Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Indefinitely postponed in Senate (07/13/1979)

(Measure indefinitely postponed in Senate, provisions inserted in H.R. 3875 as passed House)

Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1979 - Title I: Community and Neighborhood Development and Conservation - Extends the rehabilitation loan program and authorizes appropriations for fiscal year 1980 for community and neighborhood development and conservation provided under the Housing Act of 1964. Amends the Housing Act of 1954 to extend the comprehensive planning program and to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1980. Authorizes appropriations for fiscal year 1980 for Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation programs under the Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1978. Reduces the authorization level for fiscal year 1980 for the neighborhood self-help development programs and the livable cities programs under the Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1978.

Increases the authorization for appropriations for the community development block grant program for fiscal year 1980. Authorizes the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to waive all or part of the summary, formulation, and description requirements of the community development block grant program under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 in those cases in which an application for a block grant does not involve a comprehensive community development program and such waiver is not inconsistent with the purposes of the program. Extends through fiscal year 1980 the provision that requires a pro-rata reduction in all block grants in the case of a shortfall in funding for entitlement.

Makes any unit of local government which is part of, but not located entirely within an urban county eligible for such block grants provided the funds received will be used in that part of the unit for which the grant was made and not in that part located outside of the urban county.

Authorizes the Secretary to reimburse the Veterans Administration and the Secretary of Agriculture for properties transferred to urban homesteading programs. Exempts local governments from the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 when acquiring property for an urban homesteading program.

Requires local housing assistance plans to assess the effect in their area of the conversion of rental units into condominiums, cooperatives, and other forms of ownership on the present and anticipated housing needs of low and moderate income persons. Directs the Secretary to review such plans and submit a report to Congress on the availability of rental housing for low, moderate, and middle income Americans.

Title II: Housing Assistance Programs - Authorizes the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to enter into contracts for annual contributions under the United States Housing Act of 1937 for low-income housing projects in fiscal year 1980. Redefines the term "lower income families" to mean those families whose incomes do not exceed 70 percent (currently 80 percent) of the median income for the area. Allows the Secretary to establish income ceilings higher or lower than 70 percent. Authorizes appropriations for fiscal year 1980 for such annual contribution contracts.

Authorizes appropriations for fiscal year 1980 for operating assistance for troubled multifamily housing projects under the Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1978. Amends the National Housing Act to direct the Secretary to utilize amounts credited to the rental housing assistance fund prior to October 1, 1978, but remaining unobligated on October 31, 1978, for the sole purpose of carrying out assistance for troubled multifamily housing projects.

Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 to stipulate that any amounts allocated to a State or its communities cannot be reallocated to another State unless the Secretary finds that other areas of the State cannot use the funds within the fiscal year. Directs the Secretary to provide an expedited procedure for review of amendments to housing assistance plans to assure that communities can update their housing assistance plans.

Requires that a minimum term of 20 years shall be required under a contract for assistance to new or substantially rehabilitated units and that a project owner must agree to maintain the low- and moderate-income character of the project for the period at least equal to the remaining term of the project mortgage. Authorizes the Secretary to continue to provide assistance to such a project after the expiration of the contract term if the project remains of a low-income nature.

Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to require the Secretary to establish procedures to verify the income data submitted as a prerequisite to Federal assistance under such Act. Requires such procedures to include the random and confidential sampling of family incomes through the examination of unemployment compensation, income tax, social security, and food stamp information.

Amends the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 to repeal the deduction for minors living with other family members and the exclusion of such a minor's income in computing a person's income for the purpose of determining eligibility for mortgage supplement payments to owners of low-income housing projects. Redefines the term "qualified tenant" for the purpose of making such payments, as any person receiving such assistance on the date of enactment of this Act and any individual or family qualifying for low-income housing assistance under the United States Housing Act of 1937.

Title III: Program Amendments and Extensions - Extends for one year, through September 30, 1980, the authority of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to insure mortgages or loans under certain HUD mortgage or loan insurance programs under the National Housing Act and to set interest rates for insured mortgage loans.

Extends until October 1, 1980, the authority of the Government National Mortgage Association to enter into new commitments to purchase mortgages under the interim mortgage purchase authority of the National Housing Act, as amended by the Emergency Home Purchase Assistance Act of 1974.

Amends the National Housing Act to increase loan insurance limits and terms for mobile homes and mobile home lots.

