The Navajo Housing Authority will forfeit nearly a quarter of the $96 million in federal funds it was awarded for affordable housing projects. That’s part of a settlement reached with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
HUD accused the Navajo Housing Authority of failing to use the federal dollars to complete affordable home projects in 2012 as it had planned.
At that time the former head of the housing authority was forced to leave over mismanaged funds. And a new CEO Aneva Yazzie said she was attempting to revamp the program. But not enough homes were built during her time at the housing authority, according to two separate investigations.
So in June the Navajo president and council forced her to resign along with the board. But in August HUD followed up on the investigations, and found the Navajo Housing Authority to be in “full compliance.”
The $26 million will be put back into the housing pool and will be counted in the Native American Assistance and Self Determination Act allocation in 2018.
A 2011 study showed a need for 34,000 new homes on the Navajo Nation that will cost $9 billion to build.