WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), vice chairman of the Committee, released the following statements on Senate passage of their amendment to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA). A standalone NAHASDA reauthorization bill led by the senators had previously cleared the Committee unanimously.
“NAHASDA is a critical housing law for American Indians, Native Hawaiians, and Alaska Natives,” said Chairman Schatz. “This amendment is an important win for Native communities to address their urgent housing needs. NAHASDA reauthorization has gone through regular order and been well-studied for years. I thank Vice Chairman Murkowski for her partnership in moving this priority forward through Committee and now the full Senate.”
“I’m pleased the Senate has overwhelmingly agreed to add our amendment to reauthorize and reform the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act to this year’s NDAA. In my home state of Alaska and in Native communities across the country, housing shortages and overcrowding are plaguing families, particularly as they try to overcome rising interest rates, rents, and construction costs. I thank my Senate colleagues for supporting this amendment, as well as the many tribal leaders and organizations who have long supported this important bipartisan legislation. We will all be working hard, together, to ensure this remains part of the final NDAA negotiated with the House of Representatives,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski.
The bipartisan amendment builds on Native American housing programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development authorized by NAHASDA, including the Indian Housing Block Grant and Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant programs. Bills that would reauthorize NAHASDA have been introduced in every successive Congress since 2013.
Organizations supporting the amendment include the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the National Congress of American Indians, the National American Indian Housing Council, the United Native American Housing Association, the Association of Alaska Housing Authorities, and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.