April 18, 2017

NHA issues statement in response to letter from Navajo Nation leadership

NHA provides essential service to Navajo people

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Housing Authority issued the following response to an April 13 letter signed by Navajo Nation President, Russell Begaye, Speaker of the Navajo Nation, Lorenzo Bates, and Navajo Nation Council Delegate Alton Joe Shepherd. The letter calls into question the Authority’s management and federal funding.

“At the Navajo Housing Authority (NHA), our first priority is and always has been to support and enrich the lives of the Navajo Nation by providing quality, safe and affordable housing. We are committed to improving housing on the reservation and promoting economic self-sufficiency for all our tribal members.

NHA works diligently to address housing issues for the Navajo people, managing 9,200 housing units as well as hundreds of ongoing projects. We also focus on investing in sustainable master planning initiatives, building emergency shelters, daycare centers and other public facilities, as well as increasing crime prevention and safety services and expanding housing opportunities for veterans.

Since we launched our five-year expenditure plan in 2012, we have spent down the balance of our federal funds by nearly half, averaging $142 million per year in expenditures. Also in the past five years, we have built more than 500 new housing units and modernized nearly 900 existing units. In 2016 alone, we constructed 119 new units and modernized 50 units.

We are also committed to transparency and making efficient use of our federal funding. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reviews NHA annually and independent parties routinely audit our financial statements. We have also made significant improvements to enhance our internal controls and accountability, such as installing customized financial and tenant management software systems to improve program and financial oversight; working with an independent third party to assess and correct procurement inefficiencies; and auditing and reviewing all unfinished projects to redistribute the funds and expedite other projects’ development.

As we near the end of our five-year expenditure plan, we trust that our progress made and reforms undertaken serve as evidence of our good stewardship and dedication to continuous improvement. While these reforms aim to improve oversight and enhance accountability, ultimately we take on each project with the goal of benefitting the Navajo people.”

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NHA issues statement in response to letter from Navajo Nation leadership – FINAL