The Secretary shall approve and disburse assistance under section 4143 of this title through eligible intermediaries selected by the Secretary under subsection (b). If the Secretary does not receive an acceptable proposal from an intermediary offering to administer assistance under this section in a given State, the Secretary shall administer the program in such State directly.
The Secretary shall develop criteria to select eligible intermediaries, through a competitive process, to administer assistance under this subchapter. The process shall include provision for a reasonable administrative fee.
With respect to all forms of grants available under section 4143 of this title, such criteria shall give priority to applications from eligible intermediaries with demonstrated expertise or experience with the program established under this title  or under the Emergency Low Income Housing Preservation Act of 1987.
The Secretary may select more than 1 State or regional intermediary for a single State or region. The number of intermediaries chosen for each State or region may be based on the number of eligible low-income housing projects in the State or region, provided there is no duplication of geographic coverage by intermediaries in the administration of the direct assistance grant program.