Planning for our Annual Meeting and Meth Summit
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February 10, 2017

Dear UNAHA Membership;

Happy New Year. I hope that 2017 will be a year of hope and continued good work.  It would seem that we have been having what I would call a real winter for a change.  It seems when you are younger that winter was always cold and with much snow.  As you get older and your perspective changes maybe winters are not so cold or the snow doesn’t seem so deep. Well, this year makes me think that the thoughts and memories of my childhood were not so far fetched. This winter we have experienced cold weather and a good amount of snow accumulation. I hope that you are warm and content this winter.

With the New Year and the election of a new president comes a new administration.  Also, with the Republican Party now in the majority in both the Senate and House, it seems that much change could be on the horizon.  The UNAHA leadership did meet and have a planning session and we stand ready for whatever changes will be coming our way.  We will continue to be in close contact with HUD and Congress to make sure our needs and concerns for the future of Indian housing are expressed.

The Board and staff of UNAHA are working hard to bring together a very educational and informative meth summit for our annual conference in April.  I want to thank those members that have been involved in the conference calls that we have had to make sure that we are developing an agenda for the conference that will meet your expectations and needs.  

Don’t forget to gather your high school basketball players and plan to participate in the 32nd Annual All-West Native American 100 Basketball Classic. The UNAHA office has sent out packets to each of our UNAHA members. If you need more information please call or email and we can get you the information you need for your teams to participate.  

Our UNAHA banquet will be held the evening of April 9th and the UNAHA business meeting will take place on April 10th.  Please make plans to attend and send Board members and staff as we expect to have a large turnout for the annual UNAHA meeting and meth summit.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me, your board members or our staff.  Thank you and I hope to see all of you in Denver for the Annual UNAHA meeting.


Jason Adams

UNAHA Leadership

UNAHA Chairman-Jason Adams
Salish & Kootenai Housing Authority
PO Box 38, Pablo, MT  59855
Phone: (406) 675-4491
Fax:  (406) 675-4495

UNAHA Vice Chair-Sharon Vogel
Cheyenne River Housing Authority
PO Box 480, Eagle Butte SD  57625
Phone: (605) 964-4265 ext. 132
Fax: (605) 964-1070

UNAHA Treasurer-Joey Nathan
Northern Ponca Housing Authority
1501 W Michigan Avenue
Norfolk, NE 68701
Phone: (402) 379-8224
Fax:  (402)379-8557

UNAHA Secretary-Iva Grainger
Fort Peck Housing Authority
PO Box 667, Poplar MT 59255
Phone: (406) 768-3459  ext. 31

Administrative Directors
Gauthier Agency LLC
Bob & Myrna Gauthier

63316 US HWY 93
Ronan MT, 59864
Phone: 406 676-8445
Fax: 406 676-8444

Holiday Inn Lakewood - Denver, CO

April 9, 2017 - UNAHA Banquet
**REMINDER** Please complete this BANQUET FORM
and return it to Myrna to ensure your spot!

April 10, 2017 - Annual UNAHA Meeting
in conjunction with
the Amerind All-West Native American Basketball Classic

April 10-12, 2017 - UNAHA Meth Summit

Message from Bob Gauthier: 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Greetings from Ronan, Montana where we have experienced a good old fashioned winter.  The temperature dropped below zero around Thanksgiving and that is where it has been most of the winter.  We had days over the Holidays that were -30!!! Now that is Cold.  We are starting to warm up. Not as much as Tom Brady but things are starting to melt a little.

At the UNAHA office, we continue to learn the ropes of the new Community Compass HUD Training and Technical Assistance funding.  We hope to be accepting assignments pretty soon.  If you have not yet completed the Training Survey that Charmel sent out, please take ten minutes and fill it out on Survey Monkey.  It is easy and we can compile the data in a hurry.  

