S. 1481: Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009

S. 1481

Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009

Sen. Robert Menendez

December 21, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

S. 118 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Tuesday, December 21, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  S. 1481 was introduced on July 21, 2009, by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and approved in the Senate by unanimous consent on December 17, 2010.  The House considered similar legislation under H.R. 1675, which was introduced on March 23, 2009 by Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) and approved under suspension of the rules by a recorded vote of 376-51.

Bill Summary

S. 1481 would amend section 811 the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act to revise requirements for supportive housing for low-income persons with disabilities.  The bill would repeal the authority of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide tenant-based rental assistance directly to eligible persons with disabilities.

The bill would authorize the appropriation of the amounts necessary to fund approximately 15,000 tenant-based vouchers for rental assistance for persons with disabilities through the Housing Choice Voucher program.  Additionally, the bill would authorize HUD to provide technical assistance to public housing agencies to facilitate using rental assistance vouchers to provide housing for persons with disabilities.

The bill would require HUD to delegate the processing of certain capital grants to interested state or local housing agencies.  This provision would direct HUD to develop a schedule of reasonable fees to be paid to the delegated processing agencies and would allow the fees to be included as part of the total capital grant amount.  The bill would require that all units in housing assisted by capital advances and project rental assistance contracts be made available for occupancy by very low-income persons with disabilities for at least 40 years.

The bill would require the Secretary, within 30 days of issuing certain capital advances for multifamily projects (except group homes or independent living facilities), to delegate review and processing of such projects to a state or local housing agency meeting specified criteria.  The bill would revise tenant selection procedures and would require a lease between a tenant and a housing owner to be for at least 12 months.

The bill would revise the application of cost limitations developed by the Secretary to supportive housing, and authorizes the Secretary to waive such limitations.  Additionally, the bill would require the Secretary to do the following: (1) Carry out a project rental assistance competitive demonstration program to expand the supply of supportive housing for non-elderly adults with disabilities and with extremely low-incomes or for extremely low-income households that include at least one disabled person; and (2) Establish a minimum percentage of capital advances per fiscal year for multifamily projects.

The bill would direct the Comptroller General  to conduct a study of the supportive housing for persons with disabilities program under section 811 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of such program in assisting households of persons with disabilities.


CBO estimates that implementing S. 1481 would cost $1.4 billion over the 2011-2015 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.