Increases the maximum authorized dollar limits on mortgages under the Housing Act for one- to four-family residences, conservation and renewal areas, armed service personnel, and condominium programs. Directs the Secretary to submit to the Congress, along with recommendations for legislation, a study of possible alternatives to the fixed statutory maximum mortgage limits. Requires such study to include examination of mortgage ceilings, prototype cost limits, regional ceilings, median sales prices, and construction costs.

Exempts dwellings covered by HUD approved consumer protection or warranty plans from the ten percent downpayment requirement if such dwellings are less than one year old or were not approved by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) prior to construction.

Increases the maximum insurable mortgage amounts prescribed under the National Housing Act for the following programs: (1) regular rental housing; (2) cooperative housing; (3) neighborhood conservation and renewal housing; (4) mortgage insurance for condominiums; (5) rental housing for moderate-income and displaced families; and (6) mobile home parks.

Authorizes the Government National Mortgage Association to purchase mortgages on certain multifamily housing projects with an original principal obligation that exceeds the otherwise applicable maximum amount per dwelling unit provided: (1) such mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration; and (2) at least 20 percent of the units covered by such mortgages are assisted under contracts authorized for low-income housing assistance under the United States Housing Act of 1937.

Amends the National Housing Act to authorize the Secretary, as an alternative to the acquisition of an insured mortgage to avoid foreclosure, to make all or part of the monthly payments due on an insured mortgage of a one- to four-family residence necessary to avoid default caused by circumstances beyond the mortgagor's control. Stipulates that all payments shall be secured by a lien on the property and by such such other obligation as the Secretary may require. Stipulates that such payments may be provided for a period of up to 18 months. Allows payments to be discontinued at any time if because the mortgagor's financial circumstances have changed, payments are no longer necessary, or the prospect of payments and repayments is no longer reasonable. Terminates the authority to make such payments on September 30, 1984.

Permits the Secretary to insure certain mortgages involving principal exceeding current maximum limits by not more than 25 percent, if the dwelling is in an area designated as an area undergoing significant revitalization activity and the Secretary determines such action is necessary to enable eligible families already residing in such area to remain in the area as homeowners.

Amends the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1970 by authorizing appropriations for fiscal year 1980 for research.

Amends the National Housing Act to authorize appropriations as may be necessary from time to time to cover losses sustained by the General Insurance Fund.

Increases for fiscal years 1980, 1981, and 1982, the borrowing authority of the Department of the Treasury for housing programs for the elderly or handicapped under the Housing Act of 1959. Sets forth new factors which the Secretary may consider in reviewing applications for loans for such programs including, but not limited to, the provision of relocation housing for elderly and handicapped families being displaced by revitalization activities. Directs the Secretary to readjust the amount of rental assistance to be provided under a contract for annual contributions in order to reflect fully any difference between the interest rate which will be charged for the permanent financing of the assisted project, and the rate which was in effect at the time of project reservation. Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress on means to reduce the costs of the program which do not unduly burden project sponsors or adversely affect the qualitative ability of the program to meet the housing needs of elderly and handicapped families. Directs the Secretary to submit a report to the Congress on the direction of Federal housing programs and the capacity for meeting the housing needs of the elderly and the handicapped in rural areas. Requires the establishment of an Office of Elderly Housing under the direction of an Assistant to the Secretary. Sets forth the duties of such Office. Directs the Secretary to designate an elderly housing specialist in each of the Department's regional offices to carry out the duties of the Office of Elderly Housing at the regional level.

Authorizes the Secretary to waive minimum capital investment requirements on loans for housing and related facilities for elderly or handicapped families if the Secretary determines that the local nonprofit sponsor: (1) has a creditable reputation for satisfactory job performance; (2) has not defaulted on any contract; (3) has proven stability, acceptance, and support in the community; and (4) has the support of the appropriate local or State housing authority. Includes adult day health facilities within the definition of "related facilities" for the purpose of providing such loans.

Reduces the period of time in which a regulation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development shall remain ineffective after its submission to the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committees of the House and Senate when either Committee reports out legislation modifying or invalidating the regulation.

Increases the single family loan ceiling for federally chartered savings and loan associations under the Home Owners' Loan Act of 1933.

Includes a mortgage, lien, or other security interest on the stock or membership certificate issued to a tenant-stockholder or resident-member of a cooperative housing corporation, and on the instrument granting a right of tenancy in the dwelling unit of such a corporation within the definition of the term "residential mortgage" under the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation Act.

Amends the Federal Home Loan Bank Act to decrease (from 12-to-1 to 20-to-1) the ratio of capital stock required to be purchased by a member of a Federal Home Loan Bank for such member to be eligible for loans from the Federal Home Loan Banks.

