Dear Lender Letter 2021-01 – Extension of foreclosure and eviction moratorium and loan processing flexibilities in connection with the Presidentially Declared COVID-19 National Emergency.

The purpose of this Dear Lender Letter (DLL) is to inform lenders and servicers of an extension to the foreclosure and eviction moratorium originally issued in DLL 2020-04, extended in DLL 2020-06, DLL 2020-08, DLL 2020- 10, and further extended in DLL 2020-13 for borrowers with Section 184 or Section 184A guaranteed loans for an additional period through March 31, 2021.

This DLL also announces an extension of the loan processing flexibilities originally issued in DLL 2020-05; extended in DLL 2020-06, DLL 2020-08, and DLL 2020-10; modified and extended in DLL 2020-12; and further extended in DLL 2020-13 for an additional period through March 31, 2021. This extension will allow industry partners additional opportunity to utilize flexible guidance related to re-verification of employment and appraisal protocols for the Section 184 and 184A programs affected by COVID-19.


Dear Tribal Leader Letter – Publication of Tribal Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (Tribal HUD-VASH) Expansion Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) Training Sessions

On January 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published the NOFA for the Tribal HUD-VASH Expansion Program. The NOFA announced the availability of approximately $3.2 million for competitive grants to eligible Indian tribes and tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs). Applicants have until 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on April 15, 2021, to submit applications. For further information about this funding opportunity, please visit www.grants.gov/ and www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/ih/tribalhudvash.

This letter is to inform you of two scheduled training sessions that will occur for this funding opportunity. These two trainings sessions will have the same content and are being offered to provide several opportunities for potential applicants to attend and ask questions. One session will be held February 17th -18th, 2021 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and an additional repeat session will be held March 3rd -4 th, 2021 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. EDT.


Dear Tribal Leader Letter – Update on the Department of the Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program

This is an important message about the Department of the Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program for those Indian tribes that have not, or whose tribally designated housing entity (“TDHE”) has not, applied for funding. 

If an Indian tribe or its TDHE has already submitted an application for funding and received a confirmation email from Treasury stating that the submission has been received and will be reviewed by Treasury’s processing team, it does not need to do anything further at this time.

As Treasury has previously communicated, any Indian tribe or TDHE that is an eligible grantee under section 501 of Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Pub. L. No. 116-260) must provide complete payment information and a signed acceptance of award terms to Treasury (an “application”) through Treasury’s application portal in order to receive funds from Treasury under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.


Dear Tribal Leader Letter – Publication of Tribal Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (Tribal HUD-VASH) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published the NOFA that expands the Tribal HUD-VASH program. The NOFA announces the availability of approximately $3.2 million for competitive grants to eligible Indian tribes and tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs). This program provides applicants the ability to use HUD funding towards rental assistance for Native American Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, living on or near a reservation or other Indian areas.


Notice PIH 2021-06  Process for Amending ICDBG-CARES Grants

This Notice provides ICDBG-CARES grantees with instructions on how to amend the use of existing Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Imminent Threat (IT) funds provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Public Law 116-136) (CARES Act). 


Extension of foreclosure and eviction moratorium and loan processing flexibilities in connection with the Presidentially Declared COVID-19 National Emergency.

The purpose of this Dear Lender Letter (DLL) is to inform lenders and servicers of an extension to the foreclosure and eviction moratorium originally issued in DLL 2020-04, extended in DLL 2020-06 and DLL 2020-08, and further extended in DLL 2020-10 for borrowers with Section 184 or Section 184A guaranteed loans for an additional period through February 28, 2021.

This DLL also announces an extension of the loan processing flexibilities originally issued in DLL 2020-05, extended in DLL 2020-06, DLL 2020-08, and DLL 2020-10, and modified and further extended in DLL 2020-12, for an additional period through February 28, 2021. This extension will allow industry partners additional opportunity to utilize flexible guidance related to re-verification of employment and appraisal protocols for the Section 184 and 184A programs affected by COVID-19. Continue Reading


Changes to Section 3 

This Dear Tribal Leader letter highlights recent changes to Section 3 as a result of a Final Rule that was published on September 29, 2020.  Beginning on November 30, 2020, the effective date of the Final Rule, Section 3 will no longer apply to Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities.


Tribal HUD VASH 2020 Renewal Awards 

In September 2020, HUD awarded almost $3.3 million in Tribal HUD-VASH funding to 26 Tribes and tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs). This is the third round of renewal funding provided under the Tribal HUD-VASH demonstration program.

The grants support Native American Veterans and their families by providing rental assistance and associated administrative fees to eligible Tribal HUD-VASH recipients. The funding will ensure that over 350 Native American Veterans who were homeless or at risk of homelessness can continue to be stably housed and receive critical supportive services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The list of grant recipients and funding amounts can be found here.


Waiver of Undisbursed Funds Factor under IHBG Formula for FY21

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 National Emergency, Tribes and TDHEs have experienced delays in expending their Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program funding. To provide relief to these Tribes and TDHEs, HUD is waiving the Undisbursed Funds Factor at 24 CFR 1000.342 with respect to the fiscal year (FY) 2021 IHBG program allocation formula. The waiver provided in this Notice only affects the FY 2021 IHBG formula allocations and does not apply to IHBG formula allocations in years beyond FY 2021.


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.


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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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.