April 16, 2018
Dear UNAHA Membership;
It appears that winter in the northern plains region just does not want to give up this year. It is supposed to be springtime here in western Montana when we can get out and start the outdoor activities that we wait all winter for, but this year spring has not arrived. We are hoping for big changes soon.
The last few months have seen a lot of activity and changes in the Indian housing world. The biggest issue was the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 or the Omnibus Bill. This bill provides a small increase in the appropriation amount for NAHASDA, but the big surprise was an additional $100 million of new funding for competitive awards for construction and rehabilitation. It will be interesting to see how soon HUD moves on this new opportunity and gets out the application process for this much welcomed new money. We need to make sure that we stay diligent in seeking an overall increase to NAHASDA funds that are a permanent increase and not just a one-time opportunity. The Northern Plains region can show the need for an overall increase in NAHASDA funds.
I would encourage all our UNAHA membership to engage in the consultation process that HUD has begun regarding the HUD section 184 program. After 25 years of being in existence, HUD has started a consultation process to revise the regulations for the program. It is important to remember that the program was created to assist tribes with providing homeownership opportunities for their members on trust lands. The amount of trust land loans being done are very low and the impediments to increasing the number of loans on trust lands needs to be one of the focuses of this consultation process. If your tribe has not used the HUD 184 program yet I would still encourage you to develop some comments and get them submitted. It is my personal belief that as we work on the trust land impediments and start to get changes made that will make mortgages more readily available on trust land that we will have a huge need for the program soon. We need to make sure the program will still be there and ready to serve our tribal members that will be utilizing trust land for the program. Please email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 5-8, we completed another successful Amerind All-West 100 basketball tournament. This year’s tournament was the 33rd year of the tournament and we had a total of 102 teams with 17 teams on a waiting list trying to get into the tournament. We had a total of 54 boy’s teams and 48 girl’s teams. From the morning of April 6th to the afternoon of April 8th there was a total of 252 basketball games played in the Gold Crown Foundation Fieldhouse in Denver. I would like to thank Dave Heisterkamp, Dom Nessi, Mike Boyd, Pat Tate and Bill Hanslik for all they do to make this tournament such a huge success for UNAHA.
For those that were not able to make it, we had a great UNAHA annual meeting following the basketball tournament on April 9th to the 11th in Lakewood, Co. April 9th was the business meeting with a full agenda. On the evening of the 9th we had our annual UNAHA banquet with a tribute to our friend Joann Lemmon and honoring the service of Dicky Shroeder, Tom YellowWolf and Linda Lee Retka. HUD and UNAHA joined together to honor the service of several housing authority directors with over 10 years of service those directors being: Norma Stealer, Jeanne Cadwell, Warren Mackey, Lafe Haugen, Eric Spady, Patrick Goggles, and myself. On April 10th and 11th we had some great training on topics from the history of Indian Housing, USDA programs, NAIHC training opportunities, Supportive Housing, the HUD EPIC system and the 15-year options for Low Income Housing Tax Credit Projects.
Plans are being finalized for our Summer meeting to take place in South Sioux City, NE on August 20-22, 2018. Please watch for updates as they become available. I hope to see all of you in South Sioux City in August. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me, your board members or your UNAHA staff.