2007 Regular Session
By: Representative McCoy, Burnett, Hines, Mayo, Perkins
AN ACT TO CREATE THE DELTA REGIONAL HOUSING CLEARINGHOUSE TO SERVE AS A SOURCE OF INFORMATION ON THE NUMEROUS PROJECTS AIMED AT IMPROVING HOUSING IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA REGION BY VARIOUS AGENCIES AND ENTITIES; TO PROVIDE THAT THE CLEARINGHOUSE SHALL BE GOVERNED BY A BOARD OF DIRECTORS COMPOSED OF REPRESENTATIVES OF CERTAIN COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES AND TO PRESCRIBE THE BOARD'S DUTIES; TO REQUIRE THE MISSISSIPPI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO ALLOCATE STATE FUNDS TO QUALIFIED COMMUNITY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS IN THE DELTA REGION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS SUPPORT OF HOUSING PROJECTS; TO REQUIRE THE LEGISLATURE TO ANNUALLY APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO THE MISSISSIPPI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY FOR SUCH PURPOSES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Legislature finds that the Mississippi Delta region faces a critical housing crisis in that a large number of the region's residents live in substandard housing, which negatively affects the economy, environment and individual citizens who cannot afford better housing. The Legislature further finds that there is a correlation between the increasing number of low-income families in the Delta region who are forced to move and change schools numerous times each year with low student achievement, and that this correlation substantiates the compelling and urgent need to improve the quality of housing in the Delta region for those families.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that this act establish a means to begin improving the negative housing situation for low-income families in the Mississippi Delta region.
SECTION 2. For purposes of this act, the terms "Mississippi Delta region," "Delta region" and "region" are defined as the western section of the State of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers, encompassing in whole or in part the counties of Bolivar, Carroll, Claiborne, Coahoma, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo.
SECTION 3. (1) There is created a Delta Regional Housing Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse shall be governed by a board of directors composed of a representative of each county in the region and each municipality in the region which has a population greater than ten thousand (10,000) according to the latest federal decennial census. The representatives of the counties and those municipalities entitled to representation on the board of directors will be selected by the governing authorities of the respective counties and municipalities.
(2) The Delta Regional Housing Clearinghouse shall have the following duties:
(a) To serve as a virtual one-stop housing center for all citizens of the Delta region and to be the public coordinator for public, private and foundation housing efforts in the Delta region;
(b) To serve as a source of information on all housing programs, including programs administered by federal, state and local governmental agencies, private companies and foundations, and to collect, disseminate and provide information on housing needs, on no less than an annual basis, to citizens of the Delta region;
(c) To promote the importance of affordable, adequate housing as part of the long-term development of the Delta region;
(d) To conduct a Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) that details growth issues and housing needs in the region in order to quantify the need for housing within each political subdivision in the region so that communities may plan for and determine how to address the needs of their respective communities;
(e) To prepare and disseminate annually a Delta Region Housing Report that may serve as a guide to policymakers and legislators on housing needs in the Delta. The report required under this item must be submitted to the Governor and members of the Legislature before September 1 of each year;
(f) To prepare a bibliography of housing redevelopment resources which includes current reviews, studies and information on programs and organizations that address affordable housing and redevelopment issues;
(g) To compile a roster of housing projects in the Delta region, including a description of each project, the name and address of the agency involved in the project and contact information for the person in charge of the project. The roster must include, but not necessarily be limited to: multi-generational developments serving very low-income families; technical assistance for providing affordable housing; and redevelopment projects; and
(h) To develop and maintain a resource database to catalog, for the Delta region, current housing programs, local governments, private lenders and foundation grants. For each item, the database must specify the goals, types of funding available through the item and application process for interested parties.
SECTION 4. (1) In order to strengthen the local revitalization efforts of the Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) in the Delta region, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), subject to the availability of funding appropriated specifically therefor, shall provide funding to qualified CHDOs that are awarded HOME funds, as authorized under Title II of the federal Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, as amended, for the administrative operations support of housing projects. Funds made available to a CHDO under this section may be used solely for administrative expenses incurred in supporting the operations of the CHDO.
(2) In fiscal year 2008, the MDA shall allocate funds for administrative operations support expenses to all qualified CHDOs in the region in an amount to be determined by the MDA. In the following fiscal years, funds will be awarded by the MDA as incentive grants, based on the performance of each CHDO that requests funding. The MDA shall develop objective performance criteria to be used in determining if a CHDO is qualified for a grant under this section, and if so, the amount of funding to be awarded to that CHDO.
(3) For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section, the Legislature shall appropriate annually to the Mississippi Development Authority an amount equal to one-half (1/2) of the federal funds received by the state through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the administrative operations support of the HOME program.SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.