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Issues for Consultation

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 Information by State
 Print version
 
Issues for consultation

In preparation for it's mid-spring national homeownership summit, the Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) sought to begin the process of sorting out and acting upon issues of mutual concern in the provision of affordable housing and community development. Each tribal leader received a letter from HUD seeking feedback on important issues and statutory changes that they believe are needed to the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA).

List of issues

KEY to abbreviations

  • Alaska - Tribes and TDHEs from Alaska
  • ATNI - Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
  • BSRHA - Bering Straits Regional Housing Authority
  • EW - Tribes and TDHEs from the Eastern Woodlands Region
  • LEGI/X Co. - represents several small TDHEs in New Mexico
  • NCIHA - Nevada California Indian Housing Association
  • NP - Tribes and TDHEs from the Northern Plains Region
  • NW - Tribes and TDHEs from the Northwest Region
  • NWIHA - Northwest Indian Housing Association
  • SP - Tribes and TDHEs from the Southern Plains Region
  • SW - Tribes and TDHEs from the Southwest Region
  • SWIHA - Southwest Indian Housing Association
Issue
Comments
Submitted By

Appropriations

a) Need more money for the Indian Housing Block Grant Program.

b) Establish tribal set-asides in programs for the elderly--including but not limited to all Section 202 Supportive Housing for Elderly programs, including 1) Assisted Living Production; 2) Section 8 Voucher subsidies to be used for the shelter portion of assisted living; 3) Elderly Service Coordinators; and 4) Assisted Living Grants; and all Section 811 Supportive Housing for Disabled Persons.

c) Appropriations for FY 2002 should be $950 million.

d) Congress should appropriate additional funds to provide small tribes special subsidy to travel to tribal consultation meetings, negotiated rule making and work group sessions.

e) A recent NAIHC study concluded that the minimum funding necessary in order for Indian Country to make progress in housing its people has risen to $1.4 billion.

f) Funding levels should be increased for training and education initiatives in Indian Country, not from existing funding allocations, but from new appropriations by Congress.

a) NP, SW, NWIHA, ATNI, Bering Straits RHA, Zuni HA, Rio Grande Pueblos HA, Northern Pueblos HA, Jicarilla Apache HA

b) NW

c) SWIHA

d) SWIHA, NCIHA

e) NWIHA, BSRHA

f) NWIHA, ATNI

Legislation

a) Reauthorize NAHASDA in FY 2002.

b) Reauthorize NAHASDA in FY 2002, after extensive consultation to ensure that modifications take place that support tribal and TDHE’s efforts to provide quality housing and services.

c) The negotiated rulemaking process should be used to determine improvements and amendments to NAHASDA during the reauthorization process.

 

a) ATNI, LEGI/X Company, Zuni HA, Northern Pueblos HA, Jicarilla Apache HA

b) SWIHA, NCIHA, NWIHA

c) NWIHA

Formula

a) The American Homeownership and Economic Opportunity Act of 2000 (H.R. 5640) requires HUD to calculate the modernization portion of the formula on amounts allocated between fiscal years 1992 to 1997. This will reduce the allocation for certain small tribes.

b) Revise the minimum funding level to ensure the viability of each tribe/TDHE housing program (especially for small tribes).

c) Units developed after October 1, 1997, (non-1937 Act units) should be included in the formula.

d) The funding formula provides operating subsidies for the 1937 Act housing stock. Many tribes have little or no existing stock and thus, receive no funding under this formula. One solution is for housing units constructed under NAHASDA to be added to its housing stock for formula purposes.

e) Minimal funding for small tribes needs to be reevaluated to take into consideration the relative impact of administrative and planning costs and adequate project costs.

f) Standardize the requirements for determining when tribes receive credit under the formula for counties in which they have provided housing investment.

g) TDHEs have objected to the formula funding to tribes with no population living in the village.

h) Many tribes receive grants that are so small, they do not have sufficient funds to do projects and carry out a program. Should tribes receiving small grants be required to form consortia with other tribes (not limited to consortia with other small tribes) so that the formula grant is large enough to have a housing program? Should the program be split into two components--formula and competitive--so that tribes that would receive only a small grant under the formula could either compete for sufficient funds to carry out a project or form consortia with other tribes so that the formula grant is large enough to have a housing program?

i) The minimal funding level is severely inadequate for any tribe to meet the reporting requirements of NAHASDA. NAHASDA should be modified to allow for not less than $350,000.00 annual base funding under the needs component of the formula per Federally recognized tribe.

j) Formula should incorporate a maximum cap of $40 million for any tribe under the needs component of the formula.

