Dear Tribal Leader Letter– Announcing the FY20 Indian Housing Block Grant Competitive Grant Program NOFA

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published the FY20 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) – Competitive Grant Program earlier today. It announced the availability of approximately $91 million in competitive grants to eligible Indian tribes and tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs). This program provides competitive grant funding to Tribes and TDHEs to carry out affordable housing activities for the benefit of low-income Native American families. In accordance with the FY20 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, projects that will spur housing construction and rehabilitation will be prioritized.

HUD recognizes the many challenges faced by Tribes and TDHEs during the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency. Accordingly, this year, HUD is providing a longer application period than the application period in last year’s competition to allow applicants additional time to develop and submit applications. Therefore, applicants will have until 11:59:59 EST on December 10, 2020, to submit applications via https://www.grants.gov. Apply Here


PIH Announces Fiscal Year 2020 Resident Opportunity & Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

The ROSS grant program is designed to assist residents of Public and Indian Housing make progress towards economic and housing self-sufficiency by removing the educational, professional and health barriers they face. To help residents make progress towards self-sufficiency, HUD provides ROSS grant funding to eligible applicants to hire a Service Coordinator who assesses the needs of Public and Indian housing residents and links them to training and supportive services that will enable participants to move along the self-sufficiency continuum. In the case of elderly/disabled residents, the Service Coordinator links them to supportive services which enable them to age/remain in place. 

Eligible Applicants are:

  • Public Housing Authorities
  • Tribes/Tribally Designated Housing Entities
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Resident Associations

Individuals are not eligible for ROSS funding.

Access the FY20 ROSS Program NOFA here


Dear Lender Letter 2020-09– Office of Loan Guarantee Fiscal Year 2020 Year-End Closure

This Dear Lender Letter (DLL) informs stakeholders when HUD will begin its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 financial closeout for loan guarantee programs, including the Section 184 Indian Home Loan program, the Section 184A Native Hawaiian Housing Home Loan program, and the Title VI Loan Guarantee program. The financial closeout process will begin on Monday, September 21, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. EDT.


Program Guidance No. 2020-01– Income Limits under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA)

This guidance replaces Program Guidance 2019-02 with the latest HUD Income Limits applicable to NAHASDA programs.


Environmental Guidance- Tips to Avoid Republication of RROF During COVID-19

This resource provides HUD’s 7015.15 Request Release of Funds (RROF) processing reminders to grantees regarding emailing objections, public review of the environmental review record, and emailing the RROF during COVID-19


HUD’s Office of Native American Programs Reporting Requirements Extension
HUD’s Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) recognizes that, in addition to providing and maintaining affordable housing, Tribes and TDHEs are coordinating emergency health services, emergency housing services, law enforcement, and other essential governmental services in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. ONAP also recognizes that these services are being provided while offices are closed, or staff is significantly reduced or teleworking. Therefore, to provide some relief for Tribes impacted by COVID-19, ONAP is extending the due dates for certain reports. Effective immediately, ONAP is extending, by 90 calendar days, the original due date for the following:

  • Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Annual Performance Reports
  • IHBG Formula and Competitive             
  • Quarterly and Final Federal Financial Reports (SF-425) for all ONAP managed grants:
    • ICDBG and ICDBG Imminent Threat               
    • ROSS
    • Tribal HUD-VASH                      
    • Tribal HUD-VASH Reports (HUD-50058)
  • Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Closeouts and Final Status and Evaluation Reports
  • Responses to open findings for Audits

The 90-days extension currently applies to original due dates through June 30, 2020. ONAP is taking these actions pursuant to a March 19, 2020, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-20-17. This applies to grantees that have fiscal year-ends through June 30, 2020.


FY 2021 Indian Housing Block Grant Formula Allocation Estimates
The purpose of this Dear Tribal Leader letter is to inform Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHE) of their Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) formula allocation estimate for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and to transmit the forms required for correcting the FY 2021 IHBG formula data and the FY 2022 IHBG Needs data.  In the past, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would mail this information. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HUD is posting the following information on-line at: https://ihbgformula.com/fy2021/:

  • FY 2021 Formula Response Form (FRF) including the FY 2021 FRF Appendices A through D and the FY 2022 IHBG Needs Data (Attachment A).
  • Calendar of Critical Deadlines and Frequently Asked Questions.
  • FY 2021 Correction/Challenge Log showing changes to the IHBG database between January 25, 2020, and May 12, 2020.

Tribes/TDHEs must review their data on the FY 2021 Formula Response Form and report any changes no later than August 1, 2020, to the IHBG Formula Customer Service Center.  Census Challenges for the FY 2022 IHBG Needs data must be submitted no later than March 30, 2021, for consideration for the FY 2022 IHBG formula allocation estimates


Dear Tribal Leader Letter- Section 184 Skilled Worker Program
Skilled workers are vital to any community’s overall wellbeing and ability to achieve sustainable economic growth. Every community needs police officers, doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, architects, and other technical and skilled workers. Unfortunately, some Tribal communities – particularly those located in very remote areas – have historically struggled to attract skilled workers because of a lack of available housing.
The Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) is seeking your feedback on how the Section 184 Skilled Worker Program should be designed and implemented to work for your communities.
Click for more details.


FY2019/2020 ICDBG- Notice of Area Allocations for FY2020
This Notice announces Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Area Allocations and other funding related information under the FY 2019/2020 ICDBG Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). The FY 2019/2020 ICDBG NOFA published on November 19, 2019, only announced AONAP FY 2019 allocations because the FY 2020 Appropriations Act was not enacted at the time the NOFA was published. This Notice also informs recipients that their implementation plans must show that the expenditure of both FY 2019 and FY 2020 funds will occur prior April 20, 2026, and that no extensions will be granted beyond that date.
This Notice also clarifies the applicability of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act waivers and alternative requirements.  Applicants that are awarded an ICDBG grant under the FY 2019/20 NOFA may benefit from these flexibilities when such funds are spent on activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, after an amendment request to HUD is approved.


