WASHINGTON --The House of Representatives and Senate conference report resolving Indian Housing Appropriations was released on Nov. 18. The Native American Housing Block Grant (NAHBG) is funded at $630 million and the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) is funded at $60 million. The National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) is funded at $2 million to carry out training and technical assistance to the block grant programs.
The conference report resolves the differences in the House of Representatives and Senate 2006 appropriations bills. The major differences in the bills were that the NAHBG was funded at $622 million in the Senate and $555 million in the House. The ICDBG was funded at $69 million in the Senate, and $45 million in the House. The House language funded the ICDBG from the NAHBG resulting in a proposed $90 million cut to Indian Housing. The House language also changed the allocation formula for the NAHBG. The conference report funds the ICDBG separately from the NAHBG, but includes the allocation formula change.
"In the face of budget cuts and the increased need for federal emergency spending in the Hurricane Katrina affected areas and the war in Iraq, we are very pleased and appreciative with the funding levels for the NAHBG and the ICDBG" said Chester Carl, Chairman of NAIHC.
"Although we are very happy with the conference funding levels, we are very concerned with the $2.5 million-dollar cut to NAIHC," said Gary L. Gordon, Executive Director of NAIHC. "The cuts to NAIHC will be felt across Indian Country as NAIHC provides essential training and technical assistance to tribes in implementing and carrying out tribal housing programs." The conference report will be voted "yea" or "nay" by both the House of Representatives and the Senate before the 2006 appropriations become public law.
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