k) Any increase in appropriations from the current level should be used to fund increases for small and minimally funded tribes to achieve base line funding.

l) Before HUD adjusts or recaptures NAHASDA IHBG funds, HUD should enter into tribal consultation regarding an appropriate process to implement these adjustments. If recapture is warranted, the requirements and specifics of recapturing such funds once a grant agreement has been executed should be determined through tribal consultation. HUD should not arbitrarily reduce or recapture future years formula funding without tribal consultation.

m) There should be no changes to the funding formula for NAHASDA.

n) The formula for the Needs portion of the formula should include some consideration for funding units built under NAHASDA similar to that given to the CAS built with the ’37 Act funding.

 a) EW

 

 

b) EW, SW

 

c) NP

d) NW

 

e) NW

 

f) EW

 

g) Alaska

h) HUD

 

 

i) SWIHA, NCIHA, LEGI/X Company

 

j) SWIHA, NCIHA, LEGI/X Company

k) SWIHA, NCIHA

 

l) SWIHA

 

m) Bering Straits RHA

n) Bering Straits RHA

Administrative and Planning Costs

a) Administrative and planning costs are excessive for small tribes.

b) Define and clarify administrative and planning costs to ensure that there is a consistent application of the 20 percent limitation on these costs. Permit funds to be used to develop strategic and comprehensive land use plans without being prorated to just the housing portion of these plans. Provide guidance on the calculation and application of indirect costs.

c) Consider a one-time start-up grant for new or re-recognized tribes to permit establishment of adequate administrative capability.

d) The "small tribe" definition was removed from the NAHASDA statute without consultation or notice to the tribes. The small tribe definition allowed the Secretary to modify statutory requirements, thus allowing the small tribes a more streamlined IHP, APR, and other required reports. This might alleviate HUD’s self-described lack of staffing challenges and the unfunded mandates issue. Currently, small tribes must comply with the same reporting requirements as larger tribes. This is difficult with such limited funds. HUD arbitrarily caps the administration of each IHP at 20%, which does not allow minimal funded tribes necessary funds for staffing and operating an office, let alone funding the time, research, and reporting requirements necessary to remain in compliance with NAHASDA. Regulations allow administration and planning to exceed the 20% cap, however, HUD is not typically approving IHPs that exceed the 20% cap. The small tribe definition should be restored and the cap on administrative costs should be lifted.

 

a) SP, SWIHA

b) NW

 

 

 

c) NW

 

d) SWIHA, NCIHA, LEGI/X Company

Cooperation Agreements
Further clarification is needed with regard to what a "good faith effort" is when tribes attempt to secure a cooperation agreement with a municipality or county. (or another tribe) EW, SP
Indian Housing Plans & Annual Performance Reports
a) A more streamlined and accelerated IHP review process is desired. A review process of 30 days is recommended.

b) Fiscal year vs. July 1 IHP submission deadlines.

c) If the IHP review clock is stopped by an ONAP office it should not start at 60 days when it is started again. Tribes believe it should start again where it left off or a number of days less than 60.

d) Over review of IHPs.

e) Completely revise the IHP statutory and regulatory requirements as well as the IHP format. The IHP submission requirements should only include certifications, project descriptions and amounts that equal the grant amount, and a comprehensive implementation schedule for all projects. In addition, IHP should be submitted in accordance with the tribe/TDHE’s fiscal year.

f) Completely update the APR format based on the revised IHP (e) noted above.

g) Develop an APR that is more user friendly and consolidates a multi-year Indian Housing Plan.

h) With the inception of NAHASDA, many tribes have submitted IHPs by a TDHE. With the issuance of the Lummi Audit, there is increasing concern over what these entities are and how they operate. IHP submission requirements for new TDHEs should require submission of organizational documents sufficient to determine if the recipient is a TDHE as defined by NAHASDA.

i) To provide better customer service, tribes/TDHEs should be required to submit their IHPs 60 days prior to their year end. This would level workload and enable HUD staff to complete more timely reviews of IHP submissions.

j) Change the submission of IHPs to coincide with fiscal years (regulatory).

k) Inform tribes regarding any new or additional information or review requirements for IHPs and APRs.

l) The latest version of the APRs is still not compatible with the information in the Indian Housing Plans. Modification should be made to both reports so the information is compatible.

m) The Annual Performance Report is confusing and inconsistent with NAHASDA and its regulations.

n) The Annual Performance Report form and/or revisions should be developed through tribal consultation.

