Real Estate Programs_Indian Lands

To provide real property management, counseling, and land use planning services to individual Indian allottees and Indian tribal and Alaska Native entities who own an interest in almost 56 million acres of trust land; to provide real estate appraisal services required in processing land transactions,
and to protect and enhance the Indian leasehold estate by providing individual Indian landowners and Indian tribes with lease compliance activities.
Examples of Funded Projects

Real Estate Services funds land sales, leasing, preparation of probate documents and estate planning.

Real Estate Appraisals are conducted for commercial, residential, and industrial properties, including leased agricultural trust lands.

Lease Compliance funds reviews of lease documents, investigations of lease violations and trespass issues, and physical inspections of leased property including assessments of improvements.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - Applications may be filed with the local Bureau of Indian Affairs' agency office as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments

Real Estate Services: To date, more than 12,000 surface leases were approved, and approximately 7,800 acquisitions and 4,000 land sales were processed. Real Estate Appraisals: More than 20,000 appraisals were conducted for trust property transactions. Lease Compliance: approximately 25,000 physical inspections were completed on more than 100,000 leases.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Real Estate Services: decision-making processes are developed through cooperative efforts with the Indian landowners for the proper utilization, development, and enhancement of Indian trust lands.

Real Estate Appraisals are one element in trust land transactions and are restricted to American Indians who have an ownership interest in property held in trust by the Federal government.

Lease Compliance: program resources are used to ensure that leases on trust and restricted Indian lands and their assignees comply with the terms of the leases.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments, Native American Organizations authorized by tribes, and individual American Indians.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments and their members.


Initial application must be accompanied by a resolution of the governing body of the Indian tribe. For real estate appraisals, documented ownership interest in property held in trust is required.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Informal preapplication conference is recommended.

Technical assistance in preparing the application is available upon request.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Initial applications for real estate services and lease compliance must contain the information specified in 25 CFR, Part 900, Subpart C, "Contract Proposal Contents." Completed applications should be submitted to the local Bureau of Indian Affairs agency office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog. Requests for real estate appraisals should be submitted to the local Bureau of Indian Affairs agency office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog along with documentation of ownership interest in the property.

Award Procedures

For Real Estate Services and Real Estate Appraisals, the dollar value of the awards depends upon the amount that has been prioritized by the individual Tribe through tribal participation in the BIA's budget formulation process. For Lease Compliance, funding is distributed to the Area offices on the basis of number of existing leases and the number of inspections planned for the year. For Lease Compliance awards, in some cases, the award can be approved at the agency level. In most instances, the application will be forwarded to the Area Director for approval.




Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Public Law 93-638, as amended, 25 U.S.C. 450; 60 Stat. 1097, 25 U.S.C. 176; Indian Land Consolidation Act; Act of March 3, 1901; Act of March 3, 1921; Reorganization Plan No. 3, 1946; Public Law 56-382, 31 Stat. 1084, 25 U.S.C. 311; Public Law 66-359, 41 Stat. 1232, 25 U.S.C. 393; Public Law 97-459, 96 Stat. 2515, 25 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.; Public Law 98-608, 98 Stat. 3171; Public Law 102-238.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Applications will be processed within 90 days.


An unsuccessful applicant may request an informal conference with the deciding official or may appeal the denial of the application directly to the Interior Board of Indian Appeals, or may bring suit in U.S. District Court. Full appeal procedures are found in 25 CFR, Part 900.


Awards for Real Estate Services and Lease Compliance may be renewed indefinitely upon satisfactory performance by the contractor/grantee. A notice of intent to renew should be submitted at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the current award. The amount of the award may be adjusted as a result of individual tribal priorities established in the budget formulation process. Awards for Real Estate Appraisals are a single-action item completed for a specific property and are not subject to renewal.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards are made on an annual basis and the funds remain available until expended by the contractor/grantee. Payments may be made in advance or by way of reimbursement. The timing of payments will be negotiated with the grantee.

Post Assistance Requirements


Financial status reports, SF 269A, are required.

The timing and nature of program accomplishment data will be negotiated with the contractor/grantee.


For awards made under this Program, grantees/contractors are responsible for obtaining audits in accordance with the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et. seq.).


Financial records must be retained for 3 years from the date of submission of the single audit report. Procurement records must be retained for 3 years from the date of final payment. Property records must be retained for 3 years from the date of disposition, replacement, or transfer. Records pertaining to any litigation, audit exceptions or claims must be retained until the dispute has been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Total Amount of Awards) FY 07 $3,606,000; FY 08 est $3,987,550; and FY 09 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For Real Estate Services, tribal award amounts vary from approximately $1,000 to $500,000. For Real Estate Appraisals, the cost of most appraisals is less than $500 but can range up to approximately $2,500 or more for large and/or complex properties; the average is $1000. Lease Compliance awards range from $250 to $30,000 with most awards less than $5,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

25 CFR 162; 30 CFR; 43 CFR; Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practices as promulgated by the Appraisal Standards Board of the Appraisal Foundation.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Applications may be filed with the local Bureau of Indian Affairs' agency office as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Office of Trust Responsibilities, Division of Real Estate Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1849 C Street NW, MS 4510 MIB, Washington, DC 20240. Contact: Arch Wells. Telephone: (202) 208-7737.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Funding levels for Real Estate Services and Real Estate Appraisals are determined by the individual Tribe through participation in the BIA's budget formulation process. All applicants meeting the criteria in 25 CFR Part 900 will be funded. Appraisals are conducted for all transactions involving trust property. The time required to complete an appraisal depends on the number of requests being processed by a specific office and the resources available to meet the requests. Lease Compliance funds are distributed to the area offices based on three factors: (1) total number of leases, (2) total number of acres, and (3) total amount of income derived from leases. Awards for lease compliance are determined by the number of qualifying leases reported to the Agency and Area Offices. Minimum funding of $50,000 is allocated to each area office. In allocating program resources, priority is given to activities involving agriculture, oil and gas, mining, industrial, business, recreational, and other income-producing leases.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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