The decreases in fiscal year 2000 as compared to fiscal year 1999 reflect a portion of the appropriations from prior years being available for obligation in fiscal year 1999. It is anticipated that these funds will be obligated and no funds adjustment will carryover in fiscal year 2000. Additionally, the $36 million decrease in outlays reflects a technical adjustment which slows the program spendout.
In 1996, Congress recognized the unique nature and needs of American Indian and Alaska Native areas and enacted NAHASDA (P.L. 104-330) to better assist Native American people and their communities. The IHBG provides the funds that are needed to allow tribal housing organizations both to maintain existing units and to begin development of new units to meet their critical long-term housing needs. The NAHASDA stipulates that each eligible Indian tribe or its TDHE receive annually a single block grant to meet the housing needs within their community. The tribe or its TDHE must submit both a 1-year and 5-year Indian Housing Plan (IHP) consisting of a mission statement, goals and objectives, needs statement, statement of financial resources and affordable housing resources, and proposed activities designed to meet the housing needs identified in the Plan. The Department’s Office of Native American Programs staff monitors the tribe or its TDHE to ensure compliance with the objectives of the IHP. The Department cannot approve an IHP unless the grantee makes its first priority the management and maintenance of existing dwelling units developed with HUD funds. After approval by the Department, the tribe will be included in the annual formula allocation. The IHBG allows grant recipients to develop and support affordable rental and homeownership housing and provide housing services through the following eligible activities:
Grant funds may be used to support acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and moderate or substantial rehabilitation of affordable housing, and may include real property acquisition, site improvement, development of utilities and utility services, conversion of a project to homeownership, demolition, financing, administration and planning, and other related activities.
Indian Housing Assistance
Indian Housing Assistance provides for modernization and operating assistance for housing previously developed or operated under a contract between the Department and an Indian Housing Authority, now the tribe or its TDHE.
Housing Services provides housing counseling for rental or homeownership assistance, establishment and support of resident management organizations, energy auditing, supportive and self-sufficiency services, and other related services assisting owners, residents, contractors and other entities, participating or seeking to participate in eligible housing activities.
Housing Management Services
Grant funds may be used to provide management services for affordable housing which may include preparation of work specifications, loan processing, inspections, tenant selection, management of tenant-based rental assistance, and management of affordable housing projects.
Crime Prevention and Safety Activities
Funding will be provided for safety, security, and law enforcement measures and activities appropriate to protect residents of affordable housing from crime.
The Department may specifically approve housing activities under model programs that are designed to develop and support affordable housing to comply with the mandate that new housing opportunities be developed, utilizing a wide variety of creative approaches and, among other things, establishing partnerships, leveraging other public and private funds, while ensuring long-term viability, implementing ideas that supplement limited Federal grant funds with other sources of capital, loans, buy-downs, and other financing mechanisms.
Title VI Indian Federal Guarantees Program
The budget proposes a set-aside of $5 million for the Title VI Indian Federal Guarantees program. This program provides loan guarantees for IHBG recipients, Indian tribes, and TDHEs who need additional funds to engage in NAHASDA-eligible affordable housing activities but are unable to borrow from other sources without the guarantee of payment by the Federal Government. Future block grant funds, in conjunction with loan guarantees, are used by the borrower to collateralize the loan.
Training and Technical Assistance
Up to $6 million of the total IHBG appropriation will be set aside to support the inspection of Indian housing units, contract expertise, and training and technical assistance to assist in the oversight and management of Indian housing or tenant-based assistance. These activities include, but are not limited to, training and technical assistance for tribal and TDHE staff, residents and ONAP staff, resident surveys, and data collection and analysis. Up to $300,000 is included in this funding for related travel.
Increase the number of Native American families being served under NAHASDA.
Baseline data is being developed during fiscal year 1999, the first full year of NAHASDA implementation.
The Department continues to promote increased housing assistance for eligible low-income Native American families residing on reservations and in other traditional Indian areas. The implementation of NAHASDA is the keystone for these actions. The Department will track the annual increase in the number of Native American families served under NAHASDA’s six eligible affordable housing activities during each fiscal year.