WHEREAS, Congress enacted the Native American Housing and Self- Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) to allocate funding to each federally recognized Tribe for housing in furtherance of the federal government’s trust responsibility to Indian Tribes and their tribal members; and
WHEREAS, prior to FY05, Alaska Native Tribes had the option either to receive their Native American Housing Block Grant funding through a state chartered regional housing authority or directly from HUD; and
WHEREAS, in 2005, Congress – at the request of Senator Ted Stevens – inserted language in the FY06 Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, providing:
The funds made available for Native Alaskans under the heading “Native American Housing Block Grants” in Title III of this Act shall be allocated to the same Native American housing block grant recipients that received funds in fiscal year 2005.
(§ 319); and
WHEREAS, each subsequent year this rider has been reinserted into an appropriations bill with the effect of depriving the majority of Alaska Native Tribes from directly contracting for the operation of NAHASDA programs and thereby requiring the majority of Alaska Native Tribes to receive their funding allocations through a state chartered regional housing authority; and
WHEREAS, most recently, the rider has been reinserted into the proposed FY17 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, S.2844 and H.R. 5394, which provides that:
The funds made available for Native Alaskans under the hearing “Indian Block Grants” in Title II of this Act shall be allocate to the same Native Alaskan housing block grant recipients that received funds in fiscal year 2005. (§ 214); and
WHEREAS, in 2005, the General Accounting Office concluded that new housing construction by the state chartered regional housing authorities is not necessarily more efficient when compared to village housing construction programs. The cost of new housing units developed by housing authorities was slightly higher than units developed by Alaska Native villages (GAO Report 05-719, August 2005); and
WHEREAS, the Alaska NAHASDA rider discriminates against Alaska Native Tribes by depriving them of self-determination rights including an effective voice in the planning and implementation of programs that are responsive to the true needs of their communities.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board of Directors shall advocate Congress to remove language that prohibits federally recognized Alaska Native Tribes from directly contracting for the operations of NAHASDA programs.
Submitted by: Executive Board