Save the Date!
SWTHA Triannual Meeting
February 24, 2021

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS CHANGE OF DATE FOR THIS MEETING. IT IS NOW FEBRUARY 24, 2021.

Please mark your calendar to join us for this virtual meeting. Check back at swtha.org for more information!

SWTHA will provide updates and there will be guest speakers with pertinent information.

Elections will be held, as follows:

  • SWTHA Vice President
  • SWTHA Secretary/Treasurer
  • AZ Representative
  • West TX Representative
  • NAIHC Representative

HUD Training:
Tips on Spending Cares Act Money – Rodney Clements, NAIHC Training and Technical Assistance Consultant

SWTHA Monthly Zoom Meetings:
Held the second Tuesday of each month. The  December 8th meeting is cancelled.  SWTHA will continue to provide the most current information through guest speakers at the monthly meetings, all members are welcome to join. If you would like to speak at one of the monthly meetings, or you have any questions, please email swtha.region8@gmail.com.

SWTHA Membership Renewal 2021
 

It is time for Region VIII Housing Departments to Renew their membership with SWTHA.

The 2021 Membership letters have been mailed out. The complete package is also below. Please mail your check with the completed Membership Dues Form. Instructions are included on the form.

It is crucial that the tribal housing community continue to stay connected during these trying times. Please continue to support SWTHA through a membership as we work to strengthen our voice for Native families.

Thank you for your membership!

HSD settles with two more behavioral health providers | The NM Political Report Covid-19 Counseling
and Support Services
 

The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD), Behavioral Health Services Division (BHSD) is working with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide crisis counseling services to individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19. We  encourage Native Americans to access this free, confidential, and anonymous COVID-19 Counseling and Support Services at 505-954-1057 (hotline). When individuals call the hotline, they can expect access to individual crisis counseling, group crisis counseling, brief educational and supportive contact, referral and resource linkage(s), and community networking and support.
It’s Free, Anonymous, and Confidential

Region VIII/AMERIND
2021 Scholarship Process Open!

The Southwest Tribal Housing Alliance (SWTHA) provides educational scholarship grants for Region VIII (Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas) funded under the AMERIND’s Annual Scholarship Program. The goal of the scholarship grant is to assist in the education of American Indians and Alaskan Natives. The grant may be used for post-secondary or graduate level courses at an accredited educational institution for a course of study that will result in an accredited vocational certification or degree.

The applications for 2021 are now being accepted! For more information, please click here.

Travois Tribal Scholarship Program

 

 

In partnership with the American Indian College Fund, Travois established the Travois Tribal Scholarship Program to support 10 tribal college students in 2021. The $25,000 scholarship program will support eight students pursuing careers in affordable housing and economic development and two students pursuing an arts degree. Scholarship application information will be available in early 2021 through the College Fund. Click here for more information.
 
Other sources for American Indian Scholarships:

AMERIND
2021 Poster Contest

 

It is time for the AMERIND Safety Poster Contest! Housing Departments or TDHE’s are encouraged to sponsor a Poster Contest locally and support their children’s efforts. Contestants should submit a poster that promotes any safety issue: fire, distracted driving, home fire escape plan, how to call 911, etc. One final winner from each category will be voted by the public, on the AMERIND website, to win $1,000!

Click here for more information.

Click here for student instructions. Click here for Poster Contest Announcement.

The deadline for Region VIII is January 31, 2021.

AMERIND News

===========================

Careers at AMERIND
AMERIND is searching for exceptional individuals interested in the success of our mission and the well-being of our client base. To find a list of current open positions, please click here.

35th AMERIND | NAIHC Annual Convention and Tradeshow
May 22-27, 2021, Waikoloa, HI
Click here for more information, and to register.

Free online COVID-19 Safety Training!
Please call an AMERIND Safety Team member at 505-404-5000 to schedule.

Santo Domingo Tribal Housing Authority
Job Announcements

Maintenance Mechanic

Performs overall maintenance services remodel and rehabilitation work on housing managed properties. Performs installation and preventative maintenance, service, and repair on HVAC, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and structures for residential housing and buildings.

Click here for the Job Announcement.  Deadline: Until filled.

