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Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA)


The Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) reorganized the system of housing assistance provided to Native Americans through the Department of Housing and Urban Development by eliminating several separate programs of assistance and replacing them with a block grant program.

The two programs authorized for Indian tribes under NAHASDA are the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) which is a formula-based grant program and Title VI Loan Guarantee which provides financing guarantees to Indian tribes for private market loans to develop affordable housing. Regulations are published at 24 CFR Part 1000.

NAHASDA was amended in 2000 to add Title VIII-Housing Assistance for Native Hawaiians. The amendment to NAHASDA adds similar programs for Native Hawaiians who reside on Hawaiian Home Lands. Regulations for implementing Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) program are published at 24 CFR Part 1006.

Each year BSRHA received an undetermined amount of funding from HUD based on the area formula. Funding for New Development is strictly dependent on the number of funds we receive, so it is different each and every year.


The Mutual Help program allows Indian housing authorities (IHAs) to help low-income Indian families purchase a home. A family makes monthly payments based on 30 percent of its adjusted income. Payments are credited to an equity account that is used to purchase the home.

Homeownership often has been very difficult for Indian families to achieve because of very low incomes and because issues related to ownership of Indian land have prevented access to private mortgage financing. The Mutual Help program allows eligible Indian families to gradually become homeowners.
Development funds are provided to IHAs to construct, buy, or rehabilitate Mutual Help homes. The Indian Housing Act of 1988 also established a self-help component that allowed lower-income Indian families to contribute a major portion of the labor necessary to build their homes. This is a cooperative effort supervised by someone with technical expertise in construction to reduce the overall development costs and eventual price to the buyer. Contracts between the IHA and a homebuyer are generally for a period of 15 to 25 years.
IHA’s could apply for this program if their plans were approved by the local governing body and were responsive to local housing needs. Under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) of 1996, which became effective October 1, 1997, tribes, IHAs, or their successor tribally designated housing entities may develop and operate programs similar to Mutual Help with NAHASDA funds. Existing contracts remain in force, however, unless they are renegotiated.
Mutual Help benefits low-income Indian families who can pay between 15 and 30 percent of their adjusted income (but not less than the Administration Charge as determined by the IHA) and perform or pay for all required maintenance on the homes. The family is required to contribute at least $1,500 toward the cost of the home. Payments in excess of the Administration Charge are credited to an equity account that is used to purchase the home.
There are no operating subsidies for administrative overhead, but operating subsidies can cover IHA training, counseling, collection losses, repair of vacant units, and unusual circumstances.
No longer applicable. Formerly, IHAs applied through their Area Office of Native American Programs (ONAP). Approvals were made at the Area level.
No new funding has been available since NAHASDA took effect. Existing contracts remain in force unless renegotiated. Approximately 40,066 housing units were under management as of September 30, 1995.
The Mutual Help program was authorized by the Housing Act of 1937, as amended, P.L. 75-412, 42 U.S.C. 1401-1435, and the Indian Housing Act of 1988, P.L. 100-358. Regulations are found at 24 CFR 950. The program is administered by ONAP in HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing.

Contact BSRHA in Nome at 907-443-5256. Additional information is available from the National ONAP Office in Denver, Colorado; contact Bruce Knott or Deborah LaLancette at (303) 675-1600. Information is also available from ONAP Area Offices in Albuquerque, Anchorage, Chicago, Denver, Oklahoma, Phoenix, and Seattle.

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