the 15th proviso under such heading in Public Law 109–234 (120 Stat. 473) shall not apply with respect to any benefits received from hazard insurance, flood insurance, or disaster payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, except to the extent that the inapplicability of such procedures would result in a windfall gain under the Road Home Program to any person.

(b) Applicability.—During the period consisting of fiscal years 2008 through 2012, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall monitor the expenditure, under the Road Home Program, of amounts referred to in subsection (a) that were made available from Public Laws 109–148 and 109–234. If at any time during such period the cumulative outlays resulting from the inapplicability, pursuant to subsection (a), of the procedures referred to in such subsection preventing duplication of benefits exceed $1,250,000,000, the Secretary shall suspend the applicability of subsection (a) for the remainder of such period.

SEC. 103. Elimination of prohibition of use for match requirement.

(a) In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any amounts made available before the date of the enactment of this Act for activities under the community development block grant program under title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) for expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, and restoration of infrastructure in the areas impacted or distressed by the consequences of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma in States for which the President declared a major disaster, or made available before such date of enactment for such activities for such expenses in the areas impacted or distressed by the consequences of Hurricane Dennis, may be used by a State or locality as a matching requirement, share, or contribution for any other Federal program.

(b) Efficient environmental review.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when a State, unit of general local government, or Indian tribe, or Department of Hawaiian Home Lands uses amounts referred to in subsection (a), the release of which would otherwise be subject to environmental reviews under the procedures authorized under section 104(g) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5304(g)), to match or supplement the federal assistance provided under section 402, 403, 406, 407, or 502 of Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, and the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducts an environmental review that encompasses all activities assisted by such matching funds, the Director’s environmental review shall satisfy all of the environmental responsibilities that would otherwise be assumed by the State, unit of general local government, Indian tribe, or Department of Hawaiian Home Lands under such section 104(g), and the requirements and procedures of such provision, including assumption of environmental review responsibilities and submission and approval of a request for release of funds and certification, shall be inapplicable, if, prior to its commitment of any matching funds for such activities, the State, unit of general local government, Indian tribe, or Department of Hawaiian Home Lands notifies the Director and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development that it elects to defer to the Director's environmental review responsibilities. If a deferral is elected under this subsection, the Director shall be the responsible party for any liability under the applicable law if the environmental review as described in the preceding sentence is deficient in any manner.

SEC. 104. Reimbursement of CDBG amounts used for rental housing assistance.

There are authorized to be appropriated, from any amounts made available before the date of the enactment of this Act under any provision of law to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster relief under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act relating to the consequences of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma that remain unobligated, and from any amounts made available before such date of enactment under any provision of law to such Agency for such disaster relief relating to the consequences of Hurricane Dennis that remain unobligated, such sums as may be necessary to be made available to the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for transfer to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, for such Secretary to provide assistance under title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) to metropolitan cities and urban counties that used amounts previously made available under such title to provide rental housing assistance for families residing in such city or county pursuant to evacuation from their previous residences because of such hurricanes in the amount necessary to provide each such city and county with an amount equal to the aggregate amount of previous assistance under such title so used.

TITLE IIPublic Housing

SEC. 201. Survey of public housing residents.

(a) Survey.—The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide for the conducting of a survey, using appropriate scientific research methods, by an independent entity or organization, to determine, of the households who as of August 28, 2005, resided in public housing (as such term is defined in section 3(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437a(b))) operated or administered by the Housing Authority of New Orleans, in Louisiana—

(1) which and how many such households intend to return to residences in dwelling units described in section 202(d) of this Act, when presented with the options of—

(A) returning to residence in a repaired public housing or comparable dwelling unit in New Orleans; or

(B) continuing to receive rental housing assistance from the Federal Government; and

(2) when such households intend to return.

(b) Participation of residents.—The Secretary shall solicit recommendations from resident councils and residents of public housing operated or administered by such Housing Authority in designing and conducting the survey under subsection (a).

(c) Proposed survey document.—The Secretary shall submit the full research design of the proposed document to be used in conducting the survey to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate not less than 10 business days before the commencement of such survey.

(d) Report.—The Secretary shall submit a report the Committees referred to in subsection (c) detailing the results of the survey conducted under subsection (a) not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 202. Right of return for previous residents of public housing.

