HOUSE BILL 414
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
Gail Chasey and Andrea Romero and Pamelya Herndon and
Angelica Rubio and Meredith A. Dixon
RELATING TO STATE GOVERNMENT; CREATING THE HOUSING DEPARTMENT; PROVIDING POWERS AND DUTIES; MAKING THE NEW MEXICO HOUSING TRUST FUND A STATE TREASURY FUND; APPROVING TRANSFERS OF FUNCTIONS, PERSONNEL, MONEY, APPROPRIATIONS AND PROPERTY OF HOUSING PROGRAMS FROM OTHER STATE AGENCIES; MAKING APPROPRIATIONS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 7-27-49 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2022, Chapter 38, Section 1) is amended to read:
"7-27-49. AUTHORIZATION FOR SEVERANCE TAX BONDS--NEW MEXICO MORTGAGE FINANCE AUTHORITY--NEW MEXICO HOUSING TRUST FUND.--
A. After the annual estimate of severance tax bonding capacity is made pursuant to Subsection B of Section 7-27-10.1 NMSA 1978, the board of finance division of the department of finance and administration shall allocate two and one-half percent of the estimated bonding capacity for the New Mexico housing trust fund for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund Act.
B. The legislature authorizes the state board of finance to issue severance tax bonds in the amount allocated pursuant to this section for use by the [New Mexico mortgage finance authority] housing department to fund the New Mexico housing trust fund for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund Act. The housing department and the New Mexico mortgage finance authority shall certify to the state board of finance the need for issuance of bonds. The state board of finance may issue and sell the bonds in the same manner as other severance tax bonds in an amount not to exceed the authorized amount provided for in this section. If necessary, the state board of finance shall take the appropriate steps to comply with the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as that code may be amended or renumbered. Proceeds from the sale of the bonds are appropriated to the New Mexico housing trust fund for the purposes certified by the department and the New Mexico mortgage finance authority to the state board of finance.
C. Money from the severance tax bonds provided
for in this section shall not be used to pay indirect project costs. Any unexpended balance from proceeds of severance tax bonds issued for projects pursuant to the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund Act shall revert to the severance tax bonding
fund within one year of completion of the project. Any unencumbered balance from the proceeds of severance tax bonds issued pursuant to this section after three years from the issuance of those bonds shall revert to the severance tax bonding fund. The department and the New Mexico mortgage finance authority shall monitor and ensure proper reversions of the bond proceeds appropriated for the projects."
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--Sections 2 through 8 of this act may be cited as the "Housing Department Act".
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] PURPOSE.--The purpose of the Housing Department Act is to provide for the administration of laws and programs that provide housing stabilization, homelessness prevention, transitional housing, standardization of housing services and increased development of housing, and to exercise functions and administer laws pertaining to housing services previously administered by other state agencies.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Housing Department Act:
A. "department" means the housing department;
B. "fund" means the New Mexico housing trust fund; and
C. "superintendent" means the superintendent of housing.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] DEPARTMENT CREATED--POWERS AND DUTIES.--The "housing department" is created as a non-cabinet department of the executive branch. The department includes the following:
A. office of the superintendent;
B. administrative services division;
C. development and revitalization division; D. housing equity division;
E. housing stability division; and
F. services quality and standards division.
SECTION 6. [NEW MATERIAL] SUPERINTENDENT OF HOUSING--GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES.--
A. The governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint the "superintendent of housing". The superintendent is responsible to the governor for the operation of the department. It is the superintendent's duty to manage all operations of the department and to administer and enforce the laws with which the superintendent or the department is charged.
B. To perform the superintendent's duties, the superintendent has every power expressly enumerated in the laws, whether granted to the superintendent, the department or any division of the department, except where authority conferred upon a division is explicitly exempted from the superintendent's authority by statute. In accordance with these provisions, the superintendent shall:
(1) exercise general supervisory and authority over department employees, subject to applicable personnel laws and rules;
(2) delegate authority to subordinates as
the superintendent deems necessary and appropriate, clearly delineating such delegated authority and the limitations to that delegation;
(3) organize the department into those organizational units the superintendent deems will enable it to function most efficiently, subject to provisions of law requiring or establishing specific organizational units;
(4) within the limitations of available appropriations and applicable laws, employ and fix the compensation of those persons necessary to discharge the superintendent's duties;
(5) take administrative action by issuing orders and instructions, not inconsistent with the law, to ensure implementation of and compliance with the provisions of law for whose administration or execution the superintendent is responsible and to enforce those orders and instructions by appropriate administrative action in the courts;
(6) conduct research and studies that will improve the operations of the department and the provision of services to the residents of the state;
(7) provide courses of instruction and practical training for employees of the department and other persons involved in the administration of programs with the objective of improving the operations and efficiency of administration; and
(8) prepare an annual budget of the department.
