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Indian Housing Block Grants (IHBG)

The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) reorganized the system of Federal housing assistance to Native Americans by eliminating several separate programs and replacing them with a single block grant program that recognizes the right of Indian self-determination and tribal self-governance. It provides for tribal governing bodies to name a tribally designated housing entity (TDHE)-which may be the former Indian Housing Authority-to prepare an Indian Housing Plan (IHP).

NAHASDA aims to simplify the process of Federal housing assistance for Indian tribes and to make such assistance better fit the circumstances of Native Americans. It became effective October 1, 1997. It replaces assistance previously authorized under the Housing Act of 1937, the Indian Housing Child Development Program, the Public Housing Youth Sports Program, and the HOME Investment Partnership Program under the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, and the Innovative Homeless Demonstration Program. Some existing contracts will remain in force until they expire or are renegotiated.

Type of Assistance:
Assistance is in the form of a block grant made available on an annual basis using an allocation formula for Indian tribes with approved IHPs.

Eligible Grantees:
Eligible Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages designate who will receive the block grant.

Eligible Customers:
The block grant serves the housing needs of low-income American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Eligible Activities:
Eligible affordable housing activities must develop or support rental or ownership housing or provide housing services to benefit low-income Indian families on Indian reservations and other Indian areas. Affordable housing must cost no more than 30 percent of the family's adjusted income. Eligible activities include modernization or operating assistance for housing previously developed using HUD resources; acquisition, new construction, or rehabilitation of additional units; housing-related services such as housing counseling, self-sufficiency services, energy auditing, and establishment of resident organizations; housing management services; crime prevention and safety activities; rental assistance; model activities; and administrative expenses.

Every tribe that submits an IHP (which is approved) is awarded a block grant. The 1-year plan must contain goals, objectives, a statement of needs, an operating budget, a statement of the affordable housing resources currently available, and certifications of compliance.

Funding Status:
Beginning in fiscal year 1998, $600 million was appropriated to the IHBG.

Technical Guidance:
The NAHASDA authorized the IHBG program, which replaces the Indian housing programs under the Housing Act of 1937. Section 106 of NAHASDA establishes the procedure for developing the regulations for the program. Regulations will be found in 24 CFR, Part 1000.

For More Information:
More information is available from the National ONAP in Washington, DC, by calling: (202) 401-7914 or visit the Office of Native American Programs home page.