(a) Requirement To provide dwelling units.—Not later than August 1, 2007, the Housing Authority of New Orleans shall make available for occupancy, subject to subsection (b), a number of dwelling units (including those currently occupied) described in subsection (d) that is not less than the greater of—

(1) 3,000; or

(2) the number of households who have indicated, in the survey conducted pursuant to section 201, that they intend to return to residence in public housing operated or administered by such public housing agency.

(b) Right of return.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject only to subsection (c), the Housing Authority of New Orleans shall make available, upon the request of any household who, as of August 28, 2005, was a tenant of public housing operated or administered by such public housing agency, occupancy for such household in a dwelling unit provided pursuant to subsection (a). As a condition of exercising a right under this paragraph to occupancy in such a dwelling unit, not later than August 1, 2007, a tenant shall provide notice to such Housing Authority of intent to exercise such right and shall identify a date that the tenant intends to occupy such a dwelling unit, which shall not be later than October 1, 2007.

(2) PREFERENCES.—In making dwelling units available to households pursuant to paragraph (1), such Housing Authority shall provide preference to each such household for occupancy in a dwelling unit in the following locations, in the following order:

(A) A dwelling unit in the same public housing project occupied by the household as of August 28, 2005, if available.

(B) A dwelling unit in the same census tract in which was located the public housing dwelling unit occupied by the household as of August 28, 2005, if available.

(C) A dwelling unit in a census tract adjacent to the census tract in which was located the public housing dwelling unit occupied by the household as of August 28, 2005, if available.

(D) A dwelling unit in the neighborhood in which was located the public housing dwelling unit occupied by the household as of August 28, 2005, if available.

(c) Prohibition of exclusion.—The Housing Authority of New Orleans, and any other manager of replacement dwelling units set forth in this section shall not, including through the application of any waiting list or eligibility, screening, occupancy, or other policy or practice, prevent any household referred to in subsection (b)(1) from occupying a replacement dwelling unit provided pursuant to subsection (a), except that such Housing Authority or other manager shall prevent a household from occupying such a dwelling unit, and shall provide priority for occupancy in such dwelling units, as follows: any other provision of Federal law prohibits occupancy or tenancy of such household in the type of housing of the replacement dwelling unit provided for such household.

(1) Notwithstanding any priority under paragraphs (4) through (6), a household shall be prevented from such occupancy to the extent that any other provision of Federal law prohibits occupancy or tenancy of such household, or any individual who is a member of such household, in the type of housing of the replacement dwelling unit provided for such household.

(2) Notwithstanding any priority under paragraphs (4) through (6), a household shall be prevented from such occupancy if it includes any individual who has been convicted of a drug dealing offense, sex offense, or crime of domestic violence.

(3) Notwithstanding any priority under paragraphs (4) through (6), a household shall be prevented from such occupancy on the basis of a determination that occupancy of any individual who is a member of the household may constitute a threat to public safety, including a threat caused by occupancy that would facilitate reunification of members of gangs involved in criminal activity.

(4) Priority in such occupancy shall be provided to individuals who are employed or households that include individuals who are employed.

(5) Priority in such occupancy in public housing dwelling units shall be provided to—

(A) individuals who agree to contribute toward community service, or to participate in an economic self-sufficiency program for, more hours per month than is required under section 12(c) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437j(c));

(B) individuals who, under paragraph (2) of section 12(c) of the United States Housing Act of 1937, are exempt from the requirement under paragraph (1) of such section; and

(C) households that include such individuals.

(6) A household that consists of a family or youth described in section 8(x)(2) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(x)(2); relating to family unification) shall be provided priority in such occupancy.

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall issue regulations to carry out the exceptions under paragraphs (1) through (6).

(d) Replacement dwelling units.—A dwelling unit described in this subsection is—

(1) a dwelling unit in public housing operated or administered by the Housing Authority of New Orleans; or

(2) a dwelling unit in other comparable housing located in the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority of New Orleans for which the sum of the amount required to be contributed by the tenant for rent and any separate utility costs for such unit borne by the tenant is comparable to the sum of the amount required to be contributed by the tenant for rental of a comparable public housing dwelling unit and any separate utility costs for such unit borne by the tenant.

(e) Relocation assistance.—The Housing Authority of New Orleans shall provide, to each household provided occupancy in a dwelling unit pursuant to subsection (b), assistance under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisitions Policy Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.) for relocation to such dwelling unit.

