Housing & Infrastructure

Vibrant tribal economies depend on safe affordable housing and infrastructure. However, American Indians and Alaska Natives face some of the worst housing and living conditions in the United States. Barriers to housing development in Native communities include limited private investment opportunities, low-functioning housing markets, and poverty.

Forty percent of on-reservation housing is considered substandard (compared to 6 percent outside of Indian Country) and nearly one-third of homes on reservations are overcrowded. Less than half of the homes on reservations are connected to public sewer systems, and 16 percent lack indoor plumbing.

In some areas, up to 50 percent of Native homes are without phone service. Additionally, 23 percent of Native households pay 30 percent or more of household income for housing.

NCAI and the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) have been working in partnership to ensure that tribal housing conditions and needs are addressed by the federal government. Our efforts have focused on federal appropriations and the passage of the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act (HEARTH Act).

The Native American Housing Block Grant, Indian Community Block Grant, and Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Fund provide critical funding to empower tribes to more effectively develop, implement, and manage strategies to meet the specific housing needs of their communities. These policies have provided funding to develop innovative housing strategies that support tribes as they construct and maintain housing for low-income families and promote homeownership.

NCAI has also worked with partners to ensure that the Department of Housing and Urban Development conducts a housing needs study that provides timely data to guide tribal housing policy. 

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