(a) Critical social, economic, and environmental problems facing Nation's urban communities
The Congress finds and declares that the Nation's cities, towns, and smaller urban communities face critical social, economic, and environmental problems arising in significant measure from--
(1) the growth of population in metropolitan and other urban areas, and the concentration of persons of lower income in central cities;
(2) inadequate public and private investment and reinvestment in housing and other physical facilities, and related public and social services, resulting in the growth and persistence of urban slums and blight and the marked deterioration of the quality of the urban environment; and
(3) increasing energy costs which have seriously undermined the quality and overall effectiveness of local community and housing development activities.
(b) Establishment and maintenance of viable urban communities; systematic and sustained action by Federal, State, and local governments; expansion of and continuity in Federal assistance; increased private investment; streamlining programs and improvement of functioning of agencies; action to address consequences of scarce fuel supplies
The Congress further finds and declares that the future welfare of the Nation and the well-being of its citizens depend on the establishment and maintenance of viable urban communities as social, economic, and political entities, and require--
(1) systematic and sustained action by Federal, State, and local governments to eliminate blight, to conserve and renew older urban areas, to improve the living environment of low- and moderate-income families, and to develop new centers of population growth and economic activity;
(2) substantial expansion of and greater continuity in the scope and level of Federal assistance, together with increased private investment in support of community development activities;
(3) continuing effort at all levels of government to streamline programs and improve the functioning of agencies responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating community development efforts; and
(4) concerted action by Federal, State, and local governments to address the economic and social hardships borne by communities as a consequence of scarce fuel supplies.
(c) Decent housing, suitable living environment, and economic opportunities for persons of low and moderate income; community development activities which may be supported by Federal assistance
The primary objective of this chapter and of the community development program of each grantee under this chapter is the development of viable urban communities, by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income. Consistent with this primary objective, not less than 70 percent of the aggregate of the Federal assistance provided to States and units of general local government under section 5306 of this title and, if applicable, the funds received as a result of a guarantee or a grant under section 5308 of this title, shall be used for the support of activities that benefit persons of low and moderate income, and the Federal assistance provided in this chapter is for the support of community development activities which are directed toward the following specific objectives--
(1) the elimination of slums and blight and the prevention of blighting influences and the deterioration of property and neighborhood and community facilities of importance to the welfare of the community, principally persons of low and moderate income;
(2) the elimination of conditions which are detrimental to health, safety, and public welfare, through code enforcement, demolition, interim rehabilitation assistance, and related activities;
(3) the conservation and expansion of the Nation's housing stock in order to provide a decent home and a suitable living environment for all persons, but principally those of low and moderate income;
(4) the expansion and improvement of the quantity and quality of community services, principally for persons of low and moderate income, which are essential for sound community development and for the development of viable urban communities;
(5) a more rational utilization of land and other natural resources and the better arrangement of residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, and other needed activity centers;
(6) the reduction of the isolation of income groups within communities and geographical areas and the promotion of an increase in the diversity and vitality of neighborhoods through the spatial deconcentration of housing opportunities for persons of lower income and the revitalization of deteriorating or deteriorated neighborhoods;
(7) the restoration and preservation of properties of special value for historic, architectural, or esthetic reasons;
(8) the alleviation of physical and economic distress through the stimulation of private investment and community revitalization in areas with population outmigration or a stagnating or declining tax base; and
(9) the conservation of the Nation's scarce energy resources, improvement of energy efficiency, and the provision of alternative and renewable energy sources of supply.
It is the intent of Congress that the Federal assistance made available under this chapter not be utilized to reduce substantially the amount of local financial support for community development activities below the level of such support prior to the availability of such assistance.
(d) Consolidation of complex and overlapping Federal assistance programs into consistent system of Federal aid
It is also the purpose of this chapter to further the development of a national urban growth policy by consolidating a number of complex and overlapping programs of financial assistance to communities of varying sizes and needs into a consistent system of Federal aid which--
(1) provides assistance on an annual basis, with maximum certainty and minimum delay, upon which communities can rely in their planning;
(2) encourages community development activities which are consistent with comprehensive local and areawide development planning;
(3) furthers achievement of the national housing goal of a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family; and
(4) fosters the undertaking of housing and community development activities in a coordinated and mutually supportive manner by Federal agencies and programs, as well as by communities.
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