PRESCOTT, AZ – August 31, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Representative Ann Kirkpatrick announced today that the Navajo Housing Authority (NHA) will soon be able to provide critical new assistance to families across the Navajo Nation. The organization has been awarded access to new resources from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will allow it to expand the availability of quality, affordable homes to Diné communities.
Congresswoman Kirkpatrick grew up in the White Mountains and has strong ties to Indian Country. She has strongly supported the efforts of the NHA, which administers tribal housing resources under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA)—legislation that has helped improve housing conditions for Navajo families for over 14 years.
Due to her efforts and the assistance of HUD, NHA will now be able to better fulfill its mission, helping to strengthen Native American communities and encouraging new economic development.
“With the summer ending and the economic downturn continuing to burden Greater Arizona’s tribal communities, it is critical that folks who need housing assistance are able to get it,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “I know how important the Navajo Housing Authority is to the Diné people. These new resources will enable it to grow its services and give a much-needed boost to Navajo families.”
The HUD program will enable the NHA to build or renovate homes across the Navajo Nation. In addition, the organization will now be able to provide more housing services and management, operational assistance, and resources for crime prevention and safety.
“Making these improvements in Diné communities will not only address current shortfalls, but will help the Navajo Nation take advantage of future opportunities,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “I am proud that our efforts have brought us to this point. It is an honor to assist the Navajo Housing Authority, and I am determined to continue to work with them to make the voices of Indian Country heard in Washington.”
NAHASDA, which is administered in part by HUD, was passed in 1996 to streamline the process for Native American communities to receive housing assistance. Through this program, the Navajo Housing Authority will receive an Indian Housing Block Grant of over $94 million—by far the largest such award in the state.
District One is home to more Native Americans than any other congressional district in the country, comprising most of the Navajo Nation and 10 other tribes. In her first term in office, Rep. Kirkpatrick has worked hard to raise Washington’s awareness of the unique housing challenges that these communities face. Working closely with the NHA, the Congresswoman introduced the Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act last year to correct a serious flaw in NAHASDA that makes some disabled Native Veterans, their families and their survivors ineligible for housing assistance. She is also pushing the Bureau of Indian Affairs to fix a similar flaw with the Housing Improvement Program. As recognition of her commitment to tribal communities, she was recently allowed the honor of giving the keynote speech at the first inaugural Navajo Housing Summit.