To Support Tribal Housing Provisions in the NAHASDA Reauthorization that Address Historical Issues

Download PDF

 The National Congress of American Indians
Resolution #ANC-14-029

TITLE: To Support Tribal Housing Provisions in the NAHASDA Reauthorization that Address Historical Issues

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, the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) was enacted to further Tribal self-governance and, streamline and simplify the process of providing housing assistance to Tribes and Tribal members; and

WHEREAS, NAHASDA was reauthorized twice, in 2002 and 2008, but expired on September 30, 2013; and

WHEREAS, tribal leaders helped draft NAHASDA to ensure Indian tribes to self-determine their own tribal housing programs to provide safe and decent homes for their tribal members; and

WHEREAS, NCAI supports for the swift reauthorization of the NAHASDA (#REN-13-070- Support the Immediate Reauthorization of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act); and

WHEREAS, in addition to the NCAI Resolution #REN-13-07, there are key historic issues that have not been addressed in the NAHASDA reauthorization such as:
• Sec. 101: Waiver of Local Cooperation Agreement requirement (30 days);
• Sec. 102: Waiver of certain Indian Housing Plan Submission requirements, (45 days);
• Sec. 104: Waiver of certain Environmental Review requirements (45 days);
• Sec. 405: Issue a final monitoring report within 60 days of receiving tribe’s/TDHE’s comments on draft monitoring report; The timeline for each item was set at 60 days;
• Under HUD and other Federal housing programs, public housing tenants are only obligated to pay 30% of their adjusted income as rent (with the remainder subsidized by the Federal Government), and the 30% rule has not changed since its inception since the 1937 Housing Act; and

WHEREAS, these issues would enable tribal governments and tribally designated housing entities to further self-determination which was the main purpose of the passage of NAHASDA in 1996; and

WHEREAS, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development reports that over 25 percent of American Indian housing units have “severe housing needs,” including (among other things), lack of basic plumbing or kitchen facilities, housing more than one person per room, and bearing a cost burden of more than 50 percent of income; and

WHEREAS, the Congressional Budget Office prepared a cost estimate for the Senate’s NAHASDA legislation which indicated that housing block grants would only be funded at an average of $650 million per year over the next five year reauthorization period, but it is woefully short to address the housing need, it is estimated NAHASDA needs to be funded at a minimum of $875 million per year according to the National American Indian Housing Council.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, Congress is urged to recognize the self-determination that NAHASDA was intended to provide and to address historic issues, as outlined above which support tribes to further strengthen and address housing in their tribal communities; and

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