HUD released on May 7 a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for nearly $200 million in new competitive funding through the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program. Congress appropriated $100 million for this new program in both fiscal years 2018 and 2019, and tribal housing authorities have been awaiting a NOFA for more than a year.
NLIHC joined about 40 tribal leaders and housing authorities in submitting a letter to HUD in October, 2018, recommending the new funding target tribal areas with the greatest housing needs, including those with high poverty rates and serious overcrowding. The NOFA includes several of our collective recommendations but lacks deep income-targeting.
As outlined in the appropriations language, the funding will prioritize projects that build new affordable homes, rehabilitate existing homes to extend the usefulness and alleviate substandard housing conditions or address affordable housing-related infrastructure needs. Native Americans living in tribal areas face higher-than-average rates of overcrowding, lack of plumbing and heat, and unique development issues, and these funds aim to address this severe shortage of housing and substandard conditions. The NOFA does not, however, prioritize projects targeted to those with the lowest incomes, as NLIHC and tribal partners recommended, using instead existing standards to measure need. The NOFA does include strong provisions to ensure tribally designated housing entities have the capacity to complete and maintain projects.
Find the NOFA and grant application at: https://bit.ly/2DXeYle
Read the October letter from NLIHC and tribal leaders and housing authorities at: http://bit.ly/2zRrvos