Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jon Tester (D-MT), and John Hoeven (R-ND) on June 24 reintroduced the “Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 2021” (S. 2264), which would reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) through 2032. Funding under NAHASDA programs is the main source of federal assistance to ensure American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians have access to safe, accessible, and affordable housing. Authorization for most NAHASDA programs expired in 2013, although Congress has continued to fund them. Bills that would reauthorize NAHASDA have been introduced in every Congress since 2013.
The bill includes new provisions aimed at addressing the housing crisis in tribal areas. Native Americans living in tribal areas have some of the worst housing needs in the U.S., with exceptionally high poverty rates, low incomes, overcrowding, lack of plumbing and heat, and unique barriers to development. In addition to current NAHASDA programs, S. 2264 authorizes the Tribal HUD-VASH program which is currently a demonstration.
The bill also creates new eligible activities under the act for student housing assistance including education-related stipends, college housing assistance, and other education-related assistance for low-income college students. The NAHASDA reauthorization would also elevate the Office of Native American Program (ONAP) within HUD to have its own assistant secretary. Currently, ONAP is situated within the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and is led by a deputy assistant secretary.
Read the full text about the bill at: https://bit.ly/3x7R7J9
Learn more about the bill at: https://bit.ly/3x9B8tZ
Read the press release from the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs at: https://bit.ly/3dwftEv
More about NAHASDA is on page 5-29 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocate’s Guide.