Thanks too, to all of you that have taken time to participate in the two conference calls we have held to gather ideas and resources for the Methamphetamine Summit we are planning in conjunction with our UNAHA annual meeting to be held in Denver April 10 – 12.  I can tell you, over the 33+ years I have been involved with Indian Housing, never have we faced a challenge like we are now with this Meth crisis.  We are trying our best to make it not only an enforcement prospective.  We are hoping to look at all of the aspects of the problem including the human cost, cultural cost and the health care cost in addition to the impact on our housing budgets due to clean up and mitigation costs.  

The response so far has been encouraging. We are discovering many new resources and approaches that we hope to present to our membership at the summit.  Myrna and I will attend a Statewide Meth summit Saturday February 18th to see what additional information we can gather to share with you.

On top of all of this, we do have the legislative battles looming regarding our funding from HUD, USDA VA and more traditional Tribal resources like the Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs.  I have never seen a time when we need to come together, all 34 of us, to develop strategies and information that we can share with our representatives in Congress!!  Talk to your Commissioners and Councils and ask them to get involved.  We will work tirelessly to get information to you as we receive it.

Please don't forget to renew your UNAHA Membership by paying your dues before the Annual Meeting on April 10, 2017 or risk losing your vote

NPONAP Updates:

Since December 2014, HUD has been leading an interagency workgroup to develop a coordinated environmental review process for tribal housing development and related infrastructure.  The workgroup determined that no single effort or legislative change would ensure a simplified environmental review process for tribal housing projects.  Instead the workgroup decided to identify commonalities and focus on aligning the review processes that already exist.  On December 15, 2015, the Coordinated Environmental Review Process: Final Report was published.  The report presented a dozen recommendations to be implemented by all federal partners.  Based upon the report, the workgroup drafted a memorandum of understanding and companion statement of intent.  The draft documents were made available for review and comment in December 2016; the comment period expired February 12, 2017.  Further discussion will be held with the tribes on the ongoing efforts of the workgroup at the National Congress of American Indians 2017 Executive Council Winter Session February 13-16, 2017, in Washington, D.C. and the National American Indian Housing Council 2017 Legislative Conference March 6-8 in Washington, D.C.

HUD’s Office of Environment and Energy is conducting free three-day training on conducting environmental reviews under 24 CFR Part 58.  The training information may be found on Codetalk.  One training is scheduled for April 25-27 at the HUD Denver Regional Office.

On January 11, 2017, HUD published Program Guidance 2017-01 on the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Imminent Threat (IT) program.  A portion of ICDBG funds are set aside for IT grants each year.  These funds are intended to alleviate or remove imminent threats to health or safety during an existing or impending emergency situation.  The amount of funds reserved for IT purposes are published in the ICDBG Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).  The ICDBG NOFA for Fiscal Year 2017 has not been published yet.  However, there are carryover funds to address any needs for IT funds.  Requests for IT funds may be submitted directly to the Area ONAP office, Grants Management Division.  IT applications are reviewed and rated on a first-come, first-serve basis and are awarded based on a determination of the need for funds.


NPONAP Featured Staff:

Ms. Melissa West, Grants Evaluation Division Director, is expecting a baby March 23, 2017.  The new addition will increase her family of three to a family of four.  Additional information will be made available when the baby is born.  While Ms. West is out of the office caring for her new family member, Ms. Katie Starcevich will be the Acting Grants Evaluation Division Director.

Ms. Jean Paschke, Grants Evaluation Specialist, is retiring April 1, 2017, after 39 years of working with Indian programs (41 years of government service).  She is very thankful for the opportunity to have worked with the tribes of the Northern Plains and has developed great working relationships and friendships throughout the years.  She appreciates and commends the grant recipients and their staffs for the hard work they do; she’s learned a lot from them and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Her service to the NPONAP has been far reaching and the loss of her knowledge will be felt throughout the region.  In retirement she will spend time cheering for the Vikings, seeking new adventures, and just enjoying life after NPONAP.


