NAHASDA Passes Senate
Largest federal tribal housing program is reauthorized for seven years with significant improvements.
July 28, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC—July 27, 2023— The National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) celebrates with its membership, allies and partners today on the US Senate’s passage of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) by an amendment that was attached to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with a 86-11 vote. NAHASDA, which has not been reauthorized since 2013, is the largest and most effective federal housing program that assists tribes in providing safe, quality and affordable housing to American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.
The NAHASDA amendment #1078, introduced by Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Vice Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), reauthorizes NAHASDA for seven years with reforms to foster greater local control over NAHASDA programming, streamline
environmental reviews for tribal housing projects and incentivize private partnerships.
“On behalf of the 293 tribal housing program members, NAIHC expresses thanks to Senators Schatz and Murkowski, and our allies in the Senate, for their continued support to bring quality housing to tribal communities across the Nation,” said NAIHC Chairman Thomas Lozano. “The success of NAHASDA and tribal housing programs stems from NAHASDA’s self-determination roots which allow tribes to develop their own Indian Housing Plan to fit the housing needs and priorities of their communities, and it also provides the flexibility tribes need to carry out their programs. Tribes know best how to take care of their own citizens.”
NAHASDA was passed in 1996 to streamline tribes’ access to housing program dollars by consolidating multiple programs into a single block grant – the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG). However, with the lack of increased appropriations to NAHASDA programs, tribes are piecing their housing programs together by finding resources from different programs across the federal government. Without reauthorization, NAHASDA program funding has remained stagnant for over a decade.
“NAHASDA has been a successful program since its inception. Tribes were producing new housing units at rates similar to or higher than HUD prior to NAHASDA’s enactment. By creating their own Indian Housing Plan, tribes can prioritize senior assisted housing, rental assistance or homeownership. Reauthorization of NAHASDA means increased resources and stronger programming,” said NAIHC Executive Director Chelsea Fish.
The large unmet housing need in Indian Country is persistent and growing. In 2018, the United States Commission on Civil Rights updated its “Broken Promises” report first released in 2003, and found that housing conditions had deteriorated, with the number of overcrowded households or households with inadequate plumbing growing by 21%, and the number of families facing severe housing costs growing by 55%.
“NAIHC recognizes and appreciate our allies in Congress who have continued to support tribal housing programs and NAHASDA reauthorization over the years. Now, NAIHC and tribes are calling on them to ensure tribes have the funding to provide housing assistance and homeownership opportunities to their tribal citizens through NAHASDA,” said Fish.
Learn about NAIHC's advocacy work at http://www.naihc.net/advocacy.
About the National American Indian Housing Council
The National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) is member organization that represents the unified voice of tribal housing programs across the nation. Established in 1974, NAIHC has a long-respected history of providing effective advocacy and quality training and technical assistance as well as hosting annual events that showcase best practices from tribal housing programs across the country. NAIHC advocates for tribal self-determination and improving housing conditions in tribal communities by working with tribes, tribal housing authorities, and tribally-designated housing entities (TDHEs). Learn more at http://www.naihc.net.