Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 5224

    February Session, 2012

 

*_____HB05224HSG___031612____*

AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN URBAN REVITALIZATION PILOT PROGRAM.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, shall establish an urban revitalization pilot program to foster the revitalization and stabilization of urban neighborhoods by facilitating the acquisition and renovation of one to four-family homes and prioritizing owner-occupancy of such homes. Such program shall be implemented in not less than five distressed municipalities, as defined in section 32-9p of the general statutes. The commissioner may contract with a state-wide nonprofit organization to administer the program.

(b) The goal of the program shall be to increase homeownership in targeted neighborhoods containing high proportions of one to four-family homes, giving priority to promoting owner-occupancy in buildings that are for sale, vacant, deteriorated, in foreclosure, bank-owned or investor-owned. The program administrator shall target neighborhoods in which concentrated resources can have a substantial impact on revitalizing and stabilizing the surrounding community. The program administrator shall recruit community stakeholders to provide active support for the program, including local banks, local boards of realtors, neighborhood revitalization zone committees, community-based organizations, community development financial institutions and similar entities. The program administrator shall, as necessary to accomplish program goals:

(1) Draw on diverse public and private funding sources and programs, including foundations, local loan funds and programs administered by departments or agencies other than the Department of Economic and Community Development, including the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority and the Energy Efficiency Fund, and use public funds to leverage private resources;

(2) Provide financing or investment to support property purchase, rehabilitation, construction, demolition, energy efficiency and aesthetic improvements, including provision of financial products that promote homeownership, such as down payment assistance, and identify other financial resources to support such activities;

(3) Offer incentives to investors to develop tenants into owners, apply income restrictions to housing units in order to ensure affordability, and conduct energy efficiency improvements in order to meet weatherization goals;

(4) Identify and coordinate access for program participants to rental assistance and foreclosure prevention resources and to other resources that will increase homeownership, stabilize or decrease occupancy costs and stabilize neighborhoods;

(5) Provide assistance to individuals who are or who will become homeowners and to nonprofit and for-profit entities that will purchase and rehabilitate properties to sell to individuals who will become homeowners;

(6) Provide support services for program participants who are or who will become homeowners so as to maximize the likelihood of their success in maintaining homeownership on a long-term basis, including training in skills necessary to be an effective landlord and assistance in resolving problems that may arise after closing on a home;

(7) Identify and structure incentives to encourage participation in the program by lenders, investors and developers with a goal of promoting homeownership; and

(8) Assist program participants in locating purchase financing and counseling before and after any purchase and direct such participants to programs that provide deferred, low or no interest or forgivable loans, including the Rental Housing Revolving Loan Fund established pursuant to section 8-37vv of the general statutes.

(c) Any person who receives assistance through the program established by this section to purchase a home shall agree (1) to occupy such home or a unit in such home as such person's primary residence for not less than five years, or (2) to transfer such home to a person who will agree to occupy such home or a unit in such home as such person's primary residence for not less than five years. Priority for participation in the program may be given to persons who will become first-time homebuyers and to persons who are living in a neighborhood targeted by the program.

(d) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, shall establish the parameters of the program not later than October 1, 2012, and shall designate not less than five municipalities to participate in the program not later than January 1, 2013. The commissioner, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, shall submit the following to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to housing: (1) A status report on the program not later than February 1, 2013; (2) an interim report on the program not later than January 1, 2014; and (3) a final report on the program not later than January 1, 2015.

Sec. 2. Section 28 of public act 11-57 is amended to read as follows (Effective July 1, 2012):

The proceeds of the sale of said bonds shall be used by the Department of Economic and Community Development for the purposes hereinafter stated: Housing development and rehabilitation, including moderate cost housing, moderate rental, congregate and elderly housing, urban homesteading, community housing development corporations, housing purchase and rehabilitation, housing for the homeless, housing for low income persons, limited equity cooperatives and mutual housing projects, abatement of hazardous material including asbestos and lead-based paint in residential structures, emergency repair assistance for senior citizens, housing land bank and land trust, housing and community development, predevelopment grants and loans, reimbursement for state and federal surplus property, private rental investment mortgage and equity program, housing infrastructure, demolition, renovation or redevelopment of vacant buildings or related infrastructure, septic system repair loan program, acquisition and related rehabilitation including loan guarantees for private developers of rental housing for the elderly, projects under the program established in section 8-37pp of the general statutes, and participation in federal programs, including administrative expenses associated with those programs eligible under the general statutes, not exceeding [$25,000,000] $87,500,000, provided not more than $12,500,000 shall be used for development of congregate housing, not more than $1,000,000 shall be used for grants-in-aid for accessibility modifications for persons transitioning from institutions to homes under the Money Follows the Person program established pursuant to section 17b-369 of the general statutes, not more than $30,000,000 shall be used for revitalization of state moderate rental housing units in the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority's State Housing Portfolio, and not more than $5,000,000 shall be used for the urban revitalization pilot program established pursuant to section 1 of this act.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Sec. 2

July 1, 2012

PA 11-57, Sec. 28

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

Technical changes were made for consistency and accuracy.

HSG

Joint Favorable Subst.