SEC. 203. One-for-one replacement of all public housing dwelling units.

(a) Conditions on demolition.—After the date of the enactment of this Act, the Housing Authority of New Orleans may not demolish or dispose of any dwelling unit of public housing operated or administered by such agency (including any uninhabitable unit and any unit previously approved for demolition) except pursuant to a plan for replacement of such units in accordance with, and approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to, subsection (b).

(b) Plan requirements.—The Secretary may not approve a plan that provides for demolition or disposition of any dwelling unit of public housing referred to in subsection (a) unless—

(1) such plan is developed with the active participation of the resident councils of, and residents of public housing operated or administered by, such Housing Authority and with the City of New Orleans, at every phase of the planning and approval process, through a process that provides opportunity for comment on specific proposals for redevelopment, demolition, or disposition;

(2) not later than 60 days before the date of the approval of such plan, such Housing Authority has convened and conducted a public hearing regarding the demolition or disposition proposed in the plan;

(3) such plan provides that for each such dwelling unit demolished or disposed of, such public housing agency will provide an additional dwelling unit through—

(A) the acquisition or development of additional public housing dwelling units; or

(B) the acquisition, development, or contracting (including through project-based assistance) of additional dwelling units that are subject to requirements regarding eligibility for occupancy, tenant contribution toward rent, and long-term affordability restrictions which are comparable to public housing units;

(4) such plan provides for the implementation of a right for households to occupancy housing in accordance with section 202;

(5) such plan provides priority in making units available under paragraph (3) to residents identified in section 201;

(6) such plan provides that the proposed demolition or disposition and relocation will be carried out in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing, as described in subsection (e) of section 808 of the Civil Rights Act of 1968; and

(7) to the extent that such plan provides for the provision of replacement or additional dwelling units, or redevelopment, in phases over time, such plan provides that the ratio of dwelling units described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (3) that are provided in any such single phase to the total number of dwelling units provided in such phase is not less than the ratio of the aggregate number of such dwelling units provided under the plan to the total number of dwelling units provided under the plan.

(c) Inapplicable provisions.—Subparagraphs (B) and (D) of section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)) shall not apply with respect to vouchers used to comply with the requirements of subsection (b)(3) of this section.

(d) Monitoring.—The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall provide for the appropriate field offices of the Department to monitor and supervise enforcement of this section and plans approved under this section and to consult, regarding such monitoring and enforcement, with resident councils of, and residents of public housing operated or administered by, the Housing Authority of New Orleans and with the City of New Orleans.

SEC. 204. Protection for public housing residents in hurricane areas.

(a) Conditions on transfer.—During the two year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, a public housing agency may not transfer ownership of any public housing dwelling units described in subsection (h) unless the transferee enters into such binding commitments as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development considers necessary to maintain, for the longest feasible period, the requirements regarding eligibility for occupancy in such dwelling units and tenant contribution toward rent for such dwelling units that are applicable to such units as public housing dwelling units.

(b) Conditions on demolition.—After the date of the enactment of this Act, a public housing agency may not dispose or demolish any dwelling units described in subsection (h), except pursuant to a plan for replacement of such units in accordance with, and approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to, subsection (c).

(c) Plan requirement.—The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may not approve a plan that provides for demolition or disposition of any dwelling unit of public housing described in subsection (h) unless such plan complies with the requirements under paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (6), and (7) of section 203(b), except that such paragraphs shall be applied for purposes this subsection by substituting “the public housing agency” and “applicable unit of general local government” for “such Housing Authority” and “City of New Orleans”, respectively.

(d) Relocation assistance.—A public housing agency shall provide, to each household relocated pursuant to a plan under this section for demolition or disposition, assistance under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisitions Policy Act of 1970 for relocation to their new residence.

(e) Right of return.—A public housing agency administering or operating public housing dwelling units described in subsection (h) has the obligation—

(1) to use its best efforts to locate tenants displaced from such public housing as a result of Hurricane Katrina or Rita; and

(2) to provide such residents occupancy in public housing dwelling units of such agency that become available for occupancy, and to ensure such residents a means to exercise such right of return.

(f) Inapplicability of certain project-based voucher limitations.—Subparagraphs (B) and (D) of section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)) shall not apply with respect to any project-based vouchers used to comply with the requirements of a plan under subsection (c).

