42 U.S.C. § 1479 - General powers of Secretary

Cite as:42 U.S.C. § 1479
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)

(a) Standards of adequate farm housing and other buildings; criteria

The Secretary, for the purposes of this subchapter, shall have the power to determine and prescribe the standards of adequate farm housing and other buildings, by farms or localities, taking into consideration, among other factors, the type of housing which will provide decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling for the needs of the family using the housing, the type and character of the farming operations to be conducted, and the size and earning capacity of the land. The Secretary shall approve a residential building as meeting such standards if the building is constructed in accordance with (1) the minimum standards prescribed by the Secretary, (2) the minimum property standards prescribed by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for mortgages insured under title II of the National Housing Act [ 12 U.S.C. 1707 et seq.], (3) the standards contained in any of the voluntary national model building codes, or (4) in the case of manufactured housing, the standards referred to in section 1472(e) of this title. To the maximum extent feasible, the Secretary shall promote the use of energy saving techniques through standards established by such Secretary for newly constructed residential housing assisted under this subchapter. Such standards shall, insofar as is practicable, be consistent with the standards established pursuant to section 526 of the National Housing Act [ 12 U.S.C. 1735f-4 ] and shall incorporate the energy performance requirements developed pursuant to such section.

(b) Terms or conditions of leases or occupancy agreements subject to change with approval of Secretary

The Secretary may require any recipient of a loan or grant to agree that the availability of improvements constructed or repaired with the proceeds of the loan or grant under this subchapter shall not be a justification for directly or indirectly changing the terms or conditions of the lease or occupancy agreement with the occupants of such farms to the latter's disadvantage without the approval of the Secretary.

(c) Rural Housing Insurance Fund for payment of expenditures respecting construction defects; judicial review prohibition

The Secretary is authorized, after October 1, 1977, with respect to any unit or dwelling newly constructed during the period beginning eighteen months prior to October 12, 1977, and purchased with financial assistance authorized by this subchapter which he finds to have structural defects to make expenditures for (1) correcting such defects, (2) paying the claims of the owner of the property arising from such defects, or (3) acquiring title to the property, if such assistance is requested by the owner of the property within thirty-six months after financial assistance under this subchapter is rendered to the owner of the property or, in the case of property with respect to which assistance was made available within eighteen months prior to October 12, 1977, within thirty-six months after October 12, 1977. Expenditures pursuant to this subsection may be paid from the Rural Housing Insurance Fund. Decisions by the Secretary regarding such expenditures or payments under this subsection, and the terms and conditions under which the same are approved or disapproved, shall not be subject to judicial review.

(d) Defaults involving security interest in tribal lands

In the event of default involving a security interest in tribal allotted or trust land, the Secretary shall only pursue liquidation after offering to transfer the account to an eligible tribal member, the tribe, or the Indian housing authority serving the tribe or tribes. If the Secretary subsequently proceeds to liquidate the account, the Secretary shall not sell, transfer, or otherwise dispose of or alienate the property except to one of the entities described in the preceding sentence.

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