WASHINGTON, DC- March 23, 2015 - With a vote of 297 yeas and 98 nays, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 360, the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Reauthorization Act of 2015 this evening. Sponsored by Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), the legislation was cosponsored by a bi-partisan group of Members including Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK), Don Young (R-AK), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Denny Heck (D-WA), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Mark Takai (D-HI), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) Mark Amodei (R-NV), Ryan Zinke (R-MT), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Richard M. Nolan (R-MN) and Frank Lucas (R-OK).
This legislation will reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA), a law that consolidated federal housing programs for Native Americans and created a block grant to provide formula funding directly to tribes. The last reauthorization of NAHASDA occurred in 2008. NAHASDA empowers Native communities by enabling them to create their own innovative housing assistance programs in ways that best serve their members.
Native Americans face some of the worst housing and economic conditions in the country. Developed and championed by tribal leaders and Indian housing professionals, H.R. 360 will expedite required federal approvals, authorize tribes to blend housing construction money with sanitation facilities funding, launch a demonstration program for alternative privatization authority for Native housing, and carry out other much-needed reforms.
NAIHC Chairwoman Sami Jo Difuntorum said, "We applaud the strong bipartisan support that led to the passage of H.R. 360 by the House of Representatives. We are hopeful that the Senate will take similar swift action on S.B. 710, the Senate companion bill. NAHASDA Reauthorization is vital to the continued success of Indian housing programs throughout the country."
NAIHC thanks all of our members, tribal representatives and tribal housing professionals who contacted their congressional delegations in support of this bill. The next step for Reauthorization will be the passage of the Senate bill and the reconciliation of any conflicting language.
The National American Indian Housing Council, NAIHC was founded in 1974 as a 501(c)(3) corporation. NAIHC is the only national organization representing housing interests of Native people who reside in Indian communities, Alaska Native Villages, and on Native Hawaiian Home Lands.