The House late Tuesday approved more than $50 billion of aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy, which ravaged parts of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and other states.
The Senate is expected to approve bill, entitled The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act for 2013 (H.R. 152), after it returns from a recess next week. However, the bill does not contain any bond-related provisions.
Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. proposed legislation in December that would have created Sandy recovery bonds and allocated certain amounts of them to be used in Sandy-affected areas, including $9.2 billion for each of New York and New Jersey and $3.2 billion for Connecticut.
The legislation also would have waived the first-time homebuyer rule and purchase and income rules for targeted area residences financed with qualified mortgage bonds. It would have increased the amount of qualified home improvement loans for residences in disaster areas and increased low income housing tax credits for states containing counties in disaster areas.
But that legislation failed to gain any traction.
The bill approved by the House would provide $5.4 billion for public transit systems, large issuers of bonds who rely on operating revenue to fund infrastructure investments and to pay debt service.
It also would make available $14.6 million from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund for hurricane-affected airports. The AATF is funded by various taxes and used to finance investments in airport infrastructure.
In addition, the bill would provide $3.85 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Fund. HUD is to allocate those funds to state and local governments for recovery and restoration of housing and economic revitalization in distressed areas. The funds will be available through Sept. 30, 2017.