(g) Prohibition on displacement from habitable units.—A public housing agency may not displace a tenant from any public housing dwelling unit described in subsection (h) that is administered or operated by such agency and is habitable (including during any period of rehabilitation), unless the agency provides a suitable and comparable dwelling unit for such tenant in the same local community as such public housing dwelling unit.

(h) Covered public housing dwelling units.—The public housing dwelling units described in this subsection are any such dwelling units located in any area for which major disaster or emergency was declared by the President pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act as a result of Hurricane Katrina or Rita of 2005, except that such dwelling units shall not include any public housing dwelling units operated or administered by the Housing Authority of New Orleans.

SEC. 205. Reports on proposed conversions of public housing units.

Not later than the expiration of the 15-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall submit to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate a detailed report identifying all public housing projects located in areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina or Rita of 2005, for which plans exist to transfer ownership to other entities or agencies. Such report shall include the following information for each such project:

(1) The name and location.

(2) The number of dwelling units.

(3) The proposed new owner.

(4) The existing income eligibility and rent provisions.

(5) Duration of existing affordability restrictions.

(6) The proposed date of transfer.

(7) Any other relevant information regarding the project.

SEC. 206. Authorization of appropriations for repair and rehabilitation.

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out activities eligible for funding under the Capital Fund under section 9 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437g) for the repair, rehabilitation, and development of public housing of the Housing Authority of New Orleans, and for community and supportive services for the residents of public housing operated or administered by the Housing Authority of New Orleans.

SEC. 207. Compliance of existing requests for proposals.

Each request for qualification or proposal issued before the date of the enactment of this Act with respect to any public housing operated or administered by the Housing Authority of New Orleans shall, notwithstanding any existing terms of such requests, be subject to and comply with all provisions of this title and, to the extent necessary to so comply, such Housing Authority shall reissue such requests.

SEC. 208. Reports on compliance.

Not later than the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and not later than the expiration of each calendar quarter thereafter, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall submit a detailed report regarding compliance with the requirements of this title, including the resident participation requirement under section 203(b)(1), to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate, the resident councils of, and residents of public housing operated or administered by, the Housing Authority of New Orleans, and the City of New Orleans.

SEC. 209. Requirements regarding public housing construction workers.

Any entity that receives any Federal funds made available pursuant to this title for construction, development, rehabilitation, or repair of public housing shall verify that all workers employed by such entity and engaged in such activities—

(1) have an immigration status that allows them to legally be so employed; and

(2) have a valid form of identification or documentation indicating such immigration status.

TITLE IIIDisaster Voucher Program and Project-Based Rental Assistance

SEC. 301. Extension of DVP program.

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to provide assistance under the Disaster Voucher Program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development established pursuant to Public Law 109–148 (119 Stat. 2779) through January 1, 2008, and, to the extent that amounts for such purpose are made available, such program, and the authority of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to waive requirements under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) in administering assistance under such program, shall be so extended.

SEC. 302. Clarification of voucher allocation formula for fiscal year 2007.

In carrying out section 21033 of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2007, to provide renewal funding for tenant-based rental housing assistance under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 for each public housing agency, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall make, for any public housing agency impacted by Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma, such adjustments as are appropriate to provide adequate funding to adjust for reduced voucher leasing rates and increased housing costs arising from such hurricanes.

SEC. 303. Preservation of project-based housing assistance payments contracts for dwelling units damaged or destroyed.

(a) Tolling of contract term.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a project-based housing assistance payments contract for a covered assisted multifamily housing project shall not expire or be terminated because of the damage or destruction of dwelling units in the project by Hurricane Katrina or Rita. The expiration date of the contract shall be deemed to be the later of the date specified in the contract or a date that is not less than three months after the dwelling units in the project or in a replacement project are first made habitable.

(b) Owner proposals for reuse or re-siting.—The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall promptly review and shall approve all feasible proposals made by owners of covered assisted multifamily housing projects submitted to the Secretary, not later than October 1, 2007, that provide for the rehabilitation of the project and the resumption of use of the assistance under the contract for the project, or, alternatively, for the transfer, pursuant to subsection (c), of the contract or, in the case of a project with an interest reduction payments contract, of the remaining budget authority under the contact, to another multifamily housing project.