HUD Guidance on Eligible Uses for Community Development Block Grant Funds to Support COVID-19 Responses

HUD Quick Guide on Eligible Activities for Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Funds

HUD recently posted a guide on eligible uses for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to support coronavirus (COVID-19) responses. The guide is a quick reference tool for grantees, such as Tribes and TDHEs, to use when contemplating how to address the effects of COVID-19 in their communities. While the language in the guide specifically references CDBG, ICDBG has the same eligible activities, and therefore the guide can be considered applicable for both programs.

The guide can be found HERE


Section 184- Guideline for Tribes and TDHE Cash Out Refinance

This letter reminds all approved Section 184 lenders, tribes and tribally designated housing entities (THDEs) of the current Cash-Out Refinances guidelines outlined in Chapter 11 of the Guidelines. The Guidelines provide as follows:

  • Maximum Loan Amount- The maximum allowable mortgage amount for a cash-out refinance is 85% of the appraised value of the subject property.
  • Maximum Cash to Borrower- Refinances that include a cash distribution directly to the borrower are limited to $25,000.

In the past, the Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) granted exceptions to tribes and TDHEs that are Section 184 borrowers and allowed the maximum loan amount to exceed the 85% limit for cash out refinance transactions. ONAP authorized this practice to allow tribes and TDHEs to reinvest in housing in their communities.

This letter formally recognizes this practice and affirms ONAP’s policy to continue this practice and allow tribes and TDHEs to access the equity in their housing stock up to the 97.75% maximum loan to value ratio, provided that the Tribe or TDHE’s purpose of the cash-out refinance is to rehabilitate existing or construct additional housing in their communities. Direct Guarantee lenders must document the Section 184 loan file accordingly. The lenders documentation must clearly show that a determination was made that the tribe or TDHE intended to use the cash-out refinance process for these housing-related purposes.


Dear Tribal Leader Letter- Proposed Rule on Downpayment Requirements under FHA’s Single-family Mortgage Insurance Programs

HUD is developing a proposed rule to establish underwriting criteria that mortgagees must follow when underwriting a mortgage for FHA insurance that involves downpayment assistance provided by state, local, and Tribal governments.

This letter is to inform you about this rulemaking effort. In accordance with HUD’s Government-to-Government Tribal Consultation Policy, HUD is seeking your views as a tribal leader on items that should be included as we develop these policy proposals. You may submit your comments to HUD within 30 days of the date of this letter by e-mail to: HUDRegsTribalConsult@hud.gov

Thereafter, you will be notified if a proposed rule is published in the federal Register, and you will have another opportunity to comment through the public comment process.


Program Guidance- No. 2019-05 FBI Criminal History Guidance

Purpose: This guidance updates and replaces NAHASDA Guidance No. 20 13-08, Update to Instructions for Obtaining FBI Criminal History Record Information, August 19, 2013. It advises Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHE5) on the process for obtaining Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history record information of adult applicants for employment or current and prospective tenants for purposes of applicant screening, lease enforcement, and eviction.


Program Guidance 2019-03: Recent Changes to the federal Micro-Purchase and Simplified Acquisition Thresholds

This guidance informs Indian Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities about increases to the micro-purchase and simplified acquisition thresholds for programs involving Federal funds.

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Total Development Costs (TDC) for Affordable Housing under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA)

PIH-2019-19 and Attachment: This Notice supersedes Notice PIH 2010-47, same subject, dated November 19, 2010, and all the Notices extending that Notice, up to and including PIH-Notice 2016- 07, dated May 4, 2016. This Notice transmits the updated schedule for the maximum amount of funds that may be used for affordable housing under NAHASDA based on Marshall Valuation Service, Marshall & Swift/Boeckh, LLC and RSMeans Residential Cost Data for 2019. The requirement for the development and implementation of these limits is found at 24 CFR §§1000.156 through 1000.162 of the Indian Housing Block Grant regulations.

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Determining and Using Program Income Under NAHASDA

PIH 2019-07– This notice replaces PIH Notice 2000-18 and provides guidance for determining and using program income generated by the use or disbursement of Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) funds.

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USDA Launches Interactive Data Tool to Help Rural Communities Address the Opioid Crisis

The United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has launched an interactive data tool to help community leaders build grass-roots strategies to address the opioid epidemic. Opioid addiction poses a monumental challenge for rural communities across the country, but especially in small, rural communities with limited resources. With the launch of this new tool, USDA is helping communities develop data-driven solutions to the opioid crisis. The Opioid Misuse Community Assessment Tool enables users to overlay substance misuse data against socioeconomic, census, and other public information. This data will help leaders, researchers, and policymakers assess what actions will be most effective in addressing the opioid crisis at the local level. The tool is free and available to the public. For more information, visit: https://www.usda.gov/topics/opioids.

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Tribal Leaders Handbook on Homeownership

The Center for Indian Country Development’s Tribal Leaders Handbook on Homeownership provides detailed examples, case studies, checklists, and information on developing affordable homeownership in Indian Country. This essential guide provides information on new mortgage programs (government and private), the new kinds of lenders (loan funds, Native CDFIs), and the new energies that are transforming Indian housing. Download a copy HERE.

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Updated Healthy Home Checklist from EPA/CDC/HUD/DHHS

Home assessments can help make homes healthier. Checklist covers the major contributors to asthma and allergies, with suggested action items that are generally simple and low cost. Download a copy HERE.