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Indian Nations Update - July 2010

July 08, 2010

NAIHC Publishes 2010 Housing Development Handbook
The National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) has published the 2010 Edition of its Indian Housing Development Handbook, authored by Brian Pierson. The NAIHC, an organization of 270 members representing 463 tribes and housing organizations, intends the Handbook to serve as a resource for its members as well as for outside developers, lenders, etc. who partner with tribes to meet Indian country's affordable housing needs. The Handbook addresses organizational structures that promote housing development, strategies to promote home ownership, sources of financing to leverage the NAHASDA block grants, and the laws that govern Indian country housing development. The Handbook supplements NAIHC's technical assistance and training activities. Copies are available through the NAIHC and Godfrey & Kahn websites. For more information about the Handbook, or information about how Godfrey & Kahn may be able to assist your tribe in developing affordable housing, contact Brian Pierson at 414-287-9456 or

Indian Country Legislation Awaits Action in Congress
Two important bills have passed out of committee with favorable recommendations but have not been scheduled for a full Senate vote. The "Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH)" Act (S. 3235) was favorably reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) June 30th. The bill would give tribes that have BIA-approved leasing ordinances the authority to issue leases without further BIA approval. The Tribal Law and Order Act (S. 797) has been on the Senate's calendar since it was favorably reported by the SCIA last fall. The bill would provide for the appointment of special U.S. attorneys to ensure violent crimes on reservations are prosecuted, improve training for reservation police, expand the sentencing authority of tribal courts, improve the collection and reporting of Indian crime data and allow U.S. magistrates to hold trials and other proceedings in Indian Country.

The Cobell Settlement, the extension of the Indian Employment Tax Credit and the provision for accelerated depreciation of assets deployed in Indian country are tied to the "American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act" (H.R. 4213). The Senate and House passed differenct versions of this bill and it appears stalled in the Senate. Congress has acted on specific sections of the larger bill as stand alone provisions. Cobell proponents in the House of Representatives attached the settlement language to legislation to supplement the funding of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and passed it out of that chamber on July 1, 2010. It now awaits action by the Senate after it returns from recess.

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