For an MP3 soundbite, click HERE.
Senator examined barriers to homeownership and safe, affordable housing options in tribal communities across Arizona
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema – a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee – spoke in a Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee hearing about the unique challenges tribal communities face achieving homeownership and providing safe, affordable housing options in Arizona and across the country.
“22 federally-recognized Tribes call Arizona home, and I am proud to work with them closely to be a voice and an advocate for Indian Country. It is important to me that Tribes receive the respect, recognition, and resources owed to them by the federal government,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.
Sinema frequently convenes stakeholders, organizations, and advocates to discuss solutions to Arizona’s ongoing affordable housing shortage. During the hearing, the Senator acknowledged that the unique and complex issues tribal communities face warrant additional attention and focus in order to deliver lasting solutions.
Sinema questioned witnesses about the barriers to homeownership tribal communities face, including the high cost of remediating homes where drug use has occurred – which, according to the Indian Health Service, has been on the rise.
The hearing featured tribal housing representatives and a Community Development Financial Institution representative as witnesses to provide expert insight into the unique challenges associated with tribal housing accessibility.
Earlier this year, Sinema met with the White Mountain Apache and San Carlos Housing Authorities to discuss successes with both tribal housing authorities – including how they built more affordable housing units using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) alongside the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), expanding accessible housing options while supporting careers for Tribal members.
Last year, Sinema announced a major $134.6 million in housing grants for tribal communities across Arizona.