(c) Transfer of contract.—In the case of any covered assisted multifamily housing project, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall—

(1) in the case of a project with a project-based rental assistance payments contract described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of subsection (d)(2), transfer the contract to another appropriate and habitable existing project or a project to be constructed (having the same or a different owner); and

(2) in the case of a project with an interest reduction payments contract pursuant to section 236 of the National Housing Act, use the remaining budget authority under the contract for interest reduction payments to reduce financing costs with respect to dwelling units in other habitable projects not currently so assisted, and such dwelling units shall be subject to the low-income affordability restrictions applicable to projects for which such payments are made under section 236 of the National Housing Act.

A project to which a project-based rental assistance payments contract is transferred may have a different number of units or bedroom configuration than the damaged or destroyed project if approximately the same number of individuals are expected to occupy the subsidized units in the replacement project as occupied the damaged or destroyed project.

(d) Definitions.—For purposes of this section:

(1) COVERED ASSISTED MULTIFAMILY HOUSING PROJECT.—The term “assisted multifamily housing project” means a multifamily housing project that—

(A) as of the date of the enactment of this Act, is subject to a project-based rental assistance payments contract (including pursuant to subsection (a) of this section); and

(B) that was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita of 2005.

(2) PROJECT-BASED RENTAL ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS CONTRACT.—The term “project-based rental assistance payments contract” includes—

(A) a contract entered into pursuant to section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f);

(B) a contract for project rental assistance pursuant to section 202(c)(2) of the Housing Act of 1959 (12 U.S.C. 1701q(c)(2));

(C) a contract for project rental assistance pursuant to section 811(d)(2) of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 8013(d)(2)); and

(D) an interest reduction payments contract pursuant to section 236 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715z–1).

SEC. 304. Tenant replacement vouchers for all lost units.

There is authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2008 such sums as may be necessary to provide tenant replacement vouchers under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) for the number of households that is equal to—

(1) the number of assisted dwelling units (whether occupied or unoccupied) located in covered assisted multifamily housing projects (as such term is defined in section 303(d) of this Act) that are not approved for reuse or re-siting by the Secretary; plus

(2) the number of public housing dwelling units that, as of August 28, 2005, were located in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and were considered for purposes of allocating operating and capital assistance under section 9 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (whether occupied or unoccupied), that will not be put back into use for occupancy; plus

(3) the number of public housing dwelling units that, as of September 24, 2005, were located in areas affected by Hurricane Rita and were considered for purposes of allocating operating and capital assistance under section 9 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (whether occupied or unoccupied), that will not be put back into use for occupancy; minus

(4) the number of previously awarded enhanced vouchers for assisted dwelling units and tenant protection vouchers for public housing units covered under this section.

Any amounts made available pursuant to this section shall, upon the request of a public housing agency for such voucher assistance, be allocated to the public housing agency based the number of dwelling units described in paragraph (1) or (2) that are located in the jurisdiction of the public housing agency.

SEC. 305. Voucher assistance for supportive housing.

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to provide 4,500 vouchers for project-based rental assistance under section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)) for use in areas impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita for supportive housing dwelling units for elderly families, persons with disabilities, or homeless persons. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall make available to the State of Louisiana or its designee or designees, upon request, 3,000 of such vouchers. Subparagraphs (B) and (D) of section 8(o)(13) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(13)) shall not apply with respect to vouchers made available under this section.

SEC. 306. Transfer of DVP vouchers to voucher program.

(a) Transfer to section 8 voucher program.—There are authorized to be appropriated, for tenant-based assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)), such sums as may be necessary to provide vouchers for such assistance for each household that, as of the termination date of the Disaster Voucher Program referred to in section 301 of this Act, is assisted under such program, for the period that such household is eligible for such voucher assistance. Such voucher assistance shall be administered by the public housing agency having jurisdiction of the area in which such assisted family resides as of such termination date.

(b) Temporary vouchers.—If at any time a household for whom a voucher for rental housing assistance is provided pursuant to this section becomes ineligible for further such rental assistance—

(1) the public housing agency administering such voucher pursuant to this section may not provide rental assistance under such voucher for any other household;

(2) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall recapture from such agency any remaining amounts for assistance attributable to such voucher and may not reobligate such amounts to any public housing agency; and

(3) such voucher shall not be taken into consideration for purposes of determining any future allocation of amounts for such tenant-based rental assistance for any public housing agency.

SEC. 307. Identification and notification of DVP-eligible households not assisted.

