The webpage will answer questions after you get the housing program assistance. Please remember, working close with your tribal service office is very important.

How long will I have to wait for work on my house?

How long it takes to do work on your house depends on:

  1. Your position on the priority list;
  2. Whether funds are available;
  3. The type of work to be done;
  4. The climate and seasonal conditions where your house is located;
  5. The availability of a contractor; and
  6. Other unforeseen factors, such as infrastructure availability.

Who decides what work will be done?

The servicing housing office will determine what work is to be done on your house or whether your house will be replaced. The servicing housing office also provides the priority list annually to the Indian Health Service if the Indian Health Service is responsible for verifying availability or feasibility of water and wastewater facilities.

How are work plans prepared?

First, a trained and qualified representative of your servicing housing office will visit your house to identify what renovation and or replacement will be done under the HIP. The representative will ensure that flood, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and earthquake requirements are met, including the determination that the renovation or replacement is appropriately treated as a categorical exclusion.

Second, based on the list of renovations or replacement to be done, your servicing housing office will estimate the total cost of renovation to your house. Cost estimates will be based on locally available services and product costs, or other regional-based, industry-recognized cost data, such as that provided by the MEANs or Marshall Swift. If the house is located in Alaska, documented, reasonable, substantiated freight costs, in accordance with Federal Property Management Regulations (FPMR 101–40), not to exceed 100 percent of the cost of materials, can be added to the cost of the project.

Third, your servicing housing office will determine which HIP category the improvements to your house meet, based on the estimated cost of renovation or replacement. If the estimated cost to renovate your house is more than $60,000, your servicing housing office will recommend your house for replacement or refer you to another source for housing. The other source does not have to be for a replacement house; it may be for government-subsidized rental units or other sources for standard housing.

Fourth, your servicing housing office will develop a detailed, written report, called a scope of work, that identifies what renovation or construction work on your house will be accomplished and how. The scope of work is used to inform potential bidders of what work is to be done. When the work includes new construction, the scope of work will be supplemented with a set of construction plans and specifications. The construction plans must:

  1. Meet the occupancy and square footage criteria in § 256.10 (d); and
  2. Provide complete and detailed instructions to the builder.

How will I find out what work is to be done?

The servicing housing office will notify you in writing what work is being scheduled under the HIP. You will be requested to approve the scheduled work by signing a copy of the notice and returning it to the servicing housing office. Work will start after you return the signed copy to the servicing housing office.

Who does the work?

Your house will be renovated or replaced by either:

  1. A licensed and bonded independent contractor or construction company; or
  2. A tribe that operates the HIP under an Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act agreement.

How are construction contractors or companies selected and paid?

The servicing housing office must follow Federal procurement or other Bureau-approved tribal procurement policy. Generally, your servicing housing office develops a “bid specification” or statement of work, which identifies the work to be performed. The appropriate contracting office uses the “bid specification” to provide information and invite bids on the project to interested parties. The contracting office selects the winning bidder after technical review of the bids by and written recommendation from the servicing housing office, and after determination that the bidder is qualified and capable of completing the project as advertised.

  1. Partial payments to independent contractors will not exceed 80 percent of the value of the completed and acceptable work.
  2. Recommendation for final payment will be made after final inspection and after all provisions of the contract have been met and all work has been completed.

Do I have to move out while work is done?

You will be notified by your servicing housing office that you must vacate your house only if:

  1. It is scheduled for major renovations requiring that all occupants vacate the house for safety reasons; or
  2. It is scheduled for replacement, which requires demolition of your current house.

If you are required to vacate the premises during construction, you are responsible for:

  1. Locating other lodging;
  2. Paying all costs associated with vacating and living away from the house; and
  3. Removing all your belongings and furnishings before the scheduled beginning work date.

How can I be sure that construction work meets minimum standards?

At various stages of construction, a trained and qualified representative of your servicing housing office or a building inspector will review the work to ensure that it meets construction standards and building codes. Upon completion of each stage, further construction can begin only after the inspection occurs and approval is granted.

Inspections of construction and renovation will occur, at a minimum, at the following stages:

  1. Upon completion of inspection footings and foundations;
  2. Upon completion of inspection rough-in, rough wiring, and plumbing; and
  3. At final completion.

How will I find out that the work is done?

Your servicing housing office will advise you, in writing, that the work has been completed in compliance with the project contract. Also, you will have a final walk-through of the house with a representative of your servicing housing office. You will be requested to verify that you received the notice of completion of the work by signing a copy of the notice and returning it to your servicing housing office.

Will I need flood insurance?

You will need flood insurance if your house is located in an area identified as having special flood hazards under the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93–234, 87 Stat. 975). Your servicing housing office will advise you.

Is my Federal government-assisted house eligible for services?

No. The intention of this program is to assist the neediest of the needy, who have never received services from any other Federal entity.

I have a mobile home; am I eligible for help?

Yes. If you meet the eligibility criteria in § 256.6 and funding is available, you can receive any of the HIP services identified in § 256.7. If you request Category B services and your mobile home has exterior walls less than three inches thick, you must be considered for Category C services.

Can Housing Program resources be combined with other available resources?

Yes. Housing Program resources may be supplemented with other available resources (e.g., in-kind assistance; tribal or housing authority; and any other leveraging mechanism identified in § 256.3(d)) to increase the number of HIP recipients.

Additional Information

Contact Us

Division of Human Services
1849 C Street, N.W. MS-3645-MIB
Washington, DC 20240
Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.