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Senate housing unit drafts extension.

The Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs has drafted a reauthorization bill that will extend all housing and community development programs for two years and will impose a 25 percent match requirement on those jurisdictions participating in the HOME state and local block grant program.

The Senate subcommittee is expected to mark up its bill on May 6th. The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will mark up a final version of the reauthorization bill May 12th. Senate staf is hoping to have a bill approved by yhe Senate in mid-June.

The Senate draft bill calls for reauthorizing all housing and community development programs, including the community development block grant (CDBG) program for two years. The bill does not authorize a funding level for any of the programs it will encompass.

Included in the draft bill is a provision that requires participating jurisdictions (PJs) to provide a uniform match to participate in the HOME program. Currently the HOME program requires PJs to provide a match as a condition to receiving HOME funds. (Due to the recession last year, Congress granted PJs a one-year waiver of the match requirement.)

The current requirement is a three-tiered match that is based on the activity undertaken by PJs. For example, communities undertaking tenant-based rental assistance must provide a match of 4 federal dollars for every 1 dollar of local and/or state resources. For substantial rehabilitation the ratio is 3 to 1 and for new construction the ratio is 2 to 1.

The Senate bill eliminates the tiered match and calls for a uniform match that includes a sliding scale to determine the amount required of communities.

A formula will be created that will use the following factors in determining the level of match required: per capita income, unemployment rates, and tax efforts as they relate to the national levels.

These factors will be weighted and the average figure will determine the level of match that would be required.

For example, if these factors are twice the national average a community would not be responsible for a match. If the factors are one and a half to twice the national average, there would be a 10 percent match requirement. I factors are one to one and a half the national average, there is a 20 percent match requirement. If the average is one or less than there is a full 25 percent match requirement.

There appears to be support for publicly issued, project-based debt as an eligible match. There will continue to be discussion on this issue

The draft bill also includes the legislation introduced by Sen. Alan Cranston (D-CA) which requires jurisdictions to develop a strategy for the testing and abatement of all public housing units with hazardous levels of lead-based paint. The bill would require communities to include this strategy in their Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS). The CHAS is the housing plan local communities must submit before receiving HOME funds.

The reauthorization bill would also allow PJs to use up to 10[paragraph]percent of HOME funds for administrative purposes, and extension of the deadline for awarding funds to Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO) from 18 months to 24 months and maintains that rental housing must be retained for low income use for 30 years.
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Title Annotation:housing and community development
Author:Barreto, Julio
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Apr 20, 1992
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