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall make a good faith effort to identify all households who, as of the date of the enactment of this Act, are eligible for assistance under the Disaster Voucher Program referred to in section 301 but are not assisted under such program. Upon identification of each such household, the Secretary shall—

(1) notify such household of the rights of the household to return a public housing or other assisted dwelling unit; and

(2) to the extent that the family is eligible at such time of identification, offer the household assistance under the Disaster Voucher program.

SEC. 308. GAO study of wrongful or erroneous termination of Federal rental housing assistance.

The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study of households that received Federal assistance for rental housing in connection with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to determine if the assistance for any such households was wrongfully or erroneously terminated. The Comptroller General shall submit a report to the Congress not later than June 1, 2007, setting forth the results of the study, which shall include an estimate of how many households were subject to such wrongful or erroneous termination and how many of those households have incomes eligible for the household to receive tenant-based rental assistance under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f).

TITLE IVDamages arising from FEMA actions

SEC. 401. Authorization of appropriations to reimburse landlords for damages due to FEMA management of leases entered into under section 403 of the Stafford Disaster Relief Act.

There are authorized to be appropriated, from amounts made available before the date of the enactment of this Act under any provision of law to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster relief under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Emergency Assistance Act, such sums as may be necessary for the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide reimbursement to each landlord who entered into leases to provide emergency sheltering in response to Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma of 2005, pursuant to the program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency pursuant to section 403 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b) in the amount of actual, documented damages incurred by such landlord as a result of abrogation by such Agency of commitments entered into under such program, but not including reimbursement for any such landlord to the extent that such landlord has previously received reimbursement for such damages under any other Federal or non-Federal program.

TITLE VFHA single family housing

SEC. 501. Treatment of non-conveyable properties.

(a) In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in the case of any property consisting of 1- to 4-family residence that is subject to a mortgage insured under title II of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1707 et seq.) and was damaged or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina or Rita of 2005, if there was no failure on the part of the mortgagee or servicer to provide hazard insurance for the property or to provide flood insurance coverage for the property to the extent such coverage is required under Federal law, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development—

(1) may not deny conveyance of title to the property to the Secretary and payment of the benefits of such insurance on the basis of the condition of the property or any failure to repair the property;

(2) may not reduce the amount of such insurance benefits to take into consideration any costs of repairing the property; and

(3) with respect to a property that is destroyed, condemned, demolished, or otherwise not available for conveyance of title, may pay the full benefits of such insurance to the mortgagee notwithstanding that such title is not conveyed.

(b) Budget Act compliance.—Insurance claims may be paid in accordance with subsection (a) only to the extent or in such amounts as are or have been provided in advance in appropriations Acts for the costs (as such term is defined in section 502 of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661(a)) of such claims.

TITLE VIFair Housing Enforcement

SEC. 601. Fair housing initiatives program.

(a) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out section 561 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (42 U.S.C. 3616a), in each of fiscal years 2008 and 2009, such sums as may be necessary, but not less than $5,000,000, for areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, of which, in each such fiscal year—

(1) 60 percent shall be available only for private enforcement initiatives for qualified private enforcement fair housing organizations authorized under subsection (b) of such section, and, of the amount made available in accordance with this paragraph, the Secretary shall set aside an amount for multi-year grants to qualified fair housing enforcement organizations;

(2) 20 percent shall be available only for activities authorized under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (c) of such section; and

(3) 20 percent shall be available only for education and outreach programs authorized under subsection (d) of such section.

(b) Low funding.—If the total amount appropriated to carry out the Fair Housing Initiatives Program for either fiscal year 2008 or 2009 is less than $50,000,000, not less than 5 percent of such total amount appropriated for such fiscal year shall be available for the areas described in subsection (a) for the activities described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of such subsection.

(c) Availability.—Any amounts appropriated under this section shall remain available until expended.

TITLE VIIImproved distribution of Federal hurricane housing funds for hurricane relief

SEC. 701. GAO study of improved distribution of Federal housing funds for hurricane relief.

