House committee passes bill to speed Indian housing process

The House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R.205, the HEARTH Act, by unanimous consent on November 17.

The bill allows tribes to develop their own housing regulations. Once approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribes won't have to go back to the agency for every single home site lease.

“H.R. 205, the HEARTH Act of 2011 will go a long way in strengthening tribal self-determination and tribal economies at the same time,” said National American Indian Housing Council Chairwoman Cheryl A. Causley in a statement, Indian Country Today reported. “We know the time frame for individual tribal members to receive a home-site lease is arduous and can be as long as three years under the current Bureau of Indian Affairs process, but we anticipate that these improvements in leasing and enhanced tribal control over surface leasing will help more tribal members get into homes quick.”

The Obama administration supports the bill. It replicates an existing federal law that already gives the Navajo Nation more flexibility in home site leases.

The committee also approved H.R.2362, the Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project Act. The bill facilitates trade with the Republic of Turkey by cutting out the BIA out of the process for certain business leases.

Both bills will go to the House for full consideration.

Get the Story:
Native Home Ownership Bill Passes Congress Committee (Indian Country Today 11/21)

Committee Notices:
Full Committee Markup on H.R. 200, H.R. 205, H.R. 1545, H.R. 2027, H.R. 2070, H.R. 2087, H.R. 2454, H.R. 2236, H.R. 2336, H.R. 2362, H.R. 2606, H.R. 2719, H.R. 2834, H.R. 2938, H.R. 3117, H.R. 3404 and S. 535 (November 17, 2011)
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Legislative Hearing on H.R. 205 and H.R. 2362 (November 3, 2011)

Related Stories
House Natural Resources Committee markup on 3 Indian bills (11/17)
Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee sets hearing (11/2)

Join the Conversation