Rounds, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize Native Housing Funding
Bill would expand housing resources for Native veterans, students
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) recently introduced legislation with Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i) and 6 other members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, to reform and reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA).
Enacted in 1996, NAHASDA combined nine programs at the Department of Housing & Urban Development to establish the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program, which was specifically aimed at improving tribal housing. Today, the single block grant program is the foremost housing delivery vehicle to Indian Country, awarding funds to tribes and tribal organizations through a noncompetitive block grant.
The senators’ bill would reauthorize NAHASDA and reform components of the bill to reduce barriers for tribal housing development, allow IHBGs to be used to support Native students’ housing needs, create greater access to home loans for Native veterans and empower tribes to develop housing rental laws. NAHASDA was last reauthorized in 2008.
“The Indian Housing Block Grant program established by NAHASDA has played a critical role in improving tribal housing infrastructure in South Dakota and generating economic opportunity in our state through construction projects,” Rounds said. “Our bipartisan legislation will reauthorize NAHASDA and reform it so that these housing resources are more accessible to Native families and Native students attending college or other educational institutions.”
“Since it was first signed into law in 1996, NAHASDA has provided billions in federal dollars to Tribes and Native communities in Hawai‘i and across the country,” said Chairman Schatz. “Our bill continues this bipartisan tradition and extends NAHASDA for another decade, giving Native communities the resources they need to help more Native families find safe, affordable housing.”
This legislation is supported by the United Native Housing Association, whose membership includes all nine tribes in South Dakota.
The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.).
The full bill text is available here.