Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John Barrasso (R-WY) recently introduced the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S. 1352), which among other provisions, would increase low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) incentives for developments serving Native American communities. The bill would provide a significant competitive advantage to Indian communities applying for LIHTCs to develop affordable rental housing located on tribal land. More specifically, the bill would require Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) to give preference to Indian tribes, tribally designated housing entities, or other qualifying entity that applies for LIHTCs for a project located in an Indian area. In addition, the measure would require housing credit agencies to increase the cumulative score by at least 10 percent of the total points or credits available and would prohibit agencies from considering proximity to population centers, public transportation systems, or amenities for projects in Indian country.
The measure would also eliminate duplicative requirements for housing developments, allow tribes access to the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program and promote clean energy and sustainable projects. It also reauthorizes the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA), which provides tribes with community development block grants to assist in housing development and is scheduled to expire September 30, 2013. Other co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Alan Franken (D-MN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Tom Udall (D-NM). S. 1352 was referred to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
Click here to read S. 1352.