Together with more than 40 Native American leaders and housing authorities, NLIHC sent a letter on October 1 to HUD that provides recommendations on how to target new competitive housing grants to Native American communities with the greatest needs. Congress appropriated this $100 million in competitive funds as part of the FY18 omnibus spending package and directed HUD to award grants based on need and capacity. Another $100 million is included in the FY19 housing appropriations bill, which has not yet been enacted.
Native Americans living in tribal areas and remote Alaskan villages have some of the greatest housing needs in the U.S., with exceptionally high poverty rates, low incomes, overcrowding, lack of plumbing and heat, and unique development issues. Tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs) and tribal housing authorities are not eligible for traditional housing programs like Housing Choice Vouchers or public housing to address this extreme housing need. Instead, TDHEs receive housing funding through a formula-based block grant called the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), which allows sovereign nations more control over their resources. Despite the pressing need for safe, decent, affordable homes, however, funding for the IHBG program has been underfunded for decades. This new competitive funding would allow TDHEs and tribal housing authorities to build and rehabilitate affordable homes for the lowest income American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Read the letter at: http://bit.ly/2zRrvos