H.R. 360, Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2015, as amended

H.R. 360

Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2015, as amended

Date
March 23, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
John Huston

Floor Situation

On Monday, March 23, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 360, the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2015, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on January 14, 2015 by Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-NM) and referred to the Committee on Financial Services.

Bill Summary

H.R. 360 reauthorizes the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) for FY 2015 to 2019.

Title I first addresses the time allowed for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to respond to waiver requests for requirements under the program that provides Indian tribes block grants for affordable housing activities.  Title I gives the Secretary of HUD 60 days to act before the request of an Indian tribe for a waiver of housing plan, environmental review, or development cost requirements is deemed approved.  Moreover, it requires the Secretary of HUD to submit to Congress recommendations for standards and procedures for receiving a waiver.  H.R. 360 also determines that a tribe is considered to have satisfied any environmental review requirements if a recipient: 1) is using one or more sources of Federal funds in addition to grant amounts under this Act; and 2) has assumed all responsibilities for environmental review.

Title II revises the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 to make maximum rent requirements inapplicable if a tribe has written rules governing rents in place.  The bill also treats rental housing as affordable housing if it is made available to the current rental family for purchase as a homebuyer if the family qualified as low-income at the time of initial occupancy.

Title III reauthorizes block grant programs at $650 million per year for each of FY 2015 to 2019.

Title IV requires the HUD Secretary to provide copies of HUD’s statutorily required annual report on progress made in accomplishing the objectives of the Act, and a summary of the use of the Act’s funds, to each NAHASDA recipient and to each Congressional committee of jurisdiction.

Title V amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to authorize the Secretary to set aside funds, beginning in FY 2016, to establish a supported housing and rental assistance program modeled on the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program.  The program would be administered with the Department of Veterans Affairs for the benefit of homeless Native American veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness.  Title V also authorizes the Secretary of HUD to guarantee Indian housing loans through FY 2019 and authorizes appropriations for such guarantees.

Title VI extends the limit on the lease of trust or Indian restricted lands for housing purposes from 50 years to 99 years.

Title VII establishes a demonstration program that requires a participating Indian tribe to select an investment partner and develop and implement an approved plan to address the tribe’s housing needs.

Title VIII reauthorizes the Native Hawaiian Home Ownership Act and loan guarantees for Native Hawaiian housing.

A nearly identical version of this bill, H.R. 4329, passed the House in the 113th Congress on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, by voice vote.[1]

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[1] CR H8246-8250

Background

The Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) is a federal grant and loan guarantee program that provides affordable housing assistance to Native American tribes. Indian families that reside on an Indian reservation or in a tribal service area whose income does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income are eligible to receive housing assistance benefits. NAHASDA is administered by Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Native American Programs (ONAP). All 566 federally recognized Indian tribes and five state-recognized tribes are eligible to receive NAHASDA funds.[2]

Congress first authorized NAHASDA in 1996 to streamline and combine several federal affordable housing assistance programs for Native Americans into two programs: (1) the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program, which is a formula-based grant program; and (2) the Title VI Tribal Housing Activities Loan Guarantee Program, which guarantees private loans to Indian tribes to develop affordable housing. NAHASDA was first funded by Congress in 1998 and the annual funding level for NAHASDA is approximately $650 million. NAHASDA’s authorization expired September 30, 2013, and the program is currently receiving appropriations without authorization. [3]

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[2] See H. Rept. 113-628
[3] Ibid.

Cost

There is no CBO estimate for this legislation, but a CBO estimate for a nearly identical bill in the 113th Congress estimated that the bill would cost approximately $2 billion over the FY 2015 to 2019 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary funds.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the House Republican Conference at 5-5107.