Housing Urban Development and Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD/VASH) VOUCHER Distribution Program for Reconsideration of Federal Register and Final DECISION

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TITLE: Housing Urban Development and Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD/VASH) VOUCHER Distribution Program for Reconsideration of Federal Register and Final Decision

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, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH), has promoted the initiative of the “Voucher Distribution Program” to add to the Federal Register by June 14, 2015, and to be “implemented as decided” by HUD/VASH, to distribute directly to tribes, the estimated 600-650 vouchers without any consultation with the 57 tribes of the Pacific Northwest, the $4 million allocated for this nationwide distribution program, which would only benefit one voucher per tribe; and

WHEREAS, HUD/VASH failed to distribute the “Tribal Leader letter” dated January 26, 2015 to all tribes to meet the timeline of the comment period due to HUD/VASH by March 28, 2015 and without having a complete data base of per capita of veterans or homeless veterans within Indian Country or providing the formula for distribution; and

WHEREAS, due to the voucher requests being initiated within the 57 Tribes of the Pacific Northwest region, NCAI requests that HUD/VASH reconsider the implementation of this voucher distribution program until September of 2015; to allow the 57 Pacific Northwest Tribes have the opportunity to consult for the amount of vouchers needed, allowing time to access size of rural reservations and housing needs, to determine service to veterans and veterans families who may qualify; and

WHEREAS, to determine the number of homeless in each nation and the serious need to determine the “at risk” homeless veterans, also considering the location of services available to veterans and veteran families and to qualify them for eligibility for veteran services and benefits for transition of homeless veterans.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI does hereby respectfully request that HUD/VASH, to meet their fiduciary and trust responsibility to the Federally recognized tribes, in consideration of a nationwide voucher distribution program, delay the implementation and addition to the Federal Register until the 57 Pacific Northwest Tribes can be consulted; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NCAI supports the reconsideration of the June 14, 2015 deadline, requesting that HUD/VASH reconsider the process and implementation of this voucher program until the Pacific Northwest Tribes have a reasonable time to submit the information needed to determine the required amount of vouchers per tribe; and that the HUD/VASH, be required to address the amount of allotment for all Federally Recognized tribes with the most serious of rural, housing and service needs; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.


The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2015 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the St. Paul River Centre, St. Paul, MN, June 28 to July 1, 2015, with a quorum present.