On April 23, 2012, the Interior Board of Indian Appeal’s ordered the Regional Director to execute an Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistant Act contract to reinstate the much-needed Housing Improvement Program.
The Housing Improvement Program is a grant program that seeks to: fulfill the basic needs of decent, safe, and sanitary housing for the most impoverished people who have substandard housing or no housing at all, and have no immediate source of housing assistance; eliminate substandard housing, homelessness, and overcrowding and remedy dilapidated houses that lack adequate weatherproofing that causes chronic health problems; and achieve the housing policy of BIA: "every American family should have the opportunity for a decent home and suitable living environment."
The Board’s Order is an important step in getting families the assistance they need to ensure that their basic needs are met. Governor Boswell, expressing gratitude stated, “I am so pleased we can now move forward on repairs for our tribal members’ homes.” The Executive Director of the Housing Authority Orville Whiteskunk stated “we are so thankful we are able to go forward with HIP implementation. Many families are in dire need of HIP services.”
The Order was somewhat critical of Leslie Wandrie-Harjo’s objection to the Housing Improvement Program contract proposal. It indicated on page 54 IBIA 334 that she objected to the processing of that proposal while offering no other means for the Tribes to administer HIP housing services to its members.
The Interior Board of Indian Appeals' Order is available at www.c-a-tribes.org.
Tue, April 24, 2012
by Jim Graves