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; and have not acquired your present housing through a federally sponsored housing program that includes such housing assistance.2020 Webinar Flyer -Tribal Annual Performance Report word document

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 Office. Please send your completed application to your local Tribal servicing office.

Housing Improvement Program (HIP) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

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Current Events & News

Dear Tribal Leader Letter HIP Methodology -This letter is to provide information on the Housing Improvement Program's (HIP) Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 funding distribution and Data Call activities.

Additional HIP Information

Federal Register Notice - HIP

The BIA has updated it's Housing Improvement Program 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.

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!

2023 Tribal Annual Performance Report

The collection of HIP applications is a continuous process throughout the year. Tribal offices collect the Housing Improvement Program applications and enter the application data into the Tribal Annual Performance Report (TAPR). The TAPR is an excel template used to establish priority points and scoring. Annually, Tribal offices submit the TAPR to BIA agencies or Regional Offices by close of business December 31.

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.

2019 HIP Estimate of Need Summaries and Eligible Applicants Summary

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund)

Fostering Economic Self- Determination for Your Native Community CDFI fund initiatives has published a FAQ sheet on how Native Communities can gain access to capital and basic financial services.

Related Link: Download Native Initiative Program Fact Sheet

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.

NeighborWorks America is pleased to present the training and technical assistance series Building Native CDFIs’ Sustainability and Impact (BNCSI), part of the CDFI Fund’s Capacity Building Initiative.

The BNCSI will provide a wide range of ongoing capacity building opportunities including specialized training, technical assistance, and peer learning in a variety of formats and locations, so that each participating Native CDFI can select the training and technical assistance that will most efficiently and effectively help them grow.

Training and technical assistance opportunities are available in these
Key Areas of Organizational Capacity Development:

  • Organizational management and Board governance
  • Planning and implementation: Strategic and operational, business, and capitalization planning; impact tracking program
  • Lending and development services: loan products, development services, program and service operations
  • Management staffing and personnel: staffing plan, staff capacity, human resources
  • Operations: technical and compliance systems, client and contact management systems, marketing
  • Resource and financial management: financial health, resource development and management, and financial management operations, risk/portfolio management

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.

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Certified Native CDFIs lists includes entities that primarily serve (meaning, at least 50% of their activities are directed toward serving Native Americans, Alaska Natives and/or Native Hawaiians) a Native Community and from which the Fund receives a complete CDFI Certification Application by the applicable deadline of the NACA Program application, evidencing that all Applicant meets all requirements to be certified as a CDFI.

Related Link

HIP Regulation

HIP Indian Affairs Manual (IAM)

HIP Handbook