o) Annual Performance Reports are currently due 60 days following the end of the tribe/TDHE fiscal year. This is not enough time to prepare the reports using year-end financial data, submit to the tribal leadership and/or TDHE’s Board of Commissioners for review and approval, make available to the tribal community for citizen comments and submit it to HUD in a timely manner. The 60-day due date should be extended to a minimum of 120 days.

p) Some tribes and TDHEs are experiencing lengthy delays in obtaining approval of their IHPs. When this happens, the housing program must stretch funding to cover operating costs for up to 24 months.

q) There is currently no safety net in place to prevent the loss of NAHASDA funding if a village fails to file an IHP for that fiscal year. Failure to file a plan by July 1 results in the loss of those funds back to HUD and into the national pot for distribution in the following fiscal year.

r) HUD should structure the APR format to minimize duplicate data.

s) The requirement for a housing authority to provide an audit within 60 days after the end of a fiscal year is not feasible and should be modified.

a) EW

 

b) SP

c) NP

 

d) SW, SWIHA, NCIHA

e) NW

 

 

f) NW; Alaska (revise IHP format)

g) EW

h) Alaska

 

 

i) Alaska

 

 

j) HUD

k) NP

 

l) SWIHA, NCIHA

 

m) SWIHA, NCIHA

 

n) SWIHA, NCIAH

 

o) SWIHA, NCIHA

 

p) SWIHA

 

 

q) Bering Straits Regional Housing Authority

 

r) BSRHA

s) BSRHA

Unfunded Mandates
Unfunded mandates, such as environmental reviews and lead-based paint requirements place burdens on tribes that are already at inadequate funding levels. Small tribes must comply with all mandates the same as larger tribes, which are funded at higher amounts. This places administrative burdens on small tribes that are financially unable to comply with the requirements.

 

 

 

SWIHA
Environmental Reviews
a) Further clarification and assistance in providing waivers for Indian tribes to expedite environmental reviews is desired. Can a "Hold" be put on NAHASDA funds until environmental requirements are satisfied to prevent program violations?

b) Notice 99-37 requires the tribe or TDHE to supply information so that HUD can perform the Part 50 Environmental Review. HUD should come out on site and perform the entire review without tribal input.

c) Coordinate the environmental review requirements among all Federal agencies to develop one uniform set of policies and procedures. Federal agencies should accept each others’ reviews.

d) NAHASDA requires compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act but this requires that tribes waive their right to sovereign immunity from suit in Federal courts prior to conducting environmental reviews.

e) Tribes have the option of having HUD conduct the environmental review; however, HUD is dependent on available funding and is often untimely due to limited HUD staffing. Indian tribes should have the option of conducting their own environmental reviews without waiving their sovereign right of immunity from lawsuits. Since HUD does not have the administrative capacity to conduct environmental reviews, tribes are losing funding, paying late fees, and delaying construction projects. The Secretary should provide waivers for Indian tribes to expedite environmental reviews.

f) In addition to issue e), above, HUD could provide the resources to tribes to conduct the environmental reviews.

g) Environmental review requirements often hinder progress on projects. Provide HUD with funding to more efficiently and expeditiously approve environmental clearance.

h) Archaeological costs (part of the environmental review requirements) severely cut into funds that otherwise would go into renovating more homes.

i) Another agreement should be developed that does not require a waiver of sovereign immunity.

a) EW

 

 

b) Cheyenne River Housing Authority

 

c) NP, NW

 

d) SWIHA, LEGI/X Company

 

e) SWIHA, LEGI/X Company

 

 

f) LEGI/X Company

 

g) Zuni HA

 

h) Zuni HA

 

i) Navajo Nation

Infrastructure
a) Under NAHASDA, HUD does not provide separate funding for off-site sewer and water. Nor are there minimum design standards established for homes not served by piped water and sewer systems. A few tribes have proceeded to develop homes in advance of water, sewer, roads, and power. Homes are complete but do not have a level of utility service comparable to the community’s level of service and/or are not compatible with the long-term plans for water and sewer.

b) IHS is currently precluded from using their appropriated funding to extend water and sewer lines to serve new housing developed under HUD or NAHASDA. We support higher levels of funding or priority funding for projects extending water and sewer lines necessary to service new housing funded under NAHASDA. And, we request congressional support to remove barriers to using other sources of funding to build infrastructure to service new housing to be built with NAHASDA funding.

a) Alaska

 

 

 

 

b) Bering Straits Regional HA

Section 184
a) 184 process should be streamlined.

b) Implement the changes authorized by the American Homeownership and Economic Opportunity Act of 2000, as soon as possible.

c) Provide a window within which tribes/TDHEs can assume defaulted Section 184 mortgages with a minimal amount of documentation and verification of the tribes’/TDHEs’ credit worthiness.

