The Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership Act of 2012 (the HEARTH Act) creates a voluntary, alternative land leasing process available to tribes by amending the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955, 25 U.S.C. Sec. 415. Under the Act, once their governing tribal leasing regulations have been submitted to, and approved by, the Secretary of the Interior, tribes are authorized to negotiate and enter into leases without further approvals by the Secretary. Specifically, the Act authorizes tribes to execute agricultural and business leases of tribal trust lands for a primary term of 25 years and up to two renewal terms of 25 years each. Leases of tribal trust lands for residential, recreational, religious or educational purposes may be executed for a primary term of up to 75 years. In support of tribal self-determination, the Act requires the Secretary to approve tribal leasing regulations if the regulations are consistent with the Department of the Interior’s leasing regulations at 25 CFR Part 162 and they provide for an environmental review process that meets requirements set forth in the Act. Interested tribes may submit their regulations to the Deputy Bureau Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs-Office of Trust Services.

Regulations & Date Approved by the Secretary of the Interior

Related Links & Documents


Between July 2014 and September 2014, the BIA held three initial HEARTH Act presentations to assist tribes and BIA personnel in processing tribal leasing regulations submitted for review and approval under the HEARTH Act. Since the initial presentations, the BIA has continued to offer HEARTH Act information to groups consisting of, or serving, tribal governments, including the National Congress of American Indians, USDA's Rural Development, HUD's Office of Native American Programs, the National Tribal Land Association, and at sessions for tribes and BIA personnel hosted by BIA Regional and Agency Offices. Additional sessions will be scheduled in the future. If you are interested in attending a HEARTH Act presentation, or have questions regarding the BIA's HEARTH Act review process for tribal leasing regulations, please email or contact:

Sharlene M. Round Face
Division Chief, Real Estate Services
Office of the Deputy Bureau Director-Trust Services
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs
1849 C Street, NW
MS 4620-MIB
Washington, D.C. 20240
Phone: (505) 563-3132