TITLE: Support the Immediate Reauthorization of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act
WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and
WHEREAS, American Indian and Alaska Native communities have traditionally experienced some of the most deplorable housing conditions in the nation, including overcrowding, substandard living conditions, and high cost burden relative to household income; and
WHEREAS, until the mid-1990s, federal housing programs serving American Indian and Alaska Native families were administratively inefficient and failed to recognize the unique social, cultural, and economic needs of Native American communities; and
WHEREAS, in 1996, Congress responded to the growing housing crisis in Indian Country by passing the Native American Housing Assistance and Self?Determination Act (NAHASDA), which reduced burdensome and excessive regulation, affirmed tribal self-determination, and permitted the innovation and local problem-solving that is crucial to the success of community-based housing strategies; and
WHEREAS, through NAHASDA, the federal government acknowledged that, “the Congress, through treaties, statutes, and the general course of dealing with Indian tribes, has assumed a trust responsibility for the protection and preservation of Indian tribes and for working with tribes and their members to improve their housing conditions and socioeconomic status so that they are able to take greater responsibility for their own economic condition;” and
WHEREAS, NAHASDA authorized the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), which funds housing and housing?related infrastructure and community development in American Indian and Alaska Native communities throughout the country; and
WHEREAS, NAHASDA has produced remarkable results since its passage, including the construction, acquisition, and/or rehabilitation of more than 110,000 homes in Native American communities and the provision of housing-related assistance to tens of thousands of American Indian and Alaska Native families through home loans, rental assistance, financial literacy counseling, down payment assistance, and numerous other housing-related programs; and
WHEREAS, NAHASDA was last reauthorized in 2008 for a period of five years, and its current authorization expires on September 30, 2013.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI urges swift passage of legislation to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self? Determination Act in the 113th Congress; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.