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  1st Session
                                H. R. 1088

 To enhance the capacity of organizations working in the United States-
 Mexico border region to develop affordable housing and infrastructure 
          and to foster economic opportunity in the colonias.



                             March 5, 2003

Mr. Bonilla (for himself and Mr. Ortiz) introduced the following bill; 
   which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in 
 addition to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, for a 
 period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for 
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the 
                          committee concerned


                                 A BILL

 To enhance the capacity of organizations working in the United States-
 Mexico border region to develop affordable housing and infrastructure 
          and to foster economic opportunity in the colonias.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


     This Act may be cited as the ``Colonias Gateway Initiative Act''.


    (a) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Colonia.--The term ``colonia'' means any identifiable 
        community that--
                    (A) is located in the State of Arizona, California, 
                New Mexico, or Texas;
                    (B) is located in the United States-Mexico border 
                    (C) is determined to be a colonia on the basis of 
                objective criteria, including lack of potable water 
                supply, lack of adequate sewage systems, and lack of 
                decent, safe, and sanitary housing; and
                    (D) was in existence and generally recognized as a 
                colonia before the date of enactment of this Act.
            (2) Regional organization.--The term ``regional 
        organization'' means a nonprofit organization or a consortium 
        of nonprofit organizations with the capacity to serve colonias.
            (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Housing and Urban Development.
            (4) United states-mexico border region.--The term ``United 
        States-Mexico border region'' means the area of the United 
        States within 150 miles of the border between the United States 
        and Mexico, except that such term does not include any standard 
        metropolitan statistical area that has a population exceeding 
    (b) Grant Program.--To the extent amounts are made available to 
carry out this section, the Secretary may make grants under this 
section to 1 or more regional organizations to enhance the availability 
of affordable housing, economic opportunity, and infrastructure in the 
    (c) Grants.--
            (1) In general.--Grants under this section may be made only 
        to regional organizations selected pursuant to subsection (d).
            (2) Selection.--After a regional organization has been 
        selected pursuant to subsection (d) to receive a grant under 
        this section, the Secretary may provide a grant to such 
        organization in subsequent fiscal years, subject to subsection 
    (d) Selection of Regional Organizations.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall select 1 or more 
        regional organizations that submit applications for grants 
        under this section to receive such grants.
            (2) Competition.--The selection under paragraph (1) shall 
        be made pursuant to a competition, which shall--
                    (A) consider the proposed work plan of the 
                applicant under subsection (f); and
                    (B) be based upon the criteria described in 
                paragraph (3).
            (3) Criteria.--Criteria for the selection of a grant 
        recipient shall include a demonstration of the extent to which 
        the applicant organization has the capacity to--
                    (A) enhance the availability of affordable housing, 
                economic opportunity, and infrastructure in the 
                colonias by carrying out the eligible activities set 
                forth in subsection (g);
                    (B) provide assistance in each State in which 
                colonias are located;
                    (C) form partnerships with the public and private 
                sectors and local and regional housing and economic 
                development intermediaries to leverage and coordinate 
                additional resources to achieve the purposes of this 
                    (D) ensure accountability to the residents of the 
                colonias through active and ongoing outreach to, and 
                consultation with, residents and local governments; and
                    (E) meet such other criteria as the Secretary may 
            (4) Distribution of funding.--In making the selection under 
        paragraph (1), the Secretary shall ensure that--
                    (A) each State in the United States-Mexico border 
                region receives a grant under this Act; and
                    (B) each State receives not less than 15 percent of 
                the amounts appropriated to carry out this Act.
    (e) Advisory Board.--
            (1) Membership.--The Secretary shall appoint an Advisory 
        Board that shall consist of 9 members, who shall include--
                    (A) 1 individual from each State in which colonias 
                are located;
                    (B) 3 individuals who are members of non-profit or 
                private sector organizations having substantial 
                investments in the colonias, at least 1 of whom is a 
                member of such a private sector organization; and
                    (C) 2 individuals who are residents of a colonia.
            (2) Chairperson.--
                    (A) In general.--The Secretary shall designate a 
                member of the Advisory Board to serve as Chairperson 
                for a 1-year term.
                    (B) Alternating chairperson.--At the end of the 1-
                year term referred to in subparagraph (A), the 
                Secretary shall designate a different member to serve 
                as Chairperson, ensuring that the Chairperson position 
                rotates to a member from every State in which colonias 
                are located.
            (3) Term.--Advisory Board members shall be appointed for 2-
        year terms that shall be renewable at the discretion of the 
            (4) Compensation.--Advisory Board members shall serve 
        without compensation, but the Secretary may provide members 
        with travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of 
        subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 
        5, United States Code.
            (5) Functions.--The Advisory Board shall--
                    (A) assist any regional organization that receives 
                a grant under this section in the development and 
