Senate Passes Native American Housing Assistance & Self-Determination Act
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) by unanimous consent. Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) issued the following statement about NAHASDA, S. 2062.
Senator Reid said, "Yesterday, the U.S. Senate took another major step toward improving the lives of thousands of Native Americans. By passing the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, we have reauthorized a program that has a proven track record of helping tribes provide adequate housing for thousands of families. In 2006 alone, tribes added 1,600 rental housing units and over 6,000 homeownership units; each one of which became home to an American Indian or Alaska Native family. This is a program that provides financing guarantees so that tribes may receive private market loans to develop affordable housing in Indian Country. Not only has the Senate acted in a bipartisan way to reauthorize this primary housing program for Indian Country but we have made it more efficient by streamlining the program and allowing tribes great flexibility to address their particular housing needs."
Senator Dorgan said, "Housing conditions in many areas of Indian Country are deplorable, and I applaud the passage of this critical legislation. It is long overdue! Nearly 40 percent of Native Americans are living in housing that is sub-standard and in disrepair. This bill is a step toward meeting our trust responsibilities and making an investment in decent housing for our American Indian and Alaska Native families."
Currently, approximately, 90,000 Indian families are homeless or under-housed. Also, over one-third of American Indian homes are overcrowded. To provide adequate housing in Indian Country, tribes need more than 230,000 housing units.
For more on NAHASDA, click here.