BIA takes aim at housing with new regulation and agreement
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is asserting a stronger role in addressing housing conditions on reservations across the country.
The agency isn't typically known for its housing initiatives. Tribes usually turn to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to build and repair homes, projects that typically cost tens of millions of dollars.
Yet the BIA's Housing Improvement Program plays a critical role for tribal members who aren't eligible for assistance through other federal sources like the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act. Although it's budget is small -- about $8 million for fiscal year 2015 compared to over $600 million at HUD -- the program has helped hundreds of Indian families over the past decade with housing repairs, renovations and replacements.