                implementation of its final work plan under subsection 
                    (B) review and approve all final work plans;
                    (C) assist the Secretary in monitoring and 
                evaluating the performance of any regional organization 
                in implementing its final work plan; and
                    (D) provide such other assistance as the Secretary 
                may request.
    (f) Work Plans.--
            (1) Application.--Each regional organization applying for a 
        grant under this section shall include in its application a 
        proposed work plan.
            (2) Annual submission.--To be eligible to continue 
        receiving annual grants under this section after selection 
        pursuant to subsection (d), a regional organization shall, on 
        an annual basis after such selection and subject to the 
        determination of the Secretary to continue to provide grant 
        amounts to such regional organization, submit a proposed work 
        plan to the Advisory Board and the Secretary for review and 
            (3) Final work plan.--In any fiscal year, including the 
        fiscal year in which any regional organization is selected 
        pursuant to subsection (d), prior to final determination and 
        allocation of specific grant amounts, each selected regional 
        organization shall, with the assistance of the Advisory Board, 
        develop a final work plan that thoroughly describes how the 
        regional organization will use specific grant amounts to carry 
        out its functions under this section, which shall include--
                    (A) a description of outcome measures and other 
                baseline information to be used to monitor success in 
                promoting affordable housing, economic opportunity, and 
                infrastructure in the colonias;
                    (B) an account of how the regional organization 
                will strengthen the coordination of existing resources 
                used to assist residents of the colonias, and how the 
                regional organization will leverage additional public 
                and private resources to complement such existing 
                    (C) an explanation, in part, of the effects that 
                implementation of the work plan will have on areas in 
                and around colonias; and
                    (D) such assurances as the Secretary may require 
                that grant amounts will be used in a manner that 
                results in assistance and investments for colonias in 
                each State containing colonias, in accordance with 
                requirements that the Advisory Board and the Secretary 
                may establish that provide for a minimum level of such 
                investment and assistance as a condition of the 
                approval of the work plans.
            (4) Approval.--
                    (A) In general.--No grant amounts under this 
                section for a fiscal year may be provided to a regional 
                organization until the Secretary approves the final 
                work plan of the organization, including a specific 
                grant amount for the organization.
                    (B) Considerations.--In determining whether to 
                approve a final work plan, the Secretary shall consider 
                whether the Advisory Board approved the plan.
                    (C) Nonapproval of plan.--To the extent that the 
                Advisory Board or the Secretary does not approve a work 
                plan, the Advisory Board or the Secretary shall, to the 
                maximum extent practicable, assist the selected 
                regional organization that submitted the plan to 
                develop an approvable plan.
    (g) Eligible Activities.--Grant amounts under this section may be 
used only to carry out eligible activities to benefit the colonias, 
            (1) coordination of public, private, and community-based 
        resources and the use of grant amounts to leverage such 
            (2) technical assistance and capacity building, including 
        training, business planning and investment advice, and the 
        development of marketing and strategic investment plans;
            (3) initial and early-stage investments in activities to 
                    (A) housing, infrastructure, and economic 
                    (B) housing counseling and financial education, 
                including counseling and education about avoiding 
                predatory lending; and
                    (C) access to financial services for residents of 
            (4) development of comprehensive, regional, socioeconomic, 
        and other data, and the establishment of a centralized 
        information resource, to facilitate strategic planning and 
            (5) administrative and planning costs of any regional 
        organization in carrying out this section, except that the 
        Secretary may limit the amount of grant funds used for such 
        costs; and
            (6) such other activities as the Secretary considers 
        appropriate to carry out this section.
    (h) Grant Agreements.--A grant under this section shall be made 
only pursuant to a grant agreement between the Secretary and a regional 
organization selected under this section.
    (i) Termination and Recapture.--If the Secretary determines that a 
regional organization that was awarded a grant under this section has 
not substantially fulfilled its obligations under its final work plan 
or grant agreement, the Secretary shall terminate the participation of 
that regional organization under this section, and shall recapture any 
unexpended grant amounts.
    (j) Details From Other Agencies.--Upon request of any selected 
regional organization that has an approved work plan, the head of any 
Federal agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the 
personnel of such agency to that regional organization to assist it in 
carrying out its duties under this section.
    (k) Environmental Review.--For purposes of environmental review, 
projects assisted by grant amounts under this section shall--
            (1) be treated as special projects that are subject to 
        section 305(c) of the Multifamily Housing Property Disposition 
        Reform Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 3547); and
            (2) be subject to regulations issued by the Secretary to 
        implement such section 305(c).
    (l) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section--
            (1) $16,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; and
            (2) such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 
        2005 through 2009.
    (m) Sunset.--No new grants may be provided under this section after 
September 30, 2009.

Pages: 1

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