(4) Homeownership and Rental Counseling Assistance.— (A) In general .— The Secretary shall make financial assistance available under this paragraph to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and State housing finance agencies. (B) Qualified entities .— The Secretary shall establish standards and guidelines for eligibility of organizations (including governmental and nonprofit organizations) to receive assistance under this paragraph, in accordance with subparagraph (D). (C) Distribution .— Assistance made available under this paragraph shall be distributed in a manner that encourages efficient and successful counseling programs and that ensures adequate distribution of amounts for rural areas having traditionally low levels of access to such counseling services, including areas with insufficient access to the Internet. In distributing such assistance, the Secretary may give priority consideration to entities serving areas with the highest home foreclosure rates. (D) Limitation on distribution of assistance.— (i) In general .— None of the amounts made available under this paragraph shall be distributed to— (I) any organization which has been convicted for a violation under Federal law relating to an election for Federal office; or (II) any organization which employs applicable individuals. (ii) Definition of applicable individuals .— In this subparagraph, the term “applicable individual” means an individual who— (I) is— (aa) employed by the organization in a permanent or temporary capacity; (bb) contracted or retained by the organization; or (cc) acting on behalf of, or with the express or apparent authority of, the organization; and (II) has been convicted for a violation under Federal law relating to an election for Federal office. (E) Grantmaking process .— In making assistance available under this paragraph, the Secretary shall consider appropriate ways of streamlining and improving the processes for grant application, review, approval, and award. (F) Authorization of appropriations .— There are authorized to be appropriated $45,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2012 for— (i) the operations of the Office of Housing Counseling of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; (ii) the responsibilities of the Director of Housing Counseling under paragraphs (2) through (5) of subsection (g); and (iii) assistance pursuant to this paragraph for entities providing homeownership and rental counseling.