Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (03/23/2015)

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

TITLE I--BLOCK GRANTS AND GRANT REQUIREMENTS

(Sec. 101) Amends the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) to require the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to act within 60 days upon a request by an Indian tribe for a waiver of certain local cooperation requirements and an exemption from taxation requirements under the program providing tribes with block grants for affordable and self-determined housing activities.

(Sec. 102) Requires HUD to recommend to Congress standards and procedures for: (1) the waiver of the requirement for an Indian tribe to submit Indian housing plans (IHPs); or (2) alternative IHP requirements, which may include multi-year housing plans. Requires recommendations to describe any legislative and regulatory changes necessary to implement them.

(Sec. 103) Requires HUD to grant a waiver of environmental review requirements if certain conditions are met (currently, the granting of a waiver is discretionary) and to act within 60 days upon a request of an Indian tribe to waive such requirements.

Deems an Indian tribe that is receiving a block grant for an affordable housing project, and is using additional funding from other federal sources that does not exceed 49% of the total project cost, to have satisfied any environmental review requirements attached to those sources if the tribe has assumed environmental review, decision-making, and action responsibilities under NAHASDA and complied with its environmental review requirements.

(Sec. 104) Gives HUD 60 days to approve or deny a request to exceed the maximum total development cost for an affordable housing project.

TITLE II--AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACTIVITIES

(Sec. 201) Makes low-income training and employment requirements under the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 inapplicable to tribal housing activities under the Act.

(Sec. 202) Makes maximum rent and homebuyer payment requirements for housing assisted under NAHASDA inapplicable if the grant recipient has a written policy that includes maximum rent and homebuyer payment requirements.

(Sec. 203) Treats rental housing as affordable housing if it is made available only to a current rental family for purchase as a homebuyer or lease-purchase unit and that family was a low-income family at the time of their original occupancy.

 

Makes the requirement that housing assisted under NAHASDA remain affordable throughout the remaining life of the property inapplicable to improvements of a privately-owned home if the cost of those improvements do not exceed 10% of the maximum total development cost for such home.

(Sec. 204) Requires the owner or manager of rental housing assisted under NAHASDA and one or more other federal funding sources to only use leases that require a pre-lease termination notice period.

(Sec. 205) Allows recipients of funding under NAHASDA to use funding from the Indian Health Service (IHS) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the construction of sanitation facilities for housing construction and renovation projects funded under the Act.

TITLE III--ALLOCATION OF GRANT AMOUNTS

(Sec. 301) Reauthorizes appropriations for the NAHASDA block grant program through FY2019.

(Sec. 302) Sets forth notice requirements when an Indian tribe has undisbursed block grants under the Act. Directs HUD to require a justification from any block grant recipient whose total amount of undisbursed block grants in the HUD line of credit control system is more than three times the formula allocation the recipient would otherwise receive, if that formula amount is $5 million or more. Requires HUD to allocate to the recipient, in this case, the initially calculated amount minus the difference between the total undisbursed amount and three times the initial formula amount.

Requires the reallocation of unused grants proportionately to all other Indian tribes not subject to such an adjustment.

TITLE IV--AUDITS AND REPORTS

(Sec. 401) Requires HUD to: (1) issue a final report on an audit or review of Indian tribe housing entities within 60 days of receiving comments from a grant recipient, and (2) make its annual report to Congress on Native American housing assistance publicly available to grant recipients.

TITLE V--OTHER HOUSING ASSISTANCE FOR NATIVE AMERICANS

(Sec. 501) Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to require HUD to set aside certain funds to implement a supportive housing and rental assistance voucher program, in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), for the benefit of Native American veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Authorizes HUD to waive, or specify alternative requirements, for statutory provision that HUD administers if HUD determines that such waiver is necessary to promote administrative efficiency.

(Sec. 502) Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 to authorize HUD to guarantee Indian housing loans through FY2019.

TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS

(Sec. 601) Amends the American Homeownership and Economic Opportunity Act of 2000 to repeal the requirement that sums be appropriated in advance before the Lands Title Report Commission is appointed.

(Sec. 602) Amends the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2008 to prohibit the use of funds under that Act for the benefit of the Cherokee Nation unless the Order issued on September 21, 2011, by the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia remains in effect or there is a settlement agreement which ends litigation among the adverse parties.

(Sec. 603) Amends NAHASDA to extend from 50 years to 99 years the limit on the lease of trust or Indian restricted lands for housing purposes.

TITLE VII--DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM FOR ALTERNATIVE PRIVATIZATION AUTHORITY FOR NATIVE AMERICAN HOUSING

(Sec. 701) Amends NAHASDA to establish a demonstration program that requires a participating Indian tribe to select an investor partner and, with that partner, to develop and implement a HUD-approved plan to address the tribe's housing needs. Requires each participating tribe to obtain assistance from a qualified entity in assessing its housing needs.

Prohibits HUD from approving more than 20 tribes for participation in the demonstration program.

Makes the block grant amounts that would otherwise have been allocated to a participating tribe under NAHASDA available under the demonstration program to: (1) provide investor partners or other investors with a full return on their investment in the tribe's housing needs, (2) cover a tribe's administrative costs, and (3) cover housing infrastructure costs associated with providing affordable housing for the tribe.

Permits a participating tribe, in accordance with the tribe's final plan, to resell any affordable housing developed with assistance under NAHASDA for use other than as affordable housing, but only if the tribe makes certain assurances with respect to those needs. Allows a participating tribe to terminate its participation in the demonstration program at any time.

Requires HUD to report to Congress on the effectiveness of the demonstration program.

TITLE VIII--HOUSING FOR NATIVE HAWAIIANS

(Sec. 801) Amends the Native Hawaiian Homeownership Act to reauthorize the block grant program for affordable housing for Native Hawaiians through FY2019.

(Sec. 802) Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 to guarantee Native Hawaiian housing loans through FY2019. Authorizes appropriations to the Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee Fund for the costs of such guarantees. Sets the maximum aggregate outstanding principal amount of such loans for each of the fiscal years 2015 through 2019 at $41.504 million.