Indian Housing Assistance

To use the Housing Improvement Program (HIP) resources of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to eliminate substantially substandard Indian owned and inhabited housing for very low income eligible Indians living in approved tribal service areas.

This effort is assisted by the Indian Health Service (Department
of Health and Human Services) which provides water and sanitary systems for houses repaired or built with HIP funds.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

The HIP does not fund multi-unit projects as such, the assistance is granted to repair Indian owned and inhabited individual houses with each house considered to be a project.

Occasionally, several individual projects may be constructed simultaneously in close proximity giving the appearance of a multi-unit project.

One such occurrence was the construction of several units in California.

Prior to HIP undertaking there was no housing in this area.

No other federally-assisted housing program was able to meet this need.

The result of constructing housing in this area has been significant.

The effort proved decent housing could be a reality in remote geographic areas.

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 - See Catalog Appendix IV for Regional Office addresses.

Program Accomplishments

On an annual basis over 500 families receive services under the HIP program through repairs/renovations or new or replacement construction.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The program is primarily devoted to providing decent, safe, and sanitary housing through renovations, repairs, or additions to existing homes.

The program will build an entire house in situations where no other program can meet the need in the immediate or near future.

Technical assistance is provided to Indian tribes to establish housing plans and determine the extent and use of the Bureau's Housing Improvement Program.

The program is restricted to use within reservations and approved tribal service areas.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments and tribal organizations to administer the program who have eligible applicants with identified housing needs.

Individual members of Federally recognized Indian tribes living in approved tribal service areas in need of housing assistance who are unable to obtain assistance from any other source, and who meet the eligibility criteria of the HIP regulations (25 CFR Part 256 "Housing Improvement Program").

Beneficiary Eligibility

Individual members of Federally recognized Indian tribes.


Initial applications by Indian tribes and tribal organizations must be accompanied by an authorizing resolution of the governing body of the Indian tribe(s) to be served. Individual Indians must furnish information required by 25 CFR Part 256, basically proving membership in a Federally-recognized Indian tribe and financial inability to obtain assistance for repairs or new housing.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Funds may be used in conjunction with other Federal programs, such as Indian Heath Service for water and sanitary facilities, or privately financed programs that are appropriate to repair or build housing.

An informal conference with Bureau of Indian Affairs agency representative is recommended.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Initial applications from Indian tribes and tribal organizations must contain the information specified in 25 CFR Part 900, Subpart C, "Contract Proposal Contents." Completed application should be submitted to the local Bureau of Indian Affairs agency or regional office listed in Appendix IV. Individual Indians should submit written applications to the local tribal servicing housing office, or local Bureau of Indian Affairs agency or regional office listed in Appendix IV.

Award Procedures

The dollar value of the award to Indian tribes and tribal organizations is determined through the use of annual tribal work plans identifying eligible applicants and through prioritization under the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Tribal Priority Allocation budget formulation process.


For Indian tribes and tribal organizations, applications may be submitted at any time. For individual Indians, as set at the local level.


Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Public Law 93-638, as amended, 25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Applications will be processed within 90 days.


Applicants whose request to administer the program is denied may request an informal conference with the deciding official, or may appeal the denial of the application 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. An individual whose request is denied may appeal a Bureau of Indian Affairs official's decision to the Regional Director under the procedures contained in 25 CFR Part 2, "Appeals From Administrative Actions."


Awards to Indian tribes and tribal organizations to administer the program may be renewed indefinitely upon satisfactory performance by the contractor. 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 changes in the identified eligible applicants and in individual tribal priorities established in the budget formulation process. For individual Indians, receipt of program services represent one-time direct assistance.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

For Indian tribes and tribal organizations awards are made on an annual basis and the funds remain available until expended by the contractor. Payments may be made in advance or by way of reimbursement. The timing of payment will be negotiated with the Indian tribes.

Post Assistance Requirements


For Indian tribes and tribal organization administering the program financial status reports, SF-269A, are required.

Program progress reporting requirements will be negotiated with the contractor.


For awards administered by Indian tribes and tribal organizations, the contractor is responsible for obtaining audits. All nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more of Federal awards in a year ($300,000 for fiscal year ending on or before December 30, 2003) are required to obtain an annual audit in accordance with the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et. seq.) and OMB Circular A - 133 Compliance Supplement and Government Auditing Standards. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 (for fiscal years ending after December 1, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular A - 133.


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: Self-Determination Contracts and Direct Grants) FY 07 $23,000,000; FY 08 est $13,000,000; and FY 09 est $0.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For HIP, maximum of $35,000 for repairs and renovations; $2,500 for interim improvements. The average cost of repair has been approximately $17,500. New housing does not have a specified maximum amount, but is intended to provide only a modest standard dwelling. Average new housing construction cost has been approximately $55,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

25 Part 256, "Housing Improvement Program;" 25 CFR Part 900, "Contracts under the Indian Self- Determination and Educational Assistance Act;" and OMB Circular No. A-87, "Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Catalog Appendix IV for Regional Office addresses.

Headquarters Office

Deputy Director, Office of Tribal Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs,1849 C St., N.W., MS 4513 MIB, Washington, DC 20240. Telephone: (202) 513-7640.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Indian tribes and tribal organizations meeting the requirements of 25 CFR Part 900 will be selected if a viable tribal work plan identifying eligible applicants, the category of assistance needed, the estimated project cost for each eligible applicant, and a report of prior year accomplishments is submitted and the tribe has high priority ranking eligible applicants for which sufficient funding is available for the needed project or the program has been prioritized by the Indian tribe through tribal participation in the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Tribal Priority Allocation budget formulation process. Individual Indians must meet the eligibility requirements contained in 25 CFR Part 256. Requests are made by individuals to the local tribal servicing housing office or to local BIA agencies for repair or new housing assistance. Starting with the most needy, regardless of the category of services required, applicants are served until available funds are exhausted.

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