HUD/ONAP and NAIHC Training

 

==========================

Environmental Review Workshop, Virtual Training          January 20-22, 2021, 8:30am – 4:30pm

The purpose of this online, 3-day Environmental Review training is to provide HUD recipients with the necessary skills to ensure full compliance with the requirements of 24 C.F.R. Part 58. Participants will become familiar with: responsibilities of entities, achieving compliance with NEPA and related laws, Executive orders, and regulations; preparing environmental review records; making environmental review determinations, identifying environmental impacts; the consultation process, public notice and comment periods; and processing the request of the release of funds.

Click here for information and registration.

Your Money, Your Goals Training (Part 1 of a 3 part series)          February 2, 2021, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Session 1: Financial Empowerment Self- Assessments, Goal Setting, Savings – This session focuses on easy to use financial empowerment self -assessments for staff and family members. In addition, information from the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit and the Focus on Native Communities companion guide will be used to address goal setting, savings, asset limits, IIM payment topics.

Click here for information and registration.

Your Money, Your Goals Training (Part 2 of a 3 part series)          February 9, 2021, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Session 2: Tracking income, Tracking Savings, Cash Flow Budgeting – This session focuses on easy to use topics and tools related to cash flow budgeting. Topics include sources of income and benefits, spending that includes savings and addressing bills that are due at different times of the year.

Click here for information and registration.

Your Money, Your Goals Training (Part 3 of a 3 part series)          February 16, 2021, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Session 3: Debt, Credit, Consumer protection, COVID-19 Financial Resources – This session focuses on debt, credit, identity theft and other forms of financial exploitation topics. Easy to use tools will be presented with a suggested approach for use by practitioners.

Click here for information and registration.

Click here for Calendar of Events and Training Opportunities

FEMA LogoFederal Emergency Management Agency
Notice of Funding Opportunities

  • The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program offers a $20 million set-aside for tribes to apply for funds to assist with pre-disaster mitigation projects, such as infrastructure, and mitigation capacity building.
  • The Flood Mitigation Assistance Program is a competitive grant program that provides funding ($160 million available) to states, local communities, federally recognized tribes and territories that can be used for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings (Tribes must be participants in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to be eligible to apply for this grant).

The application deadline for both grants is January 29, 2021.

The National Center Business Awards | NCAIEDWhat Tribes and Tribal Entities Need to Know When Procuring Personal Protective Equipment

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) has developed a comprehensive guide and accompanying website for tribes and tribal entities that need to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) during the current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as future public health crises.

Download the factsheets – a longer, comprehensive version and a shorter version.  Visit the NCAIED website for resources and information for tribal governments, health agencies, businesses, and other entities that need PPE. The National Center partnered with Project N95, a national clearinghouse for suppliers of PPE, to develop the website and provide easy access to the vendor list, ensuring that organizations are purchasing PPE at a reasonable cost and from a reputable and reliable vendor.

Moving Projects Forward
During a Pandemic

A virtual presentation entitled ‘Moving Projects Forward During A Pandemic’ was presented at SWTHA’s October meeting.  The COVID-19 pandemic along with other natural disasters such as wildfires have created significant challenges to Tribes and TDHEs as many projects have ground to a halt or limp along as project teams try to regroup and move projects along.

The presentation included several different methods on how to keep projects moving.  These methods include taking advantage of the recent statutory and regulatory waivers issued by HUD as well as reviewing procurement policies and procedures to make them more efficient and user friendly.  Information on using GSA eBuy, which is an online system designed to facilitate the request for quotes for a wide range of commercial supplies and products was also presented.  Conducting environmental reviews during a public health emergency with examples of the types of activities that may be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to pandemics and natural disasters was another topic that was discussed.

Here are some basic steps a Tribe/TDHE can take to keep housing projects and programs moving forward:

  • Identify areas where the potential for problems could impact the success of the program or project.
  • Identify the specific things that could go wrong.
  • List the most likely causes for these problems.
  • Make plans to prevent these causes from happening.
  • Make plans that minimize the impact if the problems occur.
  • Integrate these actions into the program or project.