d) 184 loans should be more accessible to tribes.

e) 184 loans are too complex and take too long to process.

f) Training and technical assistance must be available for tribes to develop and adopt required legal codes to facilitate private lending on reservations.

a) EW, SWIHA

b) NW

 

c) NW

 

d) SWIHA

e) SWIHA

f) SWIHA

Title VI Program
Calculate the maximum Title VI loan amount at five times the most current IHBG amount without a deduction for estimated operating expenses. NW
Eligible Activities

a) Base eligible activities on the income of the families served regardless of whether the home in which they live has been previously assisted with ’37 Act of IHBG funds (i.e., affordable housing).

b) Broaden the interpretation of "crime prevention and safety activities" to include any crime, health, and safety activities designed to create or support housing in "safe and healthy environments," consistent with the Congressional findings of NAHASDA.

c) Economic development should be an eligible activity under NAHASDA.

d) Disagreement with our interpretation/stance regarding "model activities."

e) Expand the interpretation of "model activities" to include activities that are consistent with the purposes of the NAHASDA without having to meet an additional "affordable housing" criteria.

f) Expand the language in NAHASDA and ICDBG to include comprehensive planning as an eligible activity.

g) Expand NAHASDA eligible activities to be able to provide service to all low-income persons.

h) Because this seems to be the primary reason given by local governments for not signing a cooperation agreement, should this paragraph be deleted or revised to permit the tribe to pay the taxes with block grant funds? (Section 101(d), exemption from taxation).

i) Many tribes want to provide services without limiting them to residents of affordable housing. Permit the services [202 (3), (4), & (5)] generally for low-income families, but limit the amount of the grant for these activities to 20%.

j) Specifically, list tenant-based rental as an eligible activity.

k) Consult on NAHASDA Section 205 (a) (2) as it relates to binding commitments on the part on non-1937 housing act homeownership and rental units. ("In general, housing shall qualify as affordable housing for purposes of this Act except for housing assisted under section 202, . . . each . . . unit . ..will remain affordable . . . for the remaining life of the property. . . .")

l) Tribes and TDHEs should have flexibility to determine locally what cost caps are sufficient to provide renovations.

m) Additional funds are needed to renovate private homes. Because of construction practices that existed 30-40 years ago, and because of the absence of building codes at that time, hidden or unforeseen costs often exist.

a) NW

 

b) NW

 

 

c) NP

d) SW

e) NW

 

f) HUD

 

g) HUD

h) HUD

 

 

i) HUD

 

 

j) HUD

k) NP

 

 

 

l) Zuni HA

 

m) Zuni HA

 

Rents
Revise the limitation on rents to permit tribes to establish reasonable rents. As long as rents continue to be calculated based on the income of the family, the housing project cannot be developed to be self-sufficient, but will need project-based rental assistance. In addition, permitting "flat rents" will enable the block grant program to work better with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. If there is a concern that Congress will not support this change, revise the statute to establish maximum rents, such as the HUD fair market rents. The revision will permit tribes to continue to base rent on 30% of the family’s income, if they so choose. (Section 203) HUD
Building and Property Standards
a) Several tribes and the Alaska Federation of Natives have passed resolutions asking HUD to mandate that HUD-assisted homes have two doors for fire exits. Under NAHASDA, there are no minimum building standards required. Consideration should be given to regulatory minimum design standards for new homes constructed with NAHASDA funds.

b) Should housing developed with block grant funds be required to meet specified property standards, e.g., should new construction meet standards of a national building code? Flexibility should be given to take into account the location of the housing. This could be done by regulation.

a) Alaska

 

 

 

b) HUD

Dwelling construction and Equipment Costs (DC&E)

  HUD relies on the Marshal Swift Cost Estimation method in developing the CD&Es. The problem with Marshal and Swift is that they only work with a high confidence factor in urban areas and usually use some sort of a location multiplier. Once outside of the road system, the location multiplier is not effective. BSHA has had to apply for waivers on all our NAHASDA projects because of the DC&E limits. DC&E cost limits are too low for communities in our region. Local tribes and housing authorities should establish their own limits.

Bering Straits HA
Monitoring
On-site review process is not being restricted to the implementation of NAHASDA. HUD has been imposing additional requirements and requesting additional records and data that may or may not be appropriate for an on-site HUD review. HUD should limit their reviews to NAHASDA-related material and programs that were included in the notice to the tribe or TDHE. SWIHA
Obligation of Funds
Clarify the two-year requirement for obligating funds in the most liberal way to take into consideration the events and delays that are being experienced by the tribal/TDHE housing programs.

