June 28, 2017
Letter reads as follows:
As the newly appointed Board of Commissioners, we would like to take this opportunity to speak directly to the Navajo people, our Navajo Leaders at all levels of our government, Congress, the Navajo Housing Authority (NHA), the media, and all other entities we work with as an organization. Moving forward NHA must first restore trust with the people we serve by promoting transparency, communication, efficiency, and accountability. Part of that process includes looking at NHA as a whole and determining a new direction based on the needs of the Navajo people and communities on the Navajo Nation.
After four weeks of assessing NHA, it is apparent that there are organizational issues that need to be addressed in the strongest possible terms by the new Board. These issues are critical and fundamental, and NHA as a housing organization needs to confront a poor record of building new houses. The findings of our assessment make it clear that we have deficiencies within NHA and that issues raised about our ability to build new homes in the media are legitimate. The bottom line is NHA must and will build new homes and the new Board of Commissioners are committed to fulfilling this duty. In light of all this, the Board has reached the conclusion that our vision of the new direction of NHA requires new leadership and reorganization of NHA.
Effective June 30th, 2017, the current CEO of NHA, Aneva Yazzie will be stepping down from the position and the Board will be appointing an interim CEO while we search for the next leader of NHA. This mutual decision by the Board of Commissioners and the current CEO is the first step of many in rebuilding the NHA organization. Additionally, we look forward to the support and input of our leaders in the Executive and Legislative branches of the Navajo Nation government, local governments and Chapters, and most of all, the Navajo people in reorganizing NHA in the coming weeks.
The Board believes in order for NHA to be successful, we need to focus on five critical factors: Land, Housing, Roads, and Internet Connectivity, and Water. Lacking any of these areas of infrastructure will hinder our Nation’s ability to bring meaningful jobs, education, economic development, and the professionals needed to expand these areas. Without safe and reliable housing available we cannot attract the teachers needed to educate our children. Without a quality education, we cannot expect our children to compete for the jobs of the future. Without a workforce prepared to take the jobs of the future, we cannot develop our economy. And most importantly, without safe and reliable homes for our children, adults, and elderly, we fail as leaders to provide our people with the most basic of institutions.
The Board also believes communication is key to the success of NHA. Good communication between the Board and the NHA leadership and staff, the Resources and Development Committee, the Council, the President’s office, the Federal government, the media, and most importantly the Navajo People needs to be the new status quo. Working together, we can help our people reach their goals in housing.
The message from the Navajo People and our elected leaders is clear – building safe and quality homes is a priority. As a new Board, we are prepared to meet the challenges in front of us and excited to start this journey toward rebuilding NHA and creating a new direction. The Board is honored to serve and represent the Navajo people; and we are honored to provide leadership and service to NHA and its future.
Our promise to the Navajo people is that we will work with our leaders to make the Navajo Housing Authority into a success, and inspire a new way of thinking at the NHA based on our traditional Navajo teachings and philosophy. Specifically, the philosophy of K’é and kinship, to be good relatives to one another as we journey through Sa’ah Naagháí
Bik’eh Hózhóón. The Board offers our sincerest efforts and resolve to make