The documents used as reference along with the Power Point slides used during the presentation are available. The informative session was sponsored by SWONAP and presented by Bill Nibbelink, owner of Bill Nibbelink & Associates. Bill can be contacted at nib@msicweb.com if you would like more information related to the presentation or reference documents.

Click here for links to documents and presentations from the October 2020 meeting.

Healthy Housing for Native Communities
The Role of Architecture in Fighting COVID-19

The guest speaker at the SWTHA August meeting was Joseph Kunkel, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and the Director of MASS Design Groups’ Sustainable Native Communities Design Lab in Santa Fe.  Model of Architecture Serving Society (MASS) is a non-profit company whose mission is to research, build, and advocate for architecture that promotes justice and human dignity. Joseph shared their latest document, “Healthy Housing for Native Communities”, which provides short-term design strategies and long-range design planning opportunities to help existing buildings better protect their residents during COVID-19 and beyond.
You can also read the article, “Overcrowding and lack of housing heighten the dangers posed by COVID-19”, written by Joseph and posted on The Aspen Institute website.

Pascua Yaqui Tribe Recognized for Building Earth-Friendly Home

This house, built by the Pascua Yaqui tribe in Tucson, Ariz. from environmentally-friendly EF Blocks, is for sale to tribal members and is the first of what may be 30 homes to follow made out of a material used by several other tribes in Arizona for homes and commercial buildings.

A home made out of energy-efficient building material on the Pascua Yaqui homeland in Tucson, Ariz. may be the start of something big.

The approximately 2,000 square feet home, framed by material called EF Block (EF is for Earth Friendly), is a demonstration project for the tribe, which wants to demonstrate it can build houses using its own housing employees and that it can boost homeownership for those that want to live on the reservation, by selling those houses to tribal members.

Click here to read the complete story in Native Business Magazine.

Master-Planned Community Coming to Pascua Yaqui Reservation

The Pascua Yaqui Housing Division endeavors to provide all Tribal members the opportunity to have an affordable and safe home to enhance the economic stability of the Tribe and its members.

The  tribes first master-planned community coming to its reservation southwest of Tucson means more than just housing. Dubbed Yaqui Square, it’s an economic vision for a sustainable and thriving community.

The Tribe’s housing department is putting a $19.5 million grant from the Arizona Department of Housing Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program to develop phase one of a master-planned community: Itom Pohco’oria Kari’m (Our Desert Homes), featuring 50-single family, mixed-income homes with two-, three- and four-bedroom models. The modern, smart-homes will offer solar capability.

You can read the full story from Native Business Magazine, click here.

HUD’s COVID-19 Emergency Planning Toolkit

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere, and HUD is aware that your operations, staff, and the families you serve are no exception. Life during a pandemic is new to all of us, and we adapt and adopt new ways to operate. Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) around our country are juggling operations and the implementation of evolving guidelines to help keep staff and residents healthy. As you continue to practice new ways of doing business, HUD is here to support you and your organization. HUD’s COVID-19 Emergency Planning Toolkit can assist with identifying key areas you should consider including in your own planning.

COVID-19 Quick Guide: This document provides topics of consideration and information to help you develop strategies to address the impact of the pandemic on your community and stakeholders. It includes guidance on engaging your local partners that have a role in COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery and provides you with guidance on addressing the impact this has on your staff and the people you serve.
COVID-19 Interaction Playbook for Housing Partners: This presentation highlights promising practices for safe distribution and social distancing that my team learned from your colleagues—PHAs, TDHEs, and industry groups—compliant with CDC guidelines.
COVID-19 Guidance for Housing Partners: This flyer summarizes CDC guidance and some of the promising practices for safe distribution and social distancing further discussed in the Interaction Playbook.
Coronavirus Prevention: This flyer should be shared with residents to promote CDC guidance to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Guidance on Eligible Uses for Community Development Block Grant Funds to Support COVID-19: For more information, click here.

Wildfire Season in the Southwest:  As many of you are aware, June is the start of Wildfire season in our southwest region.  HUD encourages you to prepare now and visit https://www.ready.gov/wildfires.

