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Calendar No. 579
111th Congress Report
2d Session 111-299
BILL TO EXCLUDE FROM CONSIDERATION AS INCOME UNDER THE NATIVE AMERICAN
HOUSING ASSISTANCE AND SELF-DETERMINATION ACT OF 1996 AMOUNTS RECEIVED
BY A FAMILY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR SERVICE-RELATED
DISABILITIES OF A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
September 22, 2010.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Dorgan, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 3553]
The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the
bill (H.R. 3553) to exclude from consideration as income under
the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination
Act of 1996 amounts received by a family from the Department of
Veterans Affairs for service-related disabilities of a member
of the family, reports favorably thereon, without amendment,
and recommends that the bill do pass.
The purpose of H.R. 3553 is to exclude from consideration
as income under the Native American Housing Assistance and
Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) amounts received by a
family from the Department of Veterans Affairs for service-
related disabilities of a member of the family and survivor
The NAHASDA reformed the system of housing assistance
provided to Native Americans through the Department of Housing
and Urban Development by eliminating several separate programs
and replacing them with a single Indian housing block grant
program. The two programs authorized for Indian tribes under
NAHASDA are the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program,
which is a formula-based grant program, and the Title VI Loan
Guarantee which provides loan guarantees to Indian tribes for
private market loans to develop affordable housing. Under the
IHBG, income that is not specifically listed in the law as
exempt is taken into account for eligibility requirements under
The NAHASDA limits housing assistance to families making
below 80% of area median income. Tribal poverty rates are
historically high.\1\ For example, according to the U.S.
Census, 80% of the median household income for the Navajo
Nation in 2000 was just $16,906\2\; accordingly, anything over
this amount would disqualify a Navajo tribal member from
receiving NAHASDA funded housing assistance. With such a low
household median income threshold, a fairly modest amount of
additional income will disqualify a tribal member from
eligibility. According to the Fiscal Year 2009 Department of
Veteran Affairs (VA) budget, the average compensation for a
disabled veteran was $11,521.
\1\U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey. S0201.
Selected Population Profile in the United States, Population Group:
American Indian and Alaska Native alone. The poverty rate of people who
reported they were American Indian and Alaska Native and no other race
\2\U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census 2000. Demographic Profiles of
2000. Table DP-3. Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2000.
Veterans Affairs disability payments are based on the
injury received. Therefore the greater the degree of injury the
higher amount of compensation a veteran is likely to receive,
making a disabled Indian veteran less likely to meet the
eligibility requirements for NAHASDA housing assistance. The VA
has a direct home loan program, however many Indian veterans
cannot qualify for the loan income eligibility and credit
requirements due to their low income. This bill helps to
address the eligibility gap between the VA direct home loan
program and the NAHASDA eligibility requirements.
It was not the intent of NAHASDA to disqualify Native
American veterans from housing assistance because of their
service-related disability. It is important to note that
veterans' disability compensation is exempt from taxation under
federal tax law. The intention of H.R. 3553 is to fix an
unintended consequence of the NAHASDA funding formula, which
may deny eligibility for housing assistance to Native veterans.
H.R. 3553 was introduced on September 19, 2009, by
Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), and was referred to the
House Committee on Natural Resources. On April 20, 2010, the
House considered H.R. 3553 under motion to suspend the rules
and pass the bill by voice vote. On April 21, 2010, H.R. 3553
was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Committee
on Indian Affairs. On June 30, 2010, the Committee held an open
business meeting and approved H.R. 3533 by unanimous voice vote
without amendment. A companion bill, S. 3246, was introduced by
Senator Ron Wyden on April 22, 2010, and referred to the
Committee on Indian Affairs.
Section-by-Section of H.R. 3553
Section 1. Short title. This section states that the Act
may be cited as the ``Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act
Section 2. Exclusion from income. This section excludes
from consideration as income from NAHASDA; disability,
dependency and indemnity compensation under chapter 11 of title
38, Unites States Code.
Committee Recommendation and Tabulation of Vote
In an open business session on June 30, 2010 the Committee
on Indian Affairs, by voice vote, adopted H.R. 3553, without
amendment, and ordered the bill reported to the Senate, with
the recommendation that the Senate do pass H.R. 3553.
Cost and Budgetary Consideration
The following cost estimate, as provided by the
Congressional Budget Office, dated July 23, 2010, was prepared
for H.R. 3553:
H.R. 3553--Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act of 2010
H.R. 3553 would modify the definition of income under the
Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act
of 1996 (Public Law 104-330). CBO estimates that implementing
the legislation would have no impact on the federal budget.
Enacting H.R. 3553 would not affect direct spending or
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
Under Public Law 104-330, entities, such as tribal housing
authorities, that receive certain federal subsidies to provide
housing to low-income Indians cannot charge rents that exceed
30 percent of a family's income. Under the bill, amounts
received by Indian veterans for disabilities resulting from
military service would not be included in calculating family
income. Thus, enacting the bill could reduce the amount of rent
that certain low-income families would pay for federally
subsidized housing. Because rents are paid directly to the
entities that receive federal subsidies to provide low-income
housing, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3553 would not
affect the federal budget.
H.R. 3553 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
The Committee has received no Executive communications
regarding H.R. 3553.
Regulatory and Paperwork Impact Statement
Paragraph 11(b) of XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate
requires that each report accompanying a bill evaluate the
regulatory paperwork impact that would be incurred in carrying
out the bill. The Committee believes that S. 3553 will have de
minimis regulatory or paperwork impact.
Changes in Existing Law
In compliance with subsection 12 of rule XXXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes the following
changes in existing law (existing law proposed to be omitted is
enclosed in black brackets, new matter printed in italic):
25 U.S.C. 4103(9)
* * * * * * *
(9) Income.--The term ``income'' means income from
all sources of each member of the household, as
determined in accordance with criteria prescribed by
the Secretary, except that the following amounts may
not be considered as income under this paragraph:
(A) Any amounts not actually received by the
(B) Any amounts that would be eligible for
exclusion under section 1382(a)(7) of Title 42.
(C) Any amounts received by any member of the
family as disability compensation under chapter
11 of title 38, Unites States Code, or
dependency and indemnity compensation under
chapter 13 of such title.
* * * * * * *