Revitalizing Cities Through Parks Enhancement Act (H.R. 1694)
- Subject: [cg] Revitalizing Cities Through Parks Enhancement Act (H.R. 1694)
- From: doggielama email@example.com
- Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 20:45:47 -0400
>> H.R.1694 was introduced in the House by NYC Congressional
>> Representative Carolyn Maloney. Community gardeners need to support
>> this bill. It would provide for HUD grants.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Minna.Elias@mail.house.gov
>> To: Adam36055@aol.com
>> Sent: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 1:49 PM
>> Subject: RECIPE
>> Revitalizing Cities Through Parks Enhancement Act (Introduced in
>> 109th CONGRESS
>> 1st Session
>> H. R. 1694 To authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban
>> Development to make > grants to nonprofit community organizations for
>> the development of open space on municipally owned vacant lots in
>> urban areas.
>> IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
>> April 19, 2005
>> Mrs. MALONEY introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
>> Committee on Financial Services
>> A BILL
>> To authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to make
>> grants to nonprofit community organizations for the development of
>> open space on municipally owned vacant lots in urban areas.
>> Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
>> United States of America in Congress assembled,
>> SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
>> This Act may be cited as the `Revitalizing Cities Through Parks >
>> Enhancement Act'.
>> SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS.
>> The Congress finds that--
>> (1) open spaces and community parks are a critically important
>> portion of urban infrastructure;
>> (2) many inner-city areas suffer from a lack of public open space for
>> community residents to use for recreation, social interaction, and >
>> relief from dense urban conditions;
>> (3) vacant lots, many in public ownership as a result of tax
>> foreclosures, are common in inner-city areas;
>> (4) the recent economic recession substantially increased the number
>> of such vacant lots;
>> (5) such lots often become drug trafficking areas, thereby decreasing
>> the value of surrounding property and leading to higher crime rates
>> in inner-city areas; and
>> (6) the refurbishment of such lots, by removing garbage and rubble
>> and creating well-lighted and maintained open spaces and community
>> parks, would establish positive assets for surrounding communities, >
>> provide positive outlets for community youth, increase property >
>> values, make other types of investment in the communities more >
>> attractive, and generally improve the quality of life for residents
>> of > the affected communities.
>> SEC. 3. AUTHORITY TO MAKE GRANTS.
>> (a) In General- The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall,
>> to the extent amounts are provided in appropriation Acts pursuant to
>> > section 13, make grants under this Act to qualified community >
>> organizations for establishment of community open space in urban >
>> (b) Amount- The aggregate amount of any grants made under this Act to
>> any single qualified community organization in any single fiscal year
>> > may not exceed $250,000.
>> SEC. 4. QUALIFIED COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS.
>> A grant under this Act may be made only to a nonprofit organization
>> (1) has among its purposes significant activities related to the
>> improvement of the neighborhood, community, or city in which any >
>> property that is to be assisted with the grant under this Act is
>> (2) has a history of serving such neighborhood, community, or city;
>> (3) maintains, through significant representation on the
>> organization's governing board and otherwise, accountability to >
>> residents of such neighborhood, community, or city; and
>> (4) complies with such standards of financial accountability as the
>> Secretary may require.
>> SEC. 5. USE OF GRANT AMOUNTS.
>> (a) Eligible Activities- Amounts from a grant made under this Act may
>> be used by the recipient of the grant only for costs relating to the
>> > establishment of community open space, as follows:
>> (1) To develop eligible municipal real property for use as community
>> open space, which shall include design, clearance, demolition,
>> removal, beautification, site improvements, and construction or
>> installation of facilities and improvements for such property.
>> (2) To lease or otherwise obtain the use of eligible municipal real
>> property for establishment of community open space.
>> (3) To maintain community open space.
>> (4) To cover other administrative costs related to the establishment,
>> development, maintenance, administration, or management of the
>> community open space, except that not more than 10 percent of any
>> single grant made under this Act may be used for costs under this
>> (b) Development Plan Requirement- Amounts from a grant made under
>> this Act may be used by the recipient of a grant only to carry out
>> activities under subsection (a) that are described in the development
>> plan of the recipient approved by the Secretary under section 7 or
>> that are described in an amendment to the development plan approved
>> by the Secretary under section 9.
>> (c) Community Involvement Requirements- A qualified community
>> organization that applies for a grant under this Act shall provide
>> for involvement by interested residents and organizations of the
>> neighborhood, community, or city in which the property to be assisted
>> under the plan is located in--
>> (1) establishing the development plan under section 7(b), which shall
>> (A) making the proposed development plan available in a manner that,
>> in the determination of the Secretary, provides interested parties a
>> > reasonable opportunity to examine its content and to submit
>> comments on the proposed plan; and
>> (B) holding one or more public hearings to obtain the views of
>> interested parties regarding the proposed plan; and
>> (2) carrying out activities under the development plan, if the
>> qualified community organization is a recipient.
>> SEC. 6. ELIGIBLE MUNICIPAL REAL PROPERTY.
>> Amounts from a grant under this Act may be used for costs under
>> section 5(a) relating to the establishment of community open space
>> only on real property that--
>> (1) is owned in fee simple by the unit of general local government in
>> which the property is located;
>> (2) is located in an urban area;
>> (3) is free of structures; and
>> (4) is subject to a binding commitment, entered into by the unit of
>> general local government that owns the property and the eligible
>> community organization receiving the grant, that makes the property >
>> available for use and improvement under this Act as community open
>> space for a period of not less than 7 years.
>> SEC. 7. APPLICATION AND DEVELOPMENT PLAN.
