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Legislation

NAHASDA and Negotiated Rulemaking

Untitled-5The Native American Housing and Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (25 U.S.C. 4101 et seq.) (NAHASDA) changed the way that housing assistance is provided to Native Americans. NAHASDA eliminated several separate assistance programs and replaced them with a single block grant program, known as the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program. The regulations governing the IHBG formula allocation are codified in subpart D of part 1000 of HUD’s regulations in title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations. In accordance with section 106 of NAHASDA, HUD developed the regulations with active tribal participation using the procedures of the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990 (5 U.S.C. 561-570).

Under the IHBG program, HUD makes assistance available to eligible Indian tribes for affordable housing activities. The amount of assistance made available to each Indian tribe is determined using a formula that was developed as part of the NAHASDA negotiated process. Based on the amount of funding appropriated for the IHBG program, HUD calculates the annual grant for each Indian tribe and provides this information to the Indian tribes. An Indian Housing Plan for the Indian tribe is then submitted to HUD. If the Indian Housing Plan is found to be in compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements, the grant is made.

On July 3, 2012 at 77 FR 39452, HUD announced its intention to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee for the purpose of developing regulatory changes to the formula allocation for the IHBG program. On June 12, 2013 at 78 FR 35178, HUD announced the list of proposed members for the negotiated rulemaking committee, and requested additional public comment on the proposed membership. On July 30, 2013 at 78 FR 45903, HUD announced the final list of committee members to revise the allocation formula used under the IHBG.

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NAHASDA Reauthorization Legislation of the 114th Congress

The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) is a powerful tool that provides greater housing opportunities and housing related community development in tribal communities. Since originally signed into law, NAHASDA has been reauthorized and amended several times. While the intention of each amendment is to improve the Act, there are still further refinements that may enhance the overall effective and efficient delivery of housing programs in tribal communities.

On January 14, 2015, H.R. 360, a bill to reauthorize NAHASDA was introduced by Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM) and 17 co-sponsors. Developed and championed by the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC), a non-profit housing and technical assistance organization, H.R. 360 would expedite required federal approvals, authorize tribes to blend housing construction money with sanitation facilities funding, launch a demonstration program for alternative privatization authority for Native housing, and other reforms. H.R. 360 was adopted by the House of Representatives on March 23, 2015 and referred to the Senate. A companion bill, S. 710 was introduced by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) March 11, 2015. That bill was favorably reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs April 4, 2015 and currently sits before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. If S. 710 is adopted by the Senate, any differences must be reconciled, likely via a conference committee made up of House and Senate sponsors of the respective bills. And the final agreement of the conference committee must be passed by both House and Senate before moving to the White House for enactment. If the Senate passes H.R. 360, it will go directly to the White House for signature.

HEARTH Act

Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act” (HEARTH) to reform Federal leasing requirements and encourage housing and community development in Native American communities.

President Obama signed into law the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act on July 30, 2012. NAIHC is currently working with tribes and federal agencies on implementation.

The White House on HEARTH

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Public Law