Office of Native American Programs
(ONAP) Notice

 

Healthy Homes Production Grant Program for Tribal Housing

HUD’s Southwest Office of Native American Programs is pleased to announce the HHP Tribal NOFA has been published. Application Due Date is Aug. 24, 2020. The purpose of the HHP program is to assist American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments identify and and remediate housing related health and safety hazards. This program will assist American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments to develop comprehensive programs to identify and remediate housing issues that contribute to health and safety issues in urban, tribal communities. Click here to view the HHP grant opportunity.

Click here to view 2020 NFOA information.

HUD Publishes Guidance to Prevent Homelessness After the Eviction Moratorium Expires

On July 24, 2020 the Eviction Moratorium provided under Section 4024 of the CARES Act expired.  In response, the Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) has drafted a guidance for Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) that provides suggestions on how to prevent homelessness after the Eviction Moratorium expires. While the Eviction Moratorium applied solely to units that were financed under ONAP’s Section 184 and or Title VI loan guarantee, the toolkit provides tips on how to assist families that may be struggling to pay their rent and may be at risk of homelessness.

Dear Lender Letter 2020-10 – Extension of Foreclosure Moratorium and Administrative Flexibilities

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency, HUD is extending the foreclosure and eviction moratorium applicable to the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee program and Section 184A Native Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee program through December 31, 2020. HUD is also extending the loan processing flexibilities originally issued in DLL 2020-05, and further extended in DLL 2020-08, through October 31, 2020. Please click here to see Dear Lender Letter 2020-10.

Dear Lender Letter 2020-09- Office of Loan Guarantee Fiscal Year 2020 Year-End Closure

This Dear Lender Letter (DLL) informs stakeholders when HUD will begin its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 financial closeout for loan guarantee programs, including the Section 184 Indian Home Loan program, the Section 184A Native Hawaiian Housing Home Loan program, and the Title VI Loan Guarantee program. The financial closeout process will begin on Monday, September 21, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. EDT. Please click here to see Dear Lender Letter 2020-09.

Sample ICDBG-CARES Tribal Resolution

The Office of Native American Programs has developed a Sample Tribal Resolution for use to meet the requirements of the ICDBG-CARES Notice (Notice PIH 2020-11). The sample resolution addresses both (1) Tribal organizations that are applying on behalf of an Indian tribe, and (2) Citizen Participation.

ONAP Report Due Dates Extended

In an effort to provide some relief for Tribes impacted by COVID-19, ONAP is extending the due dates for certain reports. Click here for Calendar of Due Dates.

ONAP Environmental Updates
Modernizing CEQ’sNEPA Regulations
Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published final regulation, Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, 85 Fed. Reg. 43304 (July 16, 2020). This regulatory update is the first update in 40 years and the rule goes into effect September 14, 2020. Click here for the CEQ fact sheet.

Click here for the SWONAP Weekly Info Bulletin November 16, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID -19) Guidelines

Every person can help slow down the spread of COVID-19. By doing your part, you can make a big difference to your health, and that of others around you. Circumstances are changing daily, and situations are different from Tribe to Tribe and State to State.

Precautionary steps recommended:

Stay home whenever possible
Avoid large public gatherings
Avoid all non-essential travel
Remain home (“self-isolate”) if you are sick
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Clean “high-touch” surfaces daily with regular household cleaners
Avoid sharing personal household items
Avoid touching your face
Wear a face mask when going to public places
Wear a mask at home if you live in a multi-generational home
Practice social distancing stay at least six feet away from other people

People may be sick with the virus for 1 to 14 days before developing symptoms. The most common symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Resources:

Welcome to the Southwest Tribal Housing Alliance (SWTHA) website. SWTHA is a non-profit organization established in May 2009 representing Indian Housing Authorities and Tribal Housing Departments in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas, also known as Region VIII. SWTHA’s purpose is to assist its members in addressing the housing needs of low-income Indian families in the Tri-State area. We encourage your organization to join us for a unified approach in combating housing needs of our Region.

To be the voice for Tribal housing by providing relevant, timely information, resources and a valuable network for the SWTHA membership.

Region VIII Tribal Housing Advocate.

Visit our Partners