C. The superintendent may apply for and receive, with the governor's approval, in the name of the department, any public or private funds, including United States government funds, available to the department to carry out its programs, duties or services.
D. Where functions of the department and other state agencies under the control of the governor overlap or a function assigned to one state agency could better be performed by another state agency, the superintendent may recommend appropriate legislation to the next session of the legislature for its approval.
E. The superintendent may make and adopt such reasonable procedural rules as may be necessary to carry out the duties of the department. Rules shall be adopted, amended or repealed in accordance with the provisions of the State Rules Act.
SECTION 7. [NEW MATERIAL] DIVISIONS--GENERAL DUTIES.--In addition to duties assigned to each division of the department by the superintendent:
A. the administrative services division shall provide clerical, recordkeeping and administrative support to the department in the areas of personnel, finance and grants, budget, procurement and contracting;
B. the development and revitalization division shall administer laws and programs pertaining to improving development standards that incentivize development and renovation of affordable housing;
C. the housing equity division shall work with local governments and Indian nations, tribes and pueblos to:
(1) broaden access to affordable housing across the state; and
(2) develop and recommend strategies to eliminate housing discrimination and housing inequities;
D. the housing stability division shall administer housing stability programs, including eviction assistance, homeownership assistance and housing voucher programs; and
E. the services quality and standards division shall establish criteria and monitor best practices for housing and sheltering services.
SECTION 8. [NEW MATERIAL] ORGANIZATIONAL UNITS OF THE DEPARTMENT--POWERS AND DUTIES SPECIFIED BY LAW--ACCESS TO INFORMATION.--Those organizational units of the department and the officers of those units specified by law shall have all of the powers and duties enumerated in the specific laws involved. However, the carrying out of those powers and duties shall be subject to the direction and supervision of the superintendent, who shall retain the final decision-making authority and responsibility for the administration of any such laws as provided in the Housing Department Act. The department shall have access to all records, data and information of other state departments, agencies and institutions, including its own organizational units, not specifically held confidential by law.
SECTION 9. Section 58-18C-1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2005, Chapter 105, Section 1) is amended to read:
"58-18C-1. SHORT TITLE.--[Sections 1 through 9 of this act] Chapter 58, Article 18C NMSA 1978 may be cited as the "New Mexico Housing Trust Fund Act"."
SECTION 10. Section 58-18C-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2005, Chapter 105, Section 3, as amended) is amended to read:
"58-18C-3. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund Act:
A. "affordable housing" means residential housing primarily for persons or households of low or moderate income;
B. "authority" means the New Mexico mortgage finance authority;
C. "committee" means the New Mexico housing trust fund advisory committee;
D. "department" means the housing department;
[D.] E. "fund" means the New Mexico housing trust fund;
[E.] F. "persons of low or moderate income" means persons and households within the state who are determined by the authority to lack sufficient income to pay enough to cause private enterprise to build and preserve an adequate supply of decent, safe and sanitary residential housing in their locality or in an area reasonably accessible to their locality and whose incomes are below the income levels established by the authority to be in need of the assistance made available by the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund Act, taking into consideration, without limitation, such factors as defined under that act; and
[F.] G. "residential housing" means [any] a building, structure or portion [thereof] of a building or structure that is primarily occupied, or designed or intended primarily for occupancy, as a residence by one or more households and any real property that is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location [thereon] of such a building, structure or portion [thereof] of a building or structure. "Residential housing" includes congregate housing, manufactured homes and housing intended to provide or providing transitional or temporary housing for homeless persons."
SECTION 11. Section 58-18C-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2005, Chapter 105, Section 4, as amended) is amended to read:
"58-18C-4. NEW MEXICO HOUSING TRUST FUND CREATED.--
A. The "New Mexico housing trust fund" is created as a nonreverting fund in the [authority] state treasury. The fund [shall consist] consists of all distributions, appropriations and other allocations made to the fund. Earnings of the fund shall be credited to the fund, and unexpended and unencumbered balances in the fund shall not revert to any other fund except as provided in Subsection D of this section. The [authority] department shall be the trustee for the fund, and the state investment council shall be the investment agent for the fund. The fund may consist of such subaccounts as the [authority] department deems necessary to carry out the purpose of the fund.
B. The fund [shall consist] consists of revenue from the following recurring sources:
(1) appropriations and transfers from the general fund;
(2) proceeds of severance tax bonds issued pursuant to Section [1 of this 2022 act] 7-27-49 NMSA 1978 and any payments of principal of and interest on loans for projects funded by the proceeds of those bonds;
(3) any other money appropriated or distributed to the fund; or
(4) any other governmental or private contributions to the fund.
