fbpx
facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
 
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) has announced new legislation aimed at funneling more money into Indian Country housing and other services through the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service programs. 


Under the Tribal Rural Housing Access Act, the USDA would be required to set aside 5 percent of its funding under certain Rural Housing Service programs for use by tribes, tribally designated housing entities, tribal members, and tribal-owned entities. The legislation proposes the set aside for a range of loan and grant programs, including programs providing technical assistance, money for repair and rehabilitation of rural housing, and the construction of new, multi-family homes for low-income residents. 

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

Speaking on background, an aide with Warren’s office told Native News Online the bill could result in millions of dollars set aside for a given Rural House Services program. Using FY2023 allocations, for example, the portion of Rural Housing Service’s Section 502 program dedicated to backing guaranteed home loans for low-income families would set aside $1.5 billion.  

Warren announced the Tribal Rural Housing Access Act Tuesday morning, calling the bill a way to fulfill federal trust obligations to tribes.

“Families in rural Native communities have been hit especially hard by our nation’s housing crisis, facing huge barriers to finding housing and making much-needed repairs,” Warren told Native News Online. “The federal government has an obligation to ensure federal resources reach Native communities, and my new bill will guarantee rural tribal communities access to the funding they deserve.” 

The Tribal Rural Housing Access Act pulls from Warren’s larger efforts toward supporting tribal communities in S. 5186, the Honoring Promises to Native Nations Act introduced in 2022, her aide said. While that bill was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs in December of that year, no further action on it has been taken. Warren’s aide also pointed to a Congressional “laser focus” on housing proposals as the impetus for introducing the new bill. 

The Tribal Rural Housing Access Act has been endorsed by multiple Native organizations, per a statement from Warren’s office. 

Those organizations include the Native CDFI Network, the National Congress of American Indians, and the National American Indian Housing Council, as well as broader non-Native organizations, such as the Housing Assistance Council, the National Rural Housing Coalition, and the National Housing Law Project. 

More Stories Like This

Native News Weekly (April 21 2024): D.C. Briefs
Q+A: Journalist Connie Walker Reflects on Season 3 of 'Stolen' Podcast Investigating Navajo Nation MMIP Cases
Native Bidaské with Sarah Eagle Heart (Oglála Lakota) on the Indigenous Fashion Collective
Twelve Cherokee Nation Cyclists, 950 Miles: The 40th Annual Remember the Removal Bike Ride
Leona Carlyle-Kakar (Ak-Chin), Instrumental in Securing the 1st Water Rights Settlement in Indian Country, Walks On

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

 
About The Author
Chez Oxendine
Author: Chez OxendineEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chesley Oxendine (Lumbee-Cheraw) is an Oklahoma-based reporter for Native News Online and its sister publication, Tribal Business News. His journalism has been featured in the Fort Gibson Times, Muskogee Phoenix, Native Oklahoma Magazine, and elsewhere.