HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2007

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The HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2007 (H.R. 3524) would have both modified the HOPE VI public housing program and reauthorized the program for an additional eight years.

Contents

Background

Originally created in 1992 and administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the HOPE VI program was established to revitalize "severely distressed" public housing. Over the years, HOPE VI has funded the rehabilitation or replacement of public housing structures that have fallen into disrepair, relocation assistance for residents displaced by revitalization efforts, and assistance for the development of affordable housing and mixed income communities.[1]

Summary


The HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2007 would have reauthorized the HOPE VI program for an additional 8 years and would have authorized $800 million in funding.[2] According to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) Web site, the bill would have modified the existing program in a variety of ways, including:

  • The Manager’s Amendment contains various provisions, including the following. It redefines the scope of the one-for-one replacement requirement by requiring the replacement of all public housing units in existence as of January 1, 2005, and provides a limited waiver from the replacement requirement. It extends the timeline for rebuilding replacement housing units to 54 months from the date of execution of the grant agreement, consistent with current HUD practice. It also deletes the bill’s language requiring non-residential construction done in conjunction with a HOPE VI project to be certified to the Silver Level of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ratings system. In addition, the amendment explicitly states that no person not lawfully permitted to be in, or remain in, the United States is eligible for housing assistance under this bill.[2]
  • One-for-One Replacement Requirement. The bill requires that all public housing units proposed for demolition or disposition under a HOPE VI project be replaced on a one-for-one basis. [2]
  • One-for-One Replacement: On-Site Housing. The bill requires public housing agencies to provide a mixed-income housing development on the site of the original public housing location in a manner resulting in a decrease in the concentration of poverty. At least a third of the units in that development must be replacement public housing units. Public housing agencies can build additional units on the site provided the provision of these units does not violate fair housing laws and the number of additional units is determined in consultation with residents, community leaders and local government officials. [2]
  • One-for-One Replacement: Off-Site Housing. The bill requires remaining replacement units to be built in areas with low concentrations of poverty in the jurisdiction of the public housing agency and in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing. These units must be comparable to public housing units in terms of affordability, tenant eligibility, and income determination. [2]
  • Expanded Housing Opportunities. The bill provides residents displaced by a HOPE VI project with three housing choices: a revitalized unit on the site of the original public housing location; a revitalized unit in the jurisdiction of the public housing agency; or a housing choice voucher, which can be used in areas with lower concentrations of poverty. [2]
  • Green Housing. The bill requires that all replacement housing as part of a HOPE VI project be built in accordance with the national Green Communities criteria checklist or a substantially equivalent standard as determined by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Green Communities is a well-respected, widely-utilized industry standard for green affordable housing and is already required or used by a number of cities and states across the country. Hundreds of community-based developers are achieving Green Communities or similar criteria on a cost-effective basis. Studies have found that the cost of incorporating green standards is only between 2 to 4 percent – and the increased energy efficiency can result in lower utility costs for residents. [2]
  • Enhanced Tenant Protections. The bill requires public housing agencies to monitor and track all households affected by HOPE VI revitalization plans. In addition, public housing agencies must develop a temporary relocation plan that provides comparable housing for all relocated residents, protects residents in transitioning to the private rental market with housing choice vouchers, provides for housing opportunities in neighborhoods with lower concentrations of poverty, and extends the voucher search time to 150 days. [2]
  • Enhanced Resident Involvement. The bill provides for the active involvement and participation of residents in the grant planning process, including public hearings and four notices to residents on: 1) the intent to apply for a HOPE VI grant; 2) grant award and relocation options; 3) grant agreement and relocation options; and 4) replacement housing. [2]
  • Improvements to Grant Implementation. Finally, the bill establishes performance benchmarks to ensure the timely completion of HOPE VI grants and provides penalties for grantees that do not meet these performance benchmarks.[2]

Consideration

House

The House took up consideration of the bill on January 17, 2008.[3]

Amendments

Among the amendments considered and rejected was an amendment by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that would have prevented funds authorized in the bill from being used to pay wages in compliance with the Davis Bacon wage scale, which sets minimum wages to be paid under certain federal government contracts.[4][5][6]


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Americans for Democratic Action 2008 House Scorecard

Org. position: Nay

Description:

"King (R-IA) amendment that would allow substandard wages by barring the use of funds in the bill to pay for local “prevailing wage” requirements under the Davis-Bacon Act for public housing projects."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.adaction.org/pages/publications/voting-records.php)

Another amendment considered and rejected was one proposed by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) that would strike specific green building requirements from the bill and would instead instruct the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to select a code for grading green buildings. [7]


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: League of Conservation Voters 2008 House Scorecard

Org. position: Nay

Description:

"Buildings consume about 40 percent of the total energy used in the United States and are responsible for about 40 percent of all U.S. carbon dioxide pollution. The initial building design and construction provides the best and most cost-effective opportunity to deploy energy-efficient features that will last for the lifetime of the building. The HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2007, H.R. 2534, required federally funded housing developments and community revitalizations for the low income and elderly to meet residential and commercial buildings criteria for efficiency. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) offered an amendment that would have weakened these provisions by making them voluntary, deleted the definition of specific green criteria and goals, and allowed the Administration to choose any private industry-backed standard for voluntary compliance regardless of any positive public health or environmental benefit. On January 17, the House defeated the amendment by a vote of 169-240 (House roll call vote 16). NO is the pro-environment vote."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.lcv.org/2008-pdf.pdf)

Scored vote

Scorecard: National Journal 2008 House Scorecard

Org. position: {{{Vote position 2}}}

Description:

"Remove the green" building requirement from public housing buildings. January 17. (169-240)""

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20090228_4813.php)

Passage in the House

The bill passed the House on January 17, 2008 by a margin of 271-130.


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: National Journal 2008 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Reauthorize the HOPE VI public housing program. January 17. (271-130)"

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20090228_4813.php)

Senate

The bill was received in the Senate on January 22, 2008. No further action was taken.[3]

Articles and resources

See also

References

  1. "About HOPE VI", U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Web site. Accessed April 14, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's page on H.R. 3524.
  3. 3.0 3.1 OpenCongress' info page on H.R. 3524.
  4. THOMAS page on H.AMDT.928 (A006).
  5. Remarks of Steve King (R-Iowa), Congressional Record, January 17, 2008, 324.
  6. U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division, "Davis-Bacon Wage Determination Reference Material", GPO Access. Accessed April 14, 2009.
  7. THOMAS page on H.AMDT.929 (A007).

External resources

External articles


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