A new HUD report, Housing Needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives in Tribal Areas, finds American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) households in tribal areas face a disproportionate incidence of housing problems and a shrinking pool of federal housing resources. Thirty-four percent of AIAN households residing in tribal areas live in housing with at least one physical problem, compared to 7% of all U.S. households.
AIAN households in tribal areas are more likely to have housing problems than U.S. households overall with regard to plumbing (5.6% vs. 1.3% for the U.S. overall), kitchens (6.6% vs. 1.7%), and heating (12% vs. 2%). Some households reported more than one problem. The rate of electrical problems is similar between AIAN households in tribal areas and U.S. households overall (1.1% vs. 1.4%).
Housing cost burdens among AIAN households in tribal areas are similar to the U.S overall. Thirty-eight percent of AIAN households in tribal areas are cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their incomes on housing and utilities, compared to 36% of all U.S. households.
The report also examined homelessness in tribal areas. Homelessness in tribal areas primarily takes the form of overcrowding or doubling-up. Between 42,000 and 85,000 AIAN people in tribal areas are doubling-up with friends or family because of a lack of housing. In all, 16% of all AIAN households in tribal areas reported doubling up.
The report estimates a need for 68,000 additional homes to alleviate overcrowding and to replace severely inadequate housing in tribal areas. Based on their track record, tribal entities appear to have the organizational capacity for large-scale development utilizing federal funding. However, these entities face declining federal resources. The Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), a key source of funding for affordable housing in tribal areas, has not been adjusted for inflation since its introduction in 1998. Accounting for inflation, IHBG funding declined 28% between 1998 and 2013.
Housing Needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives in Tribal Areas is one of five reports based on a congressionally mandated assessment of AIAN housing needs conducted between 2011 and 2016.
The report is based on a survey of AIAN households in tribal areas and a separate survey of 110 Tribally Designated Housing Entities. The report also utilized data from the decennial census, the American Community Survey, the American Housing Survey, and HUD administrative data.
Housing Needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives in Tribal Areas is available at: http://bit.ly/2jr4RLD