Text: H.R.4106 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (11/18/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 4106


To authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to make grants and loans to owners of federally assisted housing projects for costs of making green retrofit improvements to such projects.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 18, 2009

Mr. Himes (for himself, Mr. Welch, and Mr. Olver) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services


A BILL

To authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to make grants and loans to owners of federally assisted housing projects for costs of making green retrofit improvements to such projects.

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 “Green Affordable Housing Act of 2009”.

SEC. 2. Green retrofit grant and loan program.

(a) Establishment.—The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall carry out a program to make grants and loans under this section to owners of eligible federally assisted housing projects for making eligible green retrofit improvements to such projects.

(b) Eligible federally assisted housing projects.—Grants and loans under this section may be provided only for eligible green retrofit improvements under subsection (c) for—

(1) housing for which project-based assistance is provided under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f);

(2) housing that is assisted under section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 (12 U.S.C. 1701q);

(3) housing that is assisted under section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959, as such section existed before the enactment of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (Public Law 101–625);

(4) housing that is assisted under section 811 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 8013);

(5) housing financed by a loan or mortgage insured under section 221(d)(3) of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715l(d)(3)) that bears interest at a rate determined under the proviso of section 221(d)(5) of such Act (12 U.S.C. 1715l(d)(5));

(6) housing insured, assisted, or held by the Secretary or a State or State agency under section 236 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715z–1);

(7) housing constructed or substantially rehabilitated pursuant to assistance provided under section 8(b)(2) of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as in effect before October 1, 1983, that is assisted under a contract for assistance under such section;

(8) housing assisted or formerly assisted under section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 (12 U.S.C. 1701s);

(9) multifamily housing projects assisted with amounts made available under the HOME Investment Partnerships Act (42 U.S.C. 12721 et seq.);

(10) housing for which a loan is made or insured under section 515 of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1485); and

(11) housing for which a low-income housing tax credit is provided pursuant to section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 42).

(c) Eligible green retrofit improvements.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of this section, eligible green retrofit improvements are improvements to an eligible federally assisted housing project that are approved by the Secretary as having one or more of the following attributes, as compared with the comparable component that would normally be used by owners of similar properties in the same market area:

(A) Materially lower electric, heating fuel, or water consumption.

(B) Materially lower emissions of chemicals thought to be harmful to humans.

(C) Materially longer useful life.

(D) Materially more biodegradable.

(E) Materially more easily recycled.

(F) Materially lower use of raw materials or use of materially more recycled content.

(G) Materially lower transportation costs of products delivered to the project.

For purposes of this paragraph, determinations of materiality shall be made by the Secretary in the sole discretion of the Secretary.

(2) RELATED IMPROVEMENTS.—For purposes of this section, eligible green retrofit improvements shall include improvements approved by the Secretary as related or collateral to the undertaking or provision of eligible green retrofit improvements approved pursuant to paragraph (1) for an eligible federally assisted housing project.

(3) VERIFICATION.—For purposes of verifying improvements as eligible green retrofit improvements under this subsection, the Secretary shall, by regulation, provide for the following:

(A) Certification of building energy and environment auditors, inspectors, and raters by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), or an equivalent certification system as determined by the Secretary.

(B) Certification or licensing of building energy and environmental retrofit contractors by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), or an equivalent certification or licensing system as determined by the Secretary.

(C) Use of equipment and procedures of the Building Performance Institute, Residential Energy Services Network, or other appropriate equipment and procedures (such as infrared photography and pressurized testing, and tests for water use and indoor air quality), as determined by the Secretary, to test the energy and environmental efficiency of buildings effectively.

(D) Determination of energy savings by comparison of scores on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index before and after retrofit, with the final score produced by an objective third party.

(d) Extension of affordability restrictions.—

(1) GRANTS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may provide a grant under this section for an eligible federally assisted housing project only if the owner of the project enters into such binding commitments as the Secretary shall require, which shall be applicable to any subsequent owner, to ensure that the project will be operated, until the expiration of the period specified in subparagraph (B), in accordance with all affordability restrictions that are applicable to the project under the federal assistance program referred to in subsection (b) under which assistance is provided for the project.

(B) PERIOD.—The period specified in this paragraph for an eligible federally assisted housing project is the period that—

(i) begins upon the date of the expiration of applicability, to the project, of the affordability restrictions under the federal assistance program referred to in subsection (b) under which assistance is provided for the project;

(ii) has such duration, as determined by the Secretary, as commensurate with the amount of the loan or grant assistance provided under this section for the project; and

(iii) in no case exceeds 30 years.

The Secretary may make such adjustments to such period as may be necessary to take into consideration any more significant restrictions accompanying other subsidies for the project.

(2) LOANS.—In providing loans under this section for eligible federally assisted housing projects, the Secretary may require the project to comply with affordability restrictions as the Secretary may establish, the terms of which shall be commensurate with the term and amount of the loan.