>> (a) In General- The Secretary shall provide for nonprofit
>> organizations to submit applications to the Secretary for grants
>> under > this Act in such form and manner as the Secretary may require
>> to carry > out the purposes of this Act.
>> (b) Development Plan- The Secretary shall require each application to
>> include a detailed plan for the use of any amounts received from a >
>> grant under this Act, which shall include--
>> (1) a description of any eligible municipal property that is to be
>> established as community open space using such grant amounts;
>> (2) evidence of the ownership of the eligible municipal property and
>> the binding commitment required under section 6(4) for the property;
>> (3) a description of the nonprofit organization applying for the
>> grant that is sufficient to allow the Secretary to determine whether
>> > such organization is a qualified community organization;
>> (4) a description of the activities under section 5(a) to be
>> conducted with amounts from the grant;
>> (5) evidence of any commitments to make assistance (other than
>> assistance under this Act) available for use in developing or
>> maintaining the community open space;
>> (6) a description of the need for community open space in the
>> neighborhood or community in which the eligible municipal property is
>> (7) a description of how the nonprofit organization will provide for
>> the maintenance of the community open space;
>> (8) a description of the community participation involved (pursuant
>> to section 5(c)) in establishing the plan, and the provisions made
>> (pursuant to such section) for community participation in developing,
>> maintaining, administering, and managing the community open space;
>> (9) a budget specifying all of the estimated costs relating to the
>> project to establish and maintain the community open space; and
>> (10) any other information the Secretary considers appropriate to
>> carry out this Act.
>> SEC. 8. SELECTION AND GRANT AGREEMENTS.
>> (a) Selection- From among the applications submitted under section 7,
>> the Secretary shall select qualified community organizations to >
>> receive grants under this Act pursuant to a competitive selection
>> process. The Secretary shall review all applications received and may
>> > select only applications containing development plans that the
>> Secretary approves as feasible and cost-effective pursuant to the
>> competitive selection process.
>> (b) Selection Criteria- The competitive selection process referred to
>> in subsection (a) shall be based upon selection criteria, which shall
>> (1) the extent of community involvement in the establishment,
>> development, maintenance, administration, or management of the
>> community open space;
>> (2) the extent of need for community open space in the neighborhood
>> or community in which the eligible municipal property is located;
>> (3) the extent to which the development plan for the community open
>> space limits administrative and management costs relating to the
>> community open space; and
>> (4) the extent to which commitments have been made providing
>> assistance (other than assistance under this Act) for use in
>> establishing, developing, maintaining, administering, or managing the
>> community open space.
>> (c) Grant Agreements- The Secretary shall enter into agreements with
>> each qualified community organization selected to receive a grant >
>> under this section as the Secretary considers necessary to ensure
>> that amounts provided under the grant are used in accordance with the
>> > requirements of this Act to carry out the development plan approved
>> under section 7 and any amendments to such plan approved under
>> section 9.
>> SEC. 9. AMENDMENTS TO DEVELOPMENT PLANS.
>> The Secretary shall provide for recipients to submit amendments to
>> development plans to the Secretary and for the Secretary to review,
>> and approve or disapprove, such amendments.
>> SEC. 10. REPORTS.
>> (a) Recipients- The Secretary may require each recipient to submit to
>> > the Secretary such reports as the Secretary considers appropriate
>> to > determine whether the recipient is carrying out the development
>> plan for any community open space for which the grant was made and is
>> > complying with the provisions of this Act and any agreements
>> entered into under section 8(c).
>> (b) Secretary- The Secretary shall submit a report to the Congress
>> not less than annually describing the grants made under this Act, the
>> > recipients of the grants, and the community open space provided
>> with > such grant amounts.
>> SEC. 11. DEFINITIONS.
>> For purposes of this Act, the following definitions shall apply:
>> (1) COMMUNITY OPEN SPACE- The term `community open space' means a
>> parcel of real property that is used for open space, park ,
>> playground, garden, or other recreational or other similar purposes
>> and is generally open to and available for use by the public.
>> (2) NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION- The term `nonprofit organization' means a
>> private organization that--
>> (A) is organized under State or local laws; and
>> (B) has no part of its net earnings inuring to the benefit of any
>> member, shareholder, founder, contributor, or individual.
>> (3) QUALIFIED COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION- The term `qualified community
>> organization' means a nonprofit organization that complies with the
>> requirements under section 4 to be eligible to receive a grant under
>> this Act.
>> (4) RECIPIENT- The term `recipient' means a qualified community
>> organization that receives a grant under this Act.
>> (5) URBAN AREA- The term `urban area' means--
>> (A) a city within a standard metropolitan statistical area (as
>> established by the Office of Management and Budget) which is the
>> central city of such area (as defined and used by such Office); or
>> (B) a city within such a standard metropolitan statistical area which
>> has a population of 50,000 or more.
>> (6) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Housing
>> and Urban Development.
>> (7) UNIT OF GENERAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT- The term `unit of general local
>> government' means any city, town, township, county, parish, village,
>> > or other general purpose political subdivision of a State.
>> (8) STATE- The term `State' means the States of the United States,
>> the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the
>> Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Virgin
>> Islands, American Samoa, and any other territory or possession of the
>> United States.
>> SEC. 12. REGULATIONS.
>> The Secretary shall issue any regulations necessary to carry out this
>> SEC. 13. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
>> There is authorized to be appropriated for grants under this Act
>> $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 and 2007.
>> Minna R. Elias
>> New York Chief of Staff
>> Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney
>> 1651 Third Avenue, Suite 311
>> New York, NY 10128
>> Tel: (212) 860-0606
>> Fax: (212) 860-0704
>> Sign-up for periodic email updates from Congresswoman Maloney at
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