Over the past few weeks, I have sent out two important surveys via Survey Monkey (if you did not receive an invitation, please check your junk mail or email me at Thank you to those of you that took the time to respond as we know you are all very busy. If you haven't had a chance yet, please consider participating by completing both surveys as the information we gather will be invaluable to each project.
The 2017 Training Needs Assessment was created in order to assess the training needs for the members of our association. With the award of $300,000 of training funds, UNAHA has the opportunity to more comprehensively address training and technical assistance needs of our members. We have had 6 responses thus far but would like to hear from everyone before our final analysis. If you haven’t done so already please complete the Training Survey.

The purpose of the Meth Summit Questionnaire is to assist us in identifying presenters for the Meth Summit that will take place in Denver in conjunction with our annual meeting. Although the questions are open ended, please give as much detail as possible to identify topics and potential presenters for the meeting. Also, please feel free to share the link to the survey with members of your community (board members, tribal council members, etc.) that are interested in participating. We have had 15 responses so far and an encouraging amount of participation in the conference calls. If you would like to know more and get involved, please join us for the upcoming call on Friday, February 24, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. MST. 
The conference line number is 515-739-1270 and the code is 688141.

Thank you for your participation and continued cooperation. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information.

Charmel McClure-Sternick
UNAHA Member Services Director
Please visit our website for up-to-date training and grant information and employment opportunities
February 15, 2017
Dave Kuntz (Tester)           | 202.224.8544
Jennifer Talhelm (Udall)    | 202.228.6870
Tester, Udall Fight Veteran Homelessness in Indian Country
(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, are calling on VA Secretary David Shulkin to prioritize helping Native American veterans obtain access to critical housing resources.  
Native Americans serve in the military at a higher rate than any other group.  However, they are also at greater risk of homelessness than their veteran peers.  
In a letter to Secretary Shulkin, the Senators note that tribes have reached out to them with concerns regarding an initiative aimed at reducing homelessness among Native American veterans called Tribal HUD-VASH.  The Senators raised concerns about the VA’s lack of assistance in providing timely support services and case management.
“Tribal HUD-VASH grants are intended to provide rental assistance, case management, and clinical and supportive services for Native American veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,” the Senators wrote. “We are concerned the current level of support from VA is not allowing for the timely implementation of the program or achieving the goal of reducing Native American homelessness in tribal communities.”
The Tribal HUD-VASH program provides substance abuse treatment, mental health care, job training, and other housing assistance.  According to VA policy, participants should be provided with a case manager who serves as a direct link between VA support services and the Native American veteran recipients. 
However, the VA’s lack of focus on this program has led to poor service for Native veterans and the recent federal hiring freeze will likely compound the problem.
Through the Tribal HUD-VASH program, 26 grants were awarded to different Indian tribes. 
The Senators requested that the VA provide information regarding how the grants are working at each of the 26 areas and any possible barriers to providing the resources to the tribes so they can carry out their housing plans.
Tester spearheaded legislation to make HUD-VASH funds available to Native Americans living on tribal lands. Tester later introduced bipartisan legislation to make the HUD-VASH program permanent.  
In addition to cosponsoring the legislation led by Tester, Udall has fought as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase funding for veterans programs on tribal land, including Tribal HUD-VASH. 
Tester and Udall’s letter is available online HERE.
Associate Membership is an important aspect of UNAHA. It is a convenient way for Members to share resources that others might find useful.  For example, have you worked with an honest, hard working contractor in your area? Have you found a banker that is confident working with the HUD184 loan? Would you like to recommend him or her to other members in our region? How about accountants, painters, attorneys, maintenance companies, etc.?  We would love the opportunity to reach out and offer them an Associate Membership which includes an invitation to our three annual meetings, advertising space in our quarterly newsletter and company information listed on our website.  If you or your housing authority has any referrals for Associate Membership, feel free to send us their contact information at
Thank you to our Associate Members
(Please click on the logo to be directed to their respective websites)
Copyright © *2016* *United Native American Housing Authority*, All rights reserved.

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63316 US Hwy 93
Ronan, MT 59864
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Gauthier Agency, LLC · 63316 US Hwy 93 · Ronan, MT 59864 · USA

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