BY TRISTAN AHTONE — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says the Navajo Nation has failed to spend nearly $150 million in housing grant money for fiscal year 2012. Since 2000, the Navajo Nation have almost consistently failed to spend HUD grant money.
In a letter of warning to the Navajo Housing Authority, HUD gave notice that the tribe was in violation of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act.
The violation? Failure to spend grant money awarded to Navajo Housing for crime prevention and safety, tenant-based rental assistance, and rehabilitation of old units to name a few.
The total grant for those programs in 2012: about $215 million. The money actually spent on those programs over that period: about $66 million.
Since 2000, HUD estimates that the Navajo Housing Authority has been sitting on nearly $434 million in unspent housing funds.
Repeated calls to the Navajo Nation for comment on the unspent funds were not returned.