(a) Study.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study to examine methods of improving the distribution of Federal housing funds to assist States covered by this Act with recovery from hurricanes, which shall include identifying and analyzing—

(1) the Federal and State agencies used in the past to disburse such funds and the strengths and weakness of existing programs;

(2) the means by and extent to which critical information relating to hurricane recovery, such as property valuations, is shared among various State and Federal agencies;

(3) program requirements that create impediments to the distribution of such funds that can be eliminated or streamlined;

(4) housing laws and regulations that have caused programs to be developed in a manner that complies with statutory requirements but fails to meet the housing objectives or needs of the States or the Federal Government;

(5) laws relating to privacy and impediments raised by housing laws to the sharing, between the Federal Government and State governments, and private industry, of critical information relating to hurricane recovery;

(6) methods of streamlining applications for and underwriting of Federal housing grant or loan programs; and

(7) how to establish more equitable Federal housing laws regarding duplication of benefits.

(b) Report.—Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the Congress a report describing the results of the study and any recommendations regarding the issues analyzed under the study.

TITLE VIIICommending Americans for their rebuilding efforts

SEC. 801. Commending Americans.

(a) Congressional findings.—The Congress finds that—

(1) over 500,000 individuals in the United States have volunteered their time in helping rebuild the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita;

(2) over $3,500,000,000 in cash and in-kind donations have been made for hurricane victims;

(3) 40,000,000 pounds of food have been distributed by Catholic Charities’ Food Bank through hurricane relief efforts;

(4) almost 7,000,000 hot meals have been served by Salvation Army volunteers in hurricane relief efforts;

(5) over 10,000,000 college students have devoted their spring and fall breaks to hurricane relief efforts;

(6) almost 20,000 families displaced as a result of the hurricanes have been supported by Traveler’s Aid volunteers;

(7) faith-based organizations, such as Jewish Family Services, Lutheran Disaster Response, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church have contributed tens of thousands of man-hours for hurricane relief; and

(8) community-based organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club of America, Junior League, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, and the YMCA, have had thousands of members volunteer with the cleanup in the Gulf States.

(b) Commendation.—The Congress hereby commends the actions and efforts by the remarkable individuals and organizations who contributed to the hurricane relief effort and recognizes that the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast region rests on the selfless dedication of private individuals and community spirit.

TITLE IXProtection of households receiving FEMA housing assistance

SEC. 901. Extension of FEMA housing assistance.

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to provide until December 31, 2007, temporary housing assistance, including financial and direct assistance, under section 408(c)(1) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174(c)(1)) to individuals and households eligible to receive such assistance as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma, and to the extent that amounts for such purpose are made available, such assistance shall be so extended.

SEC. 902. Voucher assistance for households receiving FEMA rental assistance and households residing in FEMA trailers.

(a) Transfer of FEMA rental assistance to section 8 voucher program.—There are authorized to be appropriated, for tenant-based rental assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)), such sums as may be necessary to provide vouchers for such assistance for each individual and household that is eligible for such voucher assistance and received financial assistance for temporary housing under section 408(c)(1) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174(c)(1)) as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma, for the period beginning upon termination of such temporary housing assistance and continuing through such period that such individual or household remains eligible for such voucher assistance. Such voucher assistance shall be administered by the public housing agency having jurisdiction of the area in which such assisted individual or household resides as of such termination date.

(b) Voucher assistance for households residing in FEMA trailers.—

(1) OFFER.—The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall offer, to each individual and household who, as of the date of the enactment of this Act, receives direct assistance for temporary housing under section 408(c)(2) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174(c)(2)) as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or Wilma and is eligible for tenant-based rental assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)), a voucher for such rental assistance, subject to the availability of amounts for such assistance made available in advance in appropriation Acts.

(2) PROVISION OF ASSISTANCE.—There are authorized to be appropriated, for tenant-based rental assistance under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)), such sums as may be necessary to provide vouchers for such assistance for each individual and household that, pursuant to an offer of such assistance under paragraph (1) requests such assistance, for the period beginning upon occupancy of the individual or household in a dwelling unit acquired for rental with such assistance and continuing through such period that such individual or household remains eligible for such voucher assistance.

(c) Temporary vouchers.—If at any time an assisted family for whom a voucher for rental housing assistance is provided pursuant to this section becomes ineligible for further such rental assistance—

(1) the public housing agency administering such voucher pursuant to this section may not provide rental assistance under such voucher for any other household;

(2) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall recapture from such agency any remaining amounts for assistance attributable to such voucher and may not reobligate such amounts to any public housing agency; and

(3) such voucher shall not be taken into consideration for purposes of determining any future allocation of amounts for such tenant-based rental assistance for any public housing agency.

Passed the House of Representatives March 21, 2007.

Attest: lorraine c. miller,   
Clerk.