Text: H.R.285 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/15/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 285 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 285

To authorize funds to prevent housing discrimination through the use of 
nationwide testing, to increase funds for the Fair Housing Initiatives 
                    Program, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 15, 2013

   Mr. Al Green of Texas (for himself, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Ms. 
Schakowsky, Mr. Clay, Mr. Hinojosa, Mr. Honda, Ms. Moore, Mr. Rush, Ms. 
   Wilson of Florida, Mr. Grijalva, and Mr. Serrano) introduced the 
   following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial 
                                Services

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To authorize funds to prevent housing discrimination through the use of 
nationwide testing, to increase funds for the Fair Housing Initiatives 
                    Program, and for other purposes.

    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 ``Veterans, Women, Families with 
Children, Race, and Persons with Disabilities Housing Fairness Act of 
2013'' or the ``Housing Fairness Act of 2013''.

SEC. 2. TESTING FOR DISCRIMINATION.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 
shall conduct a nationwide program of testing to--
            (1) detect and document differences in the treatment of 
        persons seeking to rent or purchase housing or obtain or 
        refinance a home mortgage loan, and measure patterns of adverse 
        treatment because of the race, color, religion, sex, familial 
        status, disability status, or national origin of a renter, home 
        buyer, or borrower; and
            (2) measure the prevalence of such discriminatory practices 
        across the housing and mortgage lending markets as a whole.
    (b) Administration.--The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 
shall enter into agreements with qualified fair housing enforcement 
organizations, as such organizations are defined under subsection (h) 
of section 561 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (42 
U.S.C. 3616a(h)), for the purpose of conducting the testing required 
under subsection (a).
    (c) Program Requirements.--The Secretary shall--
            (1) submit to the Congress an evaluation by the Secretary 
        of the effectiveness of the program under this section; and
            (2) issue regulations that require each application for the 
        program under this section to contain--
                    (A) a description of the assisted activities 
                proposed to be undertaken by the applicant;
                    (B) a description of the experience of the 
                applicant in formulating or carrying out programs to 
                carry out the activities described in subsection (a); 
                and
                    (C) a description of proposed procedures to be used 
                by the applicant for evaluating the results of the 
                activities proposed to be carried out under the 
                program.
    (d) Report.--The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall 
report to Congress--
            (1) on a biennial basis, the aggregate outcomes of testing 
        required under subsection (a) along with any recommendations or 
        proposals for legislative or administrative action to address 
        any issues raised by such testing; and
            (2) on an annual basis, a detailed summary of the messages 
        received by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity of 
        the Department through its 24-hour toll-free telephone hotline, 
        through electronic mail, and through its website.
The Secretary may submit the reports required under paragraph (1) of 
this subsection as part of the reports prepared in accordance with 
paragraphs (2) and (6) of section 808(e) of the Fair Housing Act (42 
U.S.C. 3608(e)) and section 561(j) of the Housing and Community 
Development Act of 1987 (42 U.S.C. 3616a(j)).
    (e) Use of Results.--The results of any testing required under 
subsection (a) may be used as the basis for the Secretary, or any 
Federal agency authorized to bring such an enforcement action, or any 
State or local government or agency, public or private nonprofit 
organization or institution, or other public or private entity that the 
Secretary has entered into a contract or cooperative agreement with 
under section 561 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 
(42 U.S.C. 3616a) to commence, undertake, or pursue any investigation 
or enforcement action to remedy any discriminatory housing practice (as 
such term is defined in section 802 of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 
3602)) uncovered as a result of such testing.
    (f) Definitions.--As used in this section:
            (1) Disability status.--The term ``disability status'' has 
        the same meaning given the term ``handicap'' in section 802 of 
        the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3602).
            (2) Familial status.--The term ``familial status'' has the 
        same meaning given that term in section 802 of the Civil Rights 
        Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3602).
    (g) Relationship to Other Laws.--Nothing in this section may be 
construed to amend, alter, or affect any provision of criminal law or 
the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).
    (h) Regulations.--Not later than the expiration of the 180-day 
period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall issue regulations that 
establish minimum standards for the training of testers of 
organizations conducting testing required under subsection (a). Such 
regulations shall serve as the basis of an evaluation of such testers, 
which shall be developed by the Secretary, and such regulations shall 
be issued after notice and an opportunity for public comment in 
accordance with the procedure under section 553 of title 5, United 
States Code, applicable to substantive rules (notwithstanding 
subsections (a)(2), (b)(B), and (d)(3) of such section).
    (i) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out the provisions of this section $15,000,000 
for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018.

