Tribal Housing

Practice Area

Brad S. Jolly & Associates's attorneys have developed extensive experience representing tribes and their instrumentalities, including Indian housing authorities ("IHA") and tribally designated housing entities ("TDHE"), in a wide range of housing matters, including:

  • Establishing tribal mortgage programs under the Section 184 Program
  • Drafting federal laws and lobbying for their passage to benefit our clients and their ability to successfully implement NAHASDA
  • Providing vital interaction with HUD's Office of Native American Programs ("ONAP") and acting as liaison for those communications
  • Analyzing the current NAHASDA formula and suggesting ways, if possible, to increase the allocation available to our tribal and housing clients
  • Developing eviction policies and procedures and assisting with the eviction and removal of trespassers on Indian lands under expired leases
  • Drafting and reviewing policies and procedures required by NAHASDA, including eligibility and admission, occupancy rules, personnel, ethics, grievance, procurement, and asset management rules
  • Reviewing and drafting homeowner agreements, deeds, and other instruments involving residential use of tribal lands
  • Preparing and negotiating construction contracts for tribal housing and residential infrastructure, such as roads and water treatment facilities
  • Drafting and implementing tenant and homeowner agreements
  • Drafting tribal codes that relate to the governance of tribal housing associations
  • Dealing with tribal land assignments and assignment of tribal housing
  • Enforcement of tribal housing laws and agreements

We have developed experience representing tribes and their entities in a wide range of housing and land-related matters. Our attorneys have extensive experience with the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act ("NAHASDA") as well as other federal Indian housing programs such as the Section 184 Program providing for loan guarantees for residential mortgages on trust land. Our attorneys have also developed experience with assisting tribes and their housing programs in establishing their own programs for selling tribal homes to members as well as developing tribal housing opportunities outside of federal programs utilizing tribal resources.

In representing tribal housing authorities and tribes with respect to financing Indian housing, one of the largest concerns is always the potential of losing control over tribal land due to foreclosure or other adverse action. While many programs provide for the mortgaging of tribal lands, they also allow for tribal lands to be sold to or placed under the control of non-members or banks upon default, which is essentially a loss of tribal land from a practical perspective. We have developed methods of avoiding this downfall of many programs or, at a minimum, reducing the chances of the loss of tribal control over the land.

As with all other areas of our representation, we always stress creativity and protection of tribal sovereignty and self-government in the housing context. For instance, while the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") and the Bureau of Indian Affairs ("BIA") typically attempt to force tribes to utilize leasehold mortgages to secure residential loans, our attorneys have developed methods to utilize existing tribal land assignments as security for loans to ensure that new financing options are integrated into existing tribal systems so there is no need to disrupt the structure and manner of allocation of tribal land for individual use or supplanting tribal tradition.