Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced the “Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2024” (H.R.6949) in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 10. The bill would reauthorize the “Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996” (NAHASDA) through 2029. NAHASDA is the primary federal statute governing the development, operation, and maintenance of housing in Tribal communities. Yet despite its crucial role, NAHASDA has not been reauthorized in a decade. As a result, its programs are in need of updating, and funding has decreased by 29% when accounting for inflation, remaining at less than 2% of the overall HUD budget. NLIHC continues to urge Congress to reauthorize NAHASDA and fully fund Tribal housing programs to address the dire affordable housing needs of Native communities.
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. Called “the backbone of Indian housing,” NAHASDA grants can be used for affordable housing activities that primarily benefit low-income Indian families living on Indian reservations and Alaska Native communities or in other Indian areas. By empowering Tribal governments to design and implement housing programs that align with their specific cultural and community needs, NAHASDA promotes self-determination. This approach fosters community-driven solutions, ensuring that housing strategies are tailored to the distinct challenges faced by Native American and Alaska Native communities. NAHASDA is the largest – and, in some rural and remote areas, only – source of affordable housing funding for Native communities.
The bill includes several provisions to address the housing crisis in Tribal areas and proposes increased funding for Indian Housing Block Grants (IHBG), IHBG Competitive Grants, Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grants (NHHBG), and the Native Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee Fund.
Read more about the bill here.
Learn more about NAHASDA reauthorization by reading NLIHC’s fact sheet here.