 

NW
Reserves, Program Income, LOCCS

a) Reserves: Guidance was drafted but not issued on the use/funding of reserves under NAHASDA in the IHP. How are these funds obligated, calculated, and how are they intended to be used when listed in the IHP?

b) Program Income must be used before making a LOCCS draw. Guidance is needed on how to budget program income in the IHP as it is not possible to accurately predict when program income will be available. Its availability determines which program year it applies to. This will create money in LOCCS for a program year that the grantee has previously obligated. Calculation of program income is overly complex and should be simplified.

c) Clarity of definition and allowable expenditures of program income.

d) Simplify and clarify the program income requirements including offsets against LOCCS, the allowable expenditure of program and non-program income.

e) Tribes and housing programs are being denied access to their funds in the LOCCS system without notice and in many cases for invalid reasons. Tribes and HUD during tribal consultation should agree on the process and notice requirements to deny access to LOCCS rather than leave it up to the discretion of individual HUD staff.

a) SP

 

 

b) SP

 

 

 

 

c) SW

d) NW

 

e) SWIHA, SW

GAAP Conversions
a) GAAP Conversion is an issue.

b) Establish a target date for conversion.

c) Provide training for the conversion to GAAP.

d) Clarify policy regarding GAAP.

a) SP

b) NW

c) NW and NP

d) NP

 Labor Issues
a) The Davis-Bacon rates are too high.

b) There should be an exclusion to using Davis-Bacon if the project does not meet a certain threshold.

c) Issue and implement guidelines for the establishment of tribal prevailing wage rates in furtherance of the American Homeownership and Economic Opportunity Act of 2000.

d) HUD Labor Relations has taken the position that self-help is not considered volunteer labor and that if a party is benefiting from NAHASDA they cannot be considered volunteers. They have also said that when a home is constructed and the buyer is receiving any form of homebuyer assistance in the financing (i.e., down payment assistance, mortgage buy down, or interest reduction) Davis-Bacon wages are required to be paid for construction.

e) Change the language in NAHASDA to allow for volunteers and self-help housing construction.

f) Coordinate the Indian preference requirements among all Federal agencies to develop one uniform set of policies and procedures. Establish policies on the application of Indian preference and Fair Housing requirements in joint funded or leveraged projects such as HUD multi-family and tax credit projects.

g) The Navajo Nation set the prevailing rate in the Navajo Nation through the Navajo Preference and Employment Act, 15 NNC, Section 601, etc.

h) Procurement Policies should be based on Navajo Nation Business Preference Law, 5 NNC, Section 201, etc.

a) NP

b) NP

c) NW

 

d) Alaska

 

 

 

 

e) HUD

f) NW

 

 

 

g) Navajo Nation

 

h) Navajo Nation

Oklahoma State Law Issues and Conflicts with NAHASDA
State IHAs and funding for FCAS

Conveyed Mutual Help Units and return of funding

SP
Alaska Issues
a) Bering Straits Region Transportation Costs: Restrictive transportation costs.

b) Relocation of Shishmaref Housing: If BSRHA must fund the cost of the relocation, there would be some other activity or work that would not be funded. This is a significant adverse impact. One solution would be for appropriate adequate funding to FEMA for the relocation. Another would be a special appropriation to the HA to fund our doing the relocation.

c) Regional Corporations: NAHASDA allocates the current assisted stock formula to the Regional Tribe which is responsible for providing the funds necessary for maintenance and operation of current assisted stock to the owner of the homes developed under the 1937 Act. To date, Regional Corporations have designated the existing Regional Housing Authorities as their TDHE, minimizing the conflict over "funds necessary" for operation and maintenance. In FY 2001, a Regional Corporation has not designated the Regional Housing Authority as its TDHE and has submitted its own IHP. If the Regional Corporation has no agreement with the Regional Housing Authority for maintenance and operation, and as they are not the owner of the 1937 stock, they do not have legal ability to enter/maintain the units. Should HUD find the IHP in compliance when there is no legal ability to provide the required maintenance/operation?

d) The designation of Regional Corporations as tribes and recipients for the CAS allocations is a major problem and is creating hardship for housing authorities to provide adequate housing assistance. Regional Corporations as tribal recipients of the CAS funds jeopardizes the integrity of the government’s investments in existing housing stock as well as the future of affordable housing activities. Federal dollars should not be diverted from the owner of record.

a) Bering Straits RHA

b) Bering Straits RHA

 

 

 

c) Alaska

 

 

 

d) Association of Village Council Presidents-Regional Housing Authority; Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation

 
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