H. B. 2950
(By Delegates Webster, Moore, Marshall, Hutchins,
Morgan, White, Caputo, Hatfield, Brown, Frazier and Mahan)
[Introduced March 4, 2009; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §31-15-6c, relating
to the Neighborhood Housing and Economic Stabilization Program
for low-income minority neighborhoods; creating the
Neighborhood Housing and Economic Stabilization Program;
authorizing the Economic Development Authority to contract
with the Housing Development Fund to administer the program
and distribute funding to program participants; establishing
general guidelines and priorities for funding; establishing
funding for the program; and legislative findings.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §31-15-6c, to read as
ARTICLE 15. WEST VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.
§31-15-6c. Neighborhood Housing and Economic Development
Stabilization Program; authority to contract with
Housing Development Fund; funding.
(a) It is hereby determined and declared, as a matter of
(1) Local housing initiatives offer a unique opportunity to
revitalize and stimulate economic development in low income
neighborhoods with high minority populations, which typically have
high levels of unemployment and include a large number of
(2) Local housing initiatives may include, but are not limited
to, demolition, rehabilitation, new construction, land purchases
for development, affordable mortgage initiatives and related job
training and community service activities.
(3) In order to promote a positive long-term economic impact
on the community, an effective local housing initiative should
include a job training component that is designed to provide
additional educational and vocational job opportunities and foster
the development of marketable skills among the people living within
the targeted census tracts served by the program.
(4) If done as a part of a focused and coordinated effort, the
rehabilitation or replacement of deteriorating residential
properties or structures would enhance the value of other
properties in the community and improve the overall quality of their neighborhood.
(5) A successful neighborhood revitalization and recovery
program can attract new businesses and spur additional investment
in the community.
(6) Using locally based or community based not-for-profit
entities to spearhead local housing initiatives encourages the
development of additional resources, leadership and administrative
skills at a local level which, once in place, would continue to
focus on the needs and revitalization of the targeted community,
after the initial project is complete.
(7) It is reasonable and appropriate to establish a funding
mechanism for selected qualifying entities to implement projects
that are designed to revitalize and stimulate economic development
in low income neighborhoods with relatively high minority
(8) The effectiveness of the initial programs can best be
assessed if significant funding is awarded to a limited number of
qualifying programs serving targeted communities.
(9) The state would benefit from the development of a working
model for stimulating economic development and neighborhood
revitalization through local housing initiatives, so that it may be
replicated in other parts of the state which have similar
demographic and economic conditions.
(10) Substantial federal funds have been earmarked for housing stabilization and stimulating economic recovery, including but not
limited to, housing rehabilitation, construction, upgrades and
(b) There is hereby established within the Economic
Development Authority the Neighborhood Housing and Economic
Development Stabilization Program. The purpose of the program is
to provide loans, grants and forgivable loans to support and carry
out local economic development initiatives and locally designed
housing initiatives in minority census tracts with low-income
demographics in this state. Housing initiatives funded by this
program may include, but are not limited to, demolition,
rehabilitation, new construction, land purchases for development,
affordable mortgage initiatives and related job training and
community service activities.
(c) To accomplish these objectives and to administer and
distribute the funds provided by the Legislature for this purpose,
the Economic Development Authority is authorized to contract with
the Housing Development Fund to administer the Neighborhood Housing
and Economic Stabilization Program.
(d) Upon the effective date of this section, the Economic
Development Authority shall, upon appropriation by the Legislature,
transfer $2.4 million from the Economic Development Project Bridge
Loan Fund established in section eighteen-a, article twenty-two,
chapter twenty-nine of this code to the Housing Development Fund. The fund will administer the program and distribute the funds to
locally based West Virginia not-for-profit entities to operate
local economic development initiatives and locally designed housing
initiatives as described in this section. The project's funds
shall be awarded through a statewide request for proposal
solicitation issued by the Housing Development Fund, after requests
for proposals have been reviewed and accepted by the authority.
(e) In awarding the funds, the Housing Development Fund shall
give priority to proposals received from local not-for-profit
organizations for low-income housing initiatives which include a
job training component and promote the employment or utilization of
people and businesses who reside within the targeted census tracts.
A recipient organization must have written established guidelines
to promote investment from within and outside the community where
the census tract is located.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the Neighborhood
Housing and Economic Stabilization Program. The bill authorizes
the Economic Development Authority to contract with the Housing
Development Fund to administer the program. The bill sets forth
the program's purpose as providing loans, grants and forgivable
loans to support and carry out local economic development
initiatives and locally designed housing initiatives and in
minority census tracts with low-income demographics in the state.
The $2.4 million funding necessary for the program would be
transferred from the Economic Development Project Bridge Loan Fund.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would