H.R. 2986, HUD-Held Homes for Community Partners
Representative Joe Baca (D-CA) introduced the Community Partners Neighborhood Preservation Act of 2011 on September 21. The bill would expand the universe of eligible applicants for HUD’s Officer Next Door and Teacher Next Door programs to firefighters and first responders. The bill would also expand the inventory of properties available for purchase from HUD-owned homes in certain recovery areas to all HUD homes acquired through foreclosure. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.
S. 1621, Livable Communities Act
On September 22, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced S. 1621, the Livable Communities Act of 2011. The bill is a reintroduction of legislation reported from the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in the 111th Congress, when then-Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) was Committee Chair.
The bill would formally authorize an Office of Sustainable Communities within HUD, as well as authorize community challenge grants and comprehensive planning grants.
In early 2010, HUD began an Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, but it has never formally been authorized by Congress. HUD has received funding as a set-aside within the Community Development Fund account for this office since FY10.
The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
S.1617, Healthy Housing Council
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) proposed the Healthy Housing Council Act of 2011 on September 22, which is a reintroduction of legislation from the 111th Congress. This bill would create an interagency council that would review the efficiency of federal programs and look for ways to improve existing programs. The bill would also recommend new ways to avoid duplication and push for collaboration within the federal programs that provide housing, health, energy or environmental services to families and individuals.
The Healthy Housing Council Act was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
S. 1605/ H.R. 3030, Expanding Fair Housing Protections
On September 22, the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act was introduced in the Senate and House by Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NJ), respectively. The bill would amend the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity act to prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The Senate bill, S. 1605, was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The House bill, H.R. 3030, was referred to the House Committees on the Judiciary and on Financial Services.