Audio: House panel hearing on Indian housing bill
The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on Wednesday on an Indian housing bill.

H.R.2523, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act, was introduced on May 20. It allows tribes to approve trust land leases for home sites, cutting the Bureau of Indian Affairs out of what can be a long process.

Tribal leaders said it can take up to two years for the BIA to approve leases, leading to a shortage in housing and forcing their members to move off the reservation. Arvin Trujillo, the executive director of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources described the process as "black hole."

The hearing lasted about 95 minutes. You can download audio clips below:
Opening Statements

Panel 1 - Testimony | Q&A
Mr. Jerry Gidner
Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Panel 2 - Testimony | Q&A
Governor Everett Chavez
Governor, Santo Domingo Pueblo

The Honorable Harvey Moses, Jr.
Vice President, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

Mr. Arvin Trujillo
Executive Director, Division of Natural Resources, Navajo Nation

Ms. Cheryl A. Parish
Executive Director, Bay Mills Housing Authority

Committee Hearing:
Full Committee Legislative Hearing On H.R. 2523 (October 21, 2009)

Related Stories:
Witness list for House hearing on Indian housing (10/20)
House Resources hearing on Indian housing bill (10/14)
Rep. Heinrich introduces Indian homeownership bill (5/21)

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