National

Appeals court rules against Crow Tribe in housing grant dispute






A housing unit on the Crow Reservation in Montana. Photo from Richard Neill / Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative

The Department of Housing and Urban Development can reduce grants to the Crow Tribe of Montana to correct for past overpayments, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.

An audit showed that the tribe was overpaid $1.2 million in Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act funds. To address the mistake, HUD proposed a repayment schedule but the tribe contended it was never granted a hearing under the law.

The 9th Circuit, however, said HUD was within its rights under NAHASDA to recover the funds. The ruling means the tribe's future grants can be deducted even though it was never held at fault for the overpayments.

A federal judge who first heard the case had sided with the tribe. Incidentally, that was Richard Cebull, who resigned from the bench after sending a racist email about President Barack Obama.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Crow Tribal Housing Authority v. HUD.

Get the Story:
HUD's Tribal Housing Grant Deductions OK'd (Courthouse News Service 3/26)

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Crow Tribal Housing Authority v. HUD (March 26, 2015)