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House panel holds NAHASDA reauthorization hearing
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Filed Under: Politics

Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act hearing June 6, 2007
Tribal and Indian leaders testified on the need to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act at a House subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.

With the law set to expire this summer, tribal witnesses said it was vital to act soon. "It is critical that we protect the nearly $6 billion dollar investment the Federal government has made towards Indian housing over the past decade through NAHASDA," said Cheryl Parish, Executive Director of the Bay Mills Indian Community Housing Authority in Michigan and vice chairwoman of the National American Indian Housing Council.

Jacqueline Johnson, a former Department of Housing and Development official who now serves as executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, said the law has enabled tribes to make their own decisions. "Tribes have increased capacity to address the disturbing housing and infrastructure conditions in Indian Country through developing and managing their own programs and in many cases leveraging NAHASDA dollars with tribal dollars," she testified.

Orlando J. Cabrera, the assistant secretary for public and Indian housing at HUD, said supports reauthorization. He cited several provisions the administration wants to see in the legislation.

The hearing was held by the subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity of the House Financial Services. Several lawmakers, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California), the subcommittee chairwoman, supports reauthorization.

Other tribal panelists included Sami Jo Difuntorum, the executive director of Karuk Tribe Housing Authority in California; Aneva J. Yazzie, the CEO oft he Navajo Housing Authority; Wendsler Nosie Sr., the chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona; and Mark Chino, the president of the Mescalero Apache Tribe of New Mexico.

Hearing Information:
Reauthorization of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act | Webcast

Relevant Links:
Office of Public and Indian Housing, HUD - http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih
National American Indian Housing Council - http://naihc.net

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