(e) Limitation on amount.—The amount of a grant or loan under this section for an eligible federally assisted housing project may not exceed—

(1) a percentage, as determined by the Secretary, of the cost of the eligible green retrofit improvements for the project described in the retrofit plan under subsection (f)(2) for the project; and

(2) a dollar amount limitation, as the Secretary may establish.

(f) Applications.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall provide for owners of eligible federally assisted housing project to submit applications to the Secretary for grants and loans under this subsection. The Secretary shall require each such application to include a retrofit plan under paragraph (2).

(2) RETROFIT PLAN.—

(A) REQUIREMENTS.—The Secretary may not make any grant or loan under this section for any eligible green retrofit improvements for an eligible federally assisted housing project unless the owner of the project has submitted to the Secretary, and the Secretary has approved (pursuant to any amendments or changes as the Secretary may require), a detailed written plan regarding such improvements that complies with such requirements as the Secretary shall establish, which shall include the following:

(i) The plan shall set forth the current utility costs for the project, including costs for water, heat, and electricity.

(ii) The plan shall describe the eligible green retrofit improvements to be made for the project, setting forth—

(I) a schedule for completing each such improvement;

(II) the cost of and sources of funding for each such improvement;

(III) the amount of anticipated cost savings resulting from each such improvement; and

(IV) a schedule for such savings for each such improvement based on the current utility costs for the project set forth pursuant to clause (i), except that such cost-savings schedule may not have a term exceeding 10 years.

(B) COST-EFFICIENCY; COST SAVINGS.—The Secretary may approve a retrofit plan under this subsection only if the Secretary determines that—

(i) the total present value of the cost savings resulting from the eligible green retrofit improvements specified in the plan and to be recovered over the term of the cost-savings schedule included in the plan will exceed the cost of making such improvements; and

(ii) the eligible green retrofit improvements specified in the plan will result in savings in utility or other operating costs for the eligible federally assisted housing project of not less than 20 percent, in comparison to utility and operating costs of such project absent the eligible green retrofit improvements to be undertaken under the plan.

(3) SELECTION PRIORITIES.—In selecting applications for loans and grants under this section the Secretary may—

(A) give priority to applications providing for eligible green retrofit improvements that are funded in part with amounts from sources other than grants and loans under this section, and the extent of such priority provided may be based on the ratio of such funding from other sources; and

(B) give priority to applications based on the net amount of energy efficiency savings resulting from the eligible green retrofit improvements to be funded by such loans and grants.

(g) Loans.—In such circumstances as the Secretary may provide, the Secretary may provide assistance under this section in the form of a loan, which shall have such term to maturity, shall bear interest, and shall have such other terms and conditions as the Secretary may establish.

(h) Treatment of grant amounts.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, assistance amounts under this section may be treated as amounts not derived from a Federal grant.

(i) Monitoring.—

(1) SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION TO SECRETARY.—The Secretary shall require each owner of an eligible federally assisted housing project for which a grant or loan under this section is made to submit to the Secretary such information, on a regular basis during the term of the cost savings schedule included in the retrofit plan for project for which such grant or loan is made or during such other term, and in such form and manner, as the Secretary considers appropriate to determine the cost savings resulting from the eligible green retrofit improvements funded with such grant or loan and to provide such other information as the Secretary considers necessary.

(2) OTHER MONITORING.—With respect to eligible federally assisted housing projects for which eligible green retrofit improvements have been made with assistance under this section, the Secretary shall—

(A) establish guidelines for obtaining certification of such projects, after retrofit, as Energy Star buildings, for assigning Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating for such projects, and for completing applicable building performance labels; and

(B) establish processes for tracking the numbers and locations of such projects and obtaining information on projected and actual savings of energy and its value over time.

(j) Definitions.—For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) AFFORDABILITY RESTRICTIONS.—The term “affordability restrictions” means, with respect to an eligible federally assisted housing project, limits imposed by statute, regulation, or regulatory agreement on tenant rents, rent contributions, or income eligibility.

(2) COST-SAVINGS SCHEDULE.—The term “cost-savings schedule” means, with respect to a retrofit plan for an eligible federally assisted housing project, the schedule included in such plan pursuant to subsection (f)(2)(A)(ii)(IV).

(3) ELIGIBLE FEDERALLY ASSISTED HOUSING PROJECT.—The term “eligible federally assisted housing project” means a housing project described in subsection (b).

(4) RETROFIT PLAN.—The term “retrofit plan” means a plan required under subsection (f)(2).

(5) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

(k) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated such sums for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014, which shall be available for—

(1) grants under this section; and

(2) costs (as such term in defined in section 502 of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661a) of loans under this section.

(l) Regulations.—The Secretary shall issue any regulations necessary to carry out this section.