SEC. 3. INCREASE IN FUNDING FOR THE FAIR HOUSING INITIATIVES PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--Section 561 of the Housing and Community 
Development Act of 1987 (42 U.S.C. 3616a) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``qualified'' 
                before ``private nonprofit fair housing enforcement 
                organizations,''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``qualified'' 
                before ``private nonprofit fair housing enforcement 
                organizations,'';
            (2) by striking subsection (g) and inserting the following:
    ``(g) Authorization of Appropriations.--
            ``(1) In general.--There are authorized to be appropriated 
        to carry out the provisions of this section $42,500,000 for 
        each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018, of which--
                    ``(A) not less than 75 percent of such amounts 
                shall be for private enforcement initiatives authorized 
                under subsection (b);
                    ``(B) not more than 10 percent of such amounts 
                shall be for education and outreach programs under 
                subsection (d); and
                    ``(C) any remaining amounts shall be used for 
                program activities authorized under this section.
            ``(2) Availability.--Any amount appropriated under this 
        section shall remain available until expended to carry out the 
        provisions of this section.'';
            (3) in subsection (h), in the matter following subparagraph 
        (C), by inserting ``and meets the criteria described in 
        subparagraphs (A) and (C)'' after ``subparagraph (B)''; and
            (4) in subsection (d)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1)--
                            (i) in subparagraph (C), by striking 
                        ``and'' at the end;
                            (ii) in subparagraph (D), by striking the 
                        period and inserting ``; and''; and
                            (iii) by adding after subparagraph (D) the 
                        following new subparagraph:
                    ``(E) websites and other media outlets.'';
                    (B) in paragraph (2), by striking ``or other public 
                or private entities'' and inserting ``or other public 
                or private nonprofit entities''; and
                    (C) in paragraph (3), by striking ``or other public 
                or private entities'' and inserting ``or other public 
                or private nonprofit entities''.
    (b) Regulations.--Not later than the expiration of the 180-day 
period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall issue regulations that 
establish minimum standards for the training of testers of 
organizations funded with any amounts made available to carry out this 
section for any of fiscal years 2014 through 2018. Such regulations 
shall serve as the basis of an evaluation of such testers, which shall 
be developed by the Secretary, and shall be issued after notice and an 
opportunity for public comment in accordance with the procedure under 
section 553 of title 5, United States Code, applicable to substantive 
rules (notwithstanding subsections (a)(2), (b)(B), and (d)(3) of such 
section).

SEC. 4. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Housing and Urban 
Development should--
            (1) fully comply with the requirements of section 561(d) of 
        the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (42 U.S.C. 
        3616a(d)) to establish, design, and maintain a national 
        education and outreach program to provide a centralized, 
        coordinated effort for the development and dissemination of the 
        fair housing rights of individuals who seek to rent, purchase, 
        sell, or facilitate the sale of a home;
            (2) expend for such education and outreach programs all 
        amounts appropriated for such programs;
            (3) promulgate regulations regarding the fair housing 
        obligations of each recipient of Federal housing and community 
        development funds to affirmatively further fair housing, as 
        that term is defined under title VIII of the Civil Rights Act 
        of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.); and
            (4) fully comply with the requirements of section 810(a) of 
        the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3610(a)).

SEC. 5. GRANTS TO PRIVATE ENTITIES TO STUDY HOUSING DISCRIMINATION.

    (a) Grant Program.--The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 
shall carry out a competitive matching grant program to assist public 
and private nonprofit organizations in--
            (1) conducting comprehensive studies that examine--
                    (A) the causes of housing discrimination and 
                segregation;
                    (B) the effects of housing discrimination and 
                segregation on education, poverty, and economic 
                development; or
                    (C) the incidences, causes, and effects of housing 
                discrimination and segregation on veterans and military 
                personnel; and
            (2) implementing pilot projects that test solutions that 
        will help prevent or alleviate housing discrimination and 
        segregation.
    (b) Eligibility.--To be eligible to receive a grant under this 
section, a public or private nonprofit organization shall--
            (1) submit an application to the Secretary of Housing and 
        Urban Development, containing such information as the Secretary 
        shall require;
            (2) agree to provide matching non-Federal funds for 50 
        percent of the total amount of the grant, which matching funds 
        may include items donated on an in-kind contribution basis; and
            (3) meet the requirements of a qualified fair housing 
        enforcement organization, as such term is defined in section 
        561(h) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (42 
        U.S.C. 3616a(h)), or subcontract with a qualified fair housing 
        enforcement organization as a primary subcontractor.
    (c) Report.--The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall 
submit a report to the Congress on a biennial basis that provides a 
detailed summary of the results of the comprehensive studies and pilot 
projects carried out under subsection (a), together with any 
recommendations or proposals for legislative or administrative actions 
to address any issues raised by such studies. The Secretary may submit 
the reports required under this subsection as part of the reports 
prepared in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (6) of section 808(e) of 
the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 10 3608(e)) and section 561(j) of the 
Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (42 U.S.C. 3616a(j)).
    (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out the provisions of this section $5,000,000 for 
each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018.

SEC. 6. LIMITATION ON USE OF FUNDS.

    None of the funds made available under this Act, or the amendments 
made by this Act, may be used for any political activities, political 
advocacy, or lobbying (as such terms are defined by Circular A-122 of 
the Office of Management and Budget, entitled ``Cost Principles for 
Non-Profit Organizations''), or for expenses for travel to engage in 
political activities or preparation of or provision of advice on tax 
returns.
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