Requires the Secretary to study the relative risks of loss which exist with respect to the various classes of mortgages insured under the National Housing Act and the feasibility and financial desirability of requiring minimum rent payments from tenants in low-income housing assisted under the United States Housing Act of 1937.

Exempts from State constitutional and statutory usury ceilings mortgages or advances insured under the National Housing Act by the Federal Housing Administration.

Homeownership Opportunity Act of 1979 - Amends the National Housing Act to provide new options for homebuyers under the FHA-insured graduated payment program by reducing the downpayment to that which is required under regular FHA-insured programs and removing the limitation that the mortgage balance not exceed 97 percent of the appraised value of the home at the time of purchase. Stipulates that the mortgage balance may not exceed 97 percent of the "projected value" which would be calculated by increasing the initial appraised value of the property by an appreciation rate of not more than two-and-one-half percent. Limits the principal amount of mortgages to not more than 20 percent of the initial principal amount of all mortgages insured under the FHA one- to four-family insurance programs in that year.

Amends the Federal Home Loan Bank Act to permit each Federal Home Loan Bank to use residential home mortgages and United States Government obligations or obligations guaranteed by the U.S. Government as collateral for advances to its members.

Repeals language of the National Housing Act which limited the insurance of a supplemental loan for improvements to a Federal Housing Administration insured multifamily project, hospital, or group practice facility to the remaining term of the original mortgage on such property.

Amends the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, the National Housing Act, and the Federal Credit Union Act to make Federal deposit insurance of up to a maximum of $100,000 per account available to Indian tribal funds deposited in an insured bank, savings and loan association, or credit union. Declares that such amendments are not applicable to closings of financial institutions prior to enactment of this Act. Authorizes national banks, designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, to serve as depositaries for Indian tribal funds. Requires such banks to give satisfactory security for the safekeeping and prompt payment of such funds by the deposit of United States bonds.

Directs the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to make recommendations on programs to encourage individual ownership of mobile home lots through condominium or cooperative development of mobile home parks or subdivisions.

Prohibits the Secretary from considering Federal financial assistance when determining the acceptability of the risk to the United States in making loan guarantees to Soul City, North Carolina, under the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1970. Prohibits the making of loan guarantees for the benefit of Soul City after the enactment of this Act.

Amends the National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 to permit the use of inspection fees to cover the expenses incurred in making inspections.

Amends the Federal Home Loan Bank Act and the Home Owner's Loan Act of 1933 to authorize the Federal home banks and savings and loan associations to invest in minority enterprise small business investment companies for the purpose of aiding members of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. Prohibits such investments from exceeding one percent of the assets of a Federal Savings and Loan Association.

Title IV: Interstate Land Sales - Amends the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act to exempt from Federal registration and disclosure requirements: (1) the sale or lease of real estate by a developer engaged in a sales operation which is wholly intrastate in nature; and (2) the sale or lease of real estate, not to exceed 500 lots in a subdivision, by a developer to a resident of another State when the principal residence of the purchaser is within a radius of 100 miles from the property to be purchased. Stipulates that in order to be exempt under such provisions: (1) the land must be free and clear of all liens, encumbrances, and adverse claims; (2) the purchaser must make an onsite inspection of the land prior to purchase; and (3) each purchase or lease agreement must contain a clear and specific statement describing the party responsible for providing and maintaining the roads, water facilities, sewer facilities, and other amenities. States that lots sold under the 100 mile radius provision would further require the developer to execute and supply the purchaser with a written designation of the developer's agent within the purchaser's State for the service of process.

Enumerates the circumstances under which the voidability of contracts due to nondelivery of a property report would be applicable and the operative time for the application of the statue of limitations provisions.

Directs the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to conduct rulemaking and adjudicatory actions and provide written notice of reasons in any adverse action or final disposition taken.

Title V: Pockets of Poverty - Authorizes the Secretary to make grants out of funds appropriated to the urban development action grant (UDAG) program to cities or urban counties experiencing severe distress in only certain areas within their boundaries.

Sets forth requirements based on population and use of funds for the purpose of determining eligibility for such grants. Directs the Secretary to establish criteria for selecting grant recipients from the eligible areas.

Prohibits a city or urban county from receiving such grants if it is eligible for the UDAG program.

Authorizes the Secretary to use up to 20 percent of the funds available under the UDAG program for grants under this Title.

Requires each recipient of such a grant to expend an amount equal to 20 percent of the grant from its own funds, or funds available to it from State or Federal sources, to carry out the activities described in its application for the grant.