Support Low-Income Housing Grants for Native Communities

As we observe Native American Heritage Month, we have the opportunity to take action to address the urgent need for affordable housing in Native American communities. Urge your representative to support the reauthorization of Native American Housing Assistance and Self –Determination Act (NAHASDA). 

Twin Buttes UCCReauthorization of NAHASDA is an important policy priority for our UCC Council for American Indian Ministries.  By engaging in advocacy for NAHASDA we can take a small step toward righting the centuries of injustice that Native American peoples have suffered as a result of U.S. government policy and action.

Background

The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act is the main authority for the construction and management of housing for low-income Indian families.  NAHASDA consolidated many disparate programs into a single housing grant to be managed by the tribes themselves.  First enacted in the 1990s, and reauthorized with bipartisan support over the last several sessions of Congress, NAHASDA has resulted in many more housing units being developed compared to previous housing statutes.  Although the NAHASDA program is modest in comparison to other federal housing programs at $650 million, it is the single largest source of federal housing assistance to tribal communities.

Native American communities suffer the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in the country.  Their severe economic marginalization has resulted in a number of significant health and social crises, including a tragic and disproportionately high rate of suicides among youth and young adults, and high rates of domestic violence.  Stable housing is crucial to providing a way for individuals and their families to carve out a sustainable livelihood.

The gospel message of Jesus calls us to stand with the most vulnerable and marginalized in our communities. Native peoples have suffered centuries of marginalization and destruction, sadly, often with the complicity and participation of the church. 

Take action to help right this history of injustice and bring hope to Native communities by urging your representative to support reauthorization of NAHASDA.

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