Housing & Land Use

Native American Housing Assistance Negotiated Rulemaking

Client

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Results

Consensus revisions to the Indian Housing Block Grant program in accordance with theNative American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act

Background

The Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) created the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program, under which HUD provides affordable housing resources for Native American and Alaskan Native tribes across the United States. NAHASDA requires HUD to convene a balanced group of stakeholders to negotiate the formula for allocating the amount of assistance made available to each tribe. 

The Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) provides affordable housing support to federally recognized tribes under the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program. to Native American and Alaskan Native tribes across the country.

Process

HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, her deputy, and twenty-nine Native American and Alaskan Native tribal representatives, who reflect the diverse regions, size, and land status among U.S. tribes, served as negotiators. To increase participation and division of tasks, negotiators convened three work groups of 50-100 tribal members. The negotiations occurred during seven three-day meetings over two years.

Podziba Policy Mediation (PPM) conducted an assessment prior to the negotiations, which included meetings with HUD leadership and video and telephone interviews with all tribal representatives. The negotiations were led by tribal co-chairs and rooted in traditional methods for building consensus decisions. Given time constraints and centers of coalitional power, PPM worked with the tribal co-chairs to develop a consensus process that aligned with tribal authority, authorized Susan Podziba to facilitate at meetings, and distributed power among negotiators. Potentially huge shifts in annual tribal allocations – gains and losses of up to 90% of funds -- resulting from changes in U.S. Census data collection methods created great controversy and difficulty in identifying a consensus data set.

Results

The negotiators reached consensus on revisions to the Indian Housing Block Grant Formula, which provides for fair allocation of federal affordable housing resources. Annual tribal allocations are determined in accordance with the revised formula, a selected database, and an agreement that ensures tribal allocations with not change by more than 20% per year.

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