Proposal to replace Navajo Housing Authority fails
By Alastair Lee Bitsoi | Navajo Times
A proposal to wrestle away and revoke Navajo Housing Authority’s status as the Navajo Nation’s tribally designated housing entity failed last week during a Navajo Nation Council Special Session.
By a close vote of 9 in favor and 11 opposed, NHA kept its lifeline as the tribe’s TDHE, meaning that it will continue to receive funding – some $400 million – from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to build much-needed homes across the sprawling 27,000-square-mile reservation.
Called the Navajo Nation Housing Commission Act of 2013 and sponsored by Jonathan Hale (Oak Springs/St. Michaels), the bill would have created a Navajo Nation Housing Commission and designated the commission as the TDHE.
In his 20-minute presentation to the Council, Hale informed his colleagues that NHA hadn’t built new homes since 2007. He also cited an April 30 warning letter from HUD indicating that in 2012 NHA didn’t spend $430 million in its coffers expeditiously and effectively as the current TDHE recipient.