National | Politics

President Obama signs Indian housing bill to law at White House

President Barack Obama signs H.R. 205, the HEARTH Act of 2012, in the Oval Office, July 30, 2012. Standing behind the President, from left, are: Bryan Newland, Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of the Interior; Governor Randall Vicente, Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico; David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior; Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of American Indians; Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii; interior Secretary Ken Salazar; Cheryl Causley, Chairperson of the National American Indian Housing Council; Governor Gregory Mendoza, Gila River Indian Community of Arizona; and Del Laverdure, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama signed H.R.205, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act (HEARTH) Act, into law at the White House today.

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.

"The HEARTH Act promotes greater tribal self-determination and will help create jobs in Indian Country. Under the Act, federally recognized tribes can develop and implement their own regulations governing certain leasing on Indian lands," the White House said in a statement after the bill passed the Senate on July 17.

The House passed the bill in May under a suspension of the rules. It was largely considered non-controversial in both chambers.

Related Stories:
President Obama plans to sign Indian housing measure into law (7/18)
House considers measure to improve Indian housing process (5/15)
House committee passes bill to speed Indian housing process (11/22)

Join the Conversation