Indian Affairs | Housing Improvement Program (HIP)


WHAT IS HIP?  the Housing Improvement Program (HIP) is a home repair, renovation, replacement and new housing grant program administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and federally-recognized Indian tribes for American Indians and Alaska Native (AI/AN) individuals and families who have no immediate resource for standard housing.  While not an entitlement program, HIP was established under The Snyder Act of 1921 as one of several BIA programs authorized by Congress for the benefit of Indian people.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?  To be eligible for HIP assistance, you must be a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or be an Alaska Native; live in an approved tribal service area; have an income that does not exceed 150% of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Poverty Guidelines; have present housing that is substandard, as defined by the regulations; have no other resource for housing assistance; have not received assistance after October 1, 1986 for repairs and renovation, replacement or housing, or down payment assistance; and have not acquired your present housing through a federally sponsored housing program that includes such housing assistance. 

WHY IS HIP DIFFERENT?  HIP is a home improvement and replacement grant program that serves the neediest of the needy:  AI/AN who have substandard housing or no housing at all and have no immediate source of housing assistance.  HIP is a secondary, safety-net housing program that seeks to eliminate substandard housing and homelessness in Indian communities by helping those who need it most obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing for themselves and their families.  It is the BIA’s policy that every AI/AN family should have the opportunity for a decent home and suitable living environment.

WHO CAN I CONTACT ABOUT OTHER INDIAN HOUSING PROGRAMS?  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is the primary provider of new housing on Indian reservations and in Indian communities through the Office of Native American Programs, the sponsor of Indian Housing Authorities (IHA’s) and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHE’s).  Other federal housing resources available to AI/AN are the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Program and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Direct Home Loan Program.

HOW ARE HIP FUNDS DISTRIBUTED?  HIP funds are distributed on the basis of the number of eligible applicants and their estimated cost of program services.  Funds are distributed to tribes through Public Law 93-638 contracts or Self-Determination compacts or to BIA offices for the delivery of program services to the most needy eligible applicants.  Persons interested in performing housing repair, renovation or construction should contact the tribal governments or Bureau of Indian Affairs offices, with which they are interested in working, for information on available projects.

WHAT DOES HIP PROVIDE?  Interim Improvements:  Provides up to $7,500 in housing repairs for conditions that threaten the health and/or safety of the occupants.Repairs and Renovation:  Provides up to $60,000 in repairs and renovation to improve the condition of a homeowner’s dwelling to meet applicable building code standards.  Replacement Housing:  Provides a modest replacement home if a homeowner’s dwelling cannot be brought to applicable building code standards.  New Housing:  Provides a modest new home if you do not own a home, you may be eligible if you are the owner or leaseholder of land suitable for housing and the lease is for not less that 25 years at the time assistance is received

WHAT IS A TRIBAL SERVICE AREA?  An approved tribal service area is a geographical area designated by a tribe and approved by the BIA where HIP services can be delivered.  To find out if you live in an approved tribal service area, contact your local tribal or BIA Housing Office.

WHAT IS THE HIP INCOME GUIDELINE?  The HIP Income Guideline is comprised of two charts, one for the Lower 48 states and the other for Alaska.  The income figures on the chart establish the points you will receive for the first Need Ranking Factor based on Annual Household Income.  Applicants with an annual household income exceeding 150 percent of the federal Poverty Guideline are not eligible for the program.  

HOW CAN I APPLY OR GET MORE INFORMATION?  To see if you qualify for HIP assistance, obtain an application, or get more information about HIP, see Brochure and other BIA programs, contact your local tribal or BIA Regional Housing OfficePlease send your completed application to your local tribal servicing office.

                                                                              Current Events & News                                                                               

2017 Dear Tribal Leader Letter HIP Data Call-This letter is to provide information on the Housing Improvement Program's (HIP) Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 funding distribution and Data Call activities. The collection of HIP applications is a continuous process throughout the year. The application data is due to the BIA Regional Offices by close of business December 16, 2016. Click Here to view letter.

The Division of Human Services hosted two Webinar Training Sessions on the HIP; one on the revised Regulations (August 10, 2016) and the second (August 24, 2016) is a series of two trainings on the Tribal Annual Performance Report and Methodology of the Housing Improvement Program.

To view the Dear Tribal Leader Letter, click link for details of the announcement on the webinar training sessions.

Click Here for flyer on the webinar series

HIP training materials on webinar series for August 10, 2016, HIP Regulation training.  Chick here for Overview,
Click here for HIP Regulation.

HIP training materials on webinar series for August 24, 2016, HIP Methodology Overview (aka-Nuts and Bolts).  Click here.
Tribal Annual Performance Report. Click here.

                                                   Additional HIP Information                                                      

Federal Register Notice - HIP 

The BIA has updated its regulations governing its Housing Improvement Program, which is a safety-net program that provides grants for repairing, renovating, or replacing existing housing and for providing new housing.  This final rule is an important part of the Tiwahe initiative, which is designed to promote the stability and security of Indian families. The final rule aligns the program with other Federal requirements, allow leveraging of housing funds to increase the number of families served and projects funded, and expedite processing of waiting lists for housing assistance.The  document was published in the Federal Register on November 10, 2015 and became effective December 10, 2015:  
Please click Link. 

Federal Register Notice Effective:  December 10, 2015

Text Only Effective:  December 10, 2015

Apply for the Housing Assistance  

Please submit your signed, completed application to your tribal housing servicing office! 

New - 2017 Tribal Annual Performance Report

Tribal Annual Performance Report

In preparing your Tribal Annual Work Plan, there are two (2) options to choose from, please download the version that is compatible with the Windows operating system you use.

2016 HIP Estimate of Need Summaries and Eligible Applicants Summary

  • 2016 Estimate of Need - Chart (Excel)
  • 2016 Eligible Applicant Data - Chart (Excel)

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund)

Building Native CDFIs’ Sustainability and Impact 

The Capacity Building Initiative will help the CDFI Fund achieve its mission by ensuring CDFIs have the capacity to meet the needs in their communities.

The CDFI Fund’s Building Native CDFIs’ Sustainability and Impact series, provided by NeighborWorks America in partnership with Seven Sisters Community Development Group, will provide a wide range of specialized training, technical assistance, and peer learning opportunities designed to meet the unique needs of Native CDFIs at all stages of growth.  Multifaceted group training and individualized technical assistance will be tailored to meet the specific needs of each participating Native CDFI.  Examples of assistance that can be provided include developing lending policies and procedures; improving compliance practices; strengthening board governance practices; pursuing expansion strategies; or exploring capitalization strategies such as loan portfolio sales or how to participate in New Markets Tax Credit financing deals.

The series will include:

  • Training:  In-person training will be provided for certified Native CDFIs and emerging CDFIs on a case-by-case basis.  More details about training topics will be provided in the near future.
  • Technical Assistance:  Technical assistance will be available to organizations that participate in the in-person training sessions.  Specific guidelines for the technical assistance component of this series are currently under development.


Training and technical assistance opportunities will be made available to all certified Native CDFIs. Emerging Native CDFIs are eligible to participate on a case-by-case basis, with more information to be provided in the near future.

HIP Regulation

HIP Indian Affairs Manual (IAM)