Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced S. 2178, the “Federal Real Property Asset Management Reform Act of 2012,” on March 8. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Tom Coburn (R-OK.), Mark Pryor (D-AR.), and Mark Begich (D-AK) are original cosponsors.
The legislation aims to streamline the process for the disposition of unused federal property. The sponsors of the bill expect that it will result in savings from the proceeds of property sales and from reduced operating expenses related to the properties. However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has questioned the level of savings that would be produced from similar bills that have been introduced in the House of Representatives (see Memo, 7/15/11).
Currently, under Title V of the McKinney-Vento Act, homeless service providers have a first right of refusal to surplus federal properties. The legislation, if enacted, would essentially make Title V obsolete.
The legislation would authorize a new HUD grant program that would make available a portion of sales proceeds to nonprofit organizations to use to benefit people experiencing homelessness. The bill directs the HUD Secretary to give preference to organizations in the communities where the property is sold.
Advocates will continue to work to ensure that Title V rights are preserved in any legislation that aims to change the surplus property disposal process.
A press release on the introduction of the bill is available at: http://bit.ly/xVREnN
The full bill text is available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s2178is/pdf/BILLS-112s2178is.pdf