On December 18, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approved by voice vote S. 1532, legislation to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA). NAHASDA was last reauthorized in 2008, but the authorization expired on September 31. The measure now awaits action by the full Senate.
During the markup, the Committee approved an amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to remove a provision of the bill that would make tribes eligible recipients of low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) before approving the final measure.
NLIHC understands the measure was removed due to a lack of consensus among stakeholders about how to refine the language prior to the markup. Chair Cantwell indicated that she will continue to work to make LIHTCs available on tribal lands through her role on the Senate Committee on Finance, though it is unlikely that the provision will be reintroduced as an amendment when the measure is considered by the full Senate. The Senate reauthorization measure would also ensure that tribes have access to the HUD-VASH program.
The House of Representatives has not yet released a draft of its version of the reauthorization legislation; it is possible that the LIHTC provision will be included in forthcoming language.
NAHASDA is comprised of three major components: the Indian Housing Block Grant, the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant, and the Tribal Housing Activities Loan. NAHASDA was enacted in 1996 and consolidated multiple federal housing assistance programs into a single block grant, the Indian Housing Block Grant, for Indian tribes or tribally designated housing entities to provide affordable housing for low income families residing on reservations and other tribal areas. Funds can also be used for community facilities.
The full text of S. 1352 is available at: http://1.usa.gov/1e01qji