C. Money in the fund is appropriated to the department to contract with the authority [for the purposes of carrying] to carry out the provisions of the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund Act. The authority shall prioritize expending or encumbering balances in the fund from payments of principal of and interest on loans for projects funded by the proceeds of earlier severance tax bonds prior to expending or encumbering any proceeds from more recently issued bonds.
D. The department and the authority shall monitor and ensure proper reversions of severance tax bond proceeds as required by Section [1 of this 2022 act] 7-27-49 NMSA 1978."
SECTION 12. Section 58-18C-5 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2005, Chapter 105, Section 5, as amended) is amended to read:
"58-18C-5. ADVISORY COMMITTEE CREATED.--
A. The "New Mexico housing trust fund advisory committee" is created. The committee [shall consist] consists of the following nine members who shall [represent geographically the state] be affordable housing advocates and practitioners appointed so as to provide representation of geographic areas of the state:
(1) three public members appointed by the governor;
(2) three public members appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate; and
(3) three public members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
B. Members of the committee shall be appointed for two-year terms and shall be eligible for reappointment. Vacancies shall be filled by the appropriate appointing authority.
C. The committee shall be advisory to the department and the authority and shall be subject to oversight by the Mortgage Finance Authority Act oversight committee.
D. The committee shall review all project applications or program guidelines and make recommendations to the [authority] department on guidelines and projects for funding [them]. The committee shall not be involved in or advisory to the [authority] department or the state investment office in matters relating to the investment of the fund.
E. The committee shall adopt rules regarding:
(1) the time, place and procedures of committee meetings; and
(2) the procedures for the review of and standards for recommending applications or program guidelines for loans or grant projects."
SECTION 13. Section 58-18C-6 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2005, Chapter 105, Section 6, as amended) is amended to read:
"58-18C-6. AWARD OF FUNDS--ACCOUNTABILITY.--
A. Trust funds that the authority receives shall be awarded either on a competitive basis or based on need as determined by the department and the authority. The department's and the authority's staff shall work with the committee to develop an application and applicant scoring mechanism or program guidelines that encourage applicants to develop solutions that are responsive to local needs and are consistent with sound housing policy.
B. The authority's governing body shall be responsible for ensuring that on an overall basis the total funds awarded for housing activities attract at least three times as much funding from other sources."
SECTION 14. Section 58-18C-7 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2005, Chapter 105, Section 7) is amended to read:
"58-18C-7. USE OF FUNDS--ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES.--Money from the fund and matching funds from other sources may be used to finance in whole or in part any loans or grant projects that will provide affordable housing. [Money from the fund may also be used to reimburse the authority for actual expenses incurred in administering the fund in an amount not to exceed five percent of total funds disbursed from the fund]."
SECTION 15. TEMPORARY PROVISION--TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS, PERSONNEL, PROPERTY, CONTRACTS AND REFERENCES IN LAW--TRANSITION.--
A. Functions, personnel, appropriations, money, records, equipment, supplies and other property of state-administered housing or homeless services and programs shall be transferred as provided in this section.
B. It is the intent of the legislature that consolidation of state services and programs into the housing department be accomplished as quickly as practicable, without disruption in services, as follows:
(1) the functions of the services for homeless students program administered by the public education department, including the coordinator for students experiencing homelessness and federal funding, shall be transferred to the housing department by November 1, 2023;
(2) the functions of the federally funded emergency rental assistance program, foreclosure prevention program and eviction diversion and prevention program administered by the department of finance and administration shall be transferred to the housing department by November 1, 2023; and
(3) the functions of the linkages supportive housing vouchers program administered by the human services department shall be transferred to the housing department by January 1, 2024.
C. The governor's office and the state budget division of the department of finance and administration shall assist in the identification of functions, personnel, money, appropriations, records, equipment, supplies and other property to be transferred and shall certify to the legislature that resources transferred from other state agencies to the housing department are sufficient to continue the same level of services.
D. Contractual and other obligations of an agency related to housing services that are being transferred to the housing department shall be binding on the housing department.
E. References in law to an agency whose housing services program has been transferred to the housing department shall be deemed to be references to the housing department as pertaining to such program.
F. The superintendent of housing shall provide periodic updates to the legislative finance committee on the progress of the transition and integration plan and the establishment of the housing department. By January 15, 2024, the department shall provide the legislature with a comprehensive plan to provide housing programs and related services for all populations, including recommendations, if any, for the transfer of additional programs from other departments to the housing department. The plan shall be developed with public input and the assistance of an advisory committee appointed by the superintendent of housing that represents consumers, developers, advocacy organizations, providers, the New Mexico mortgage finance authority and other departments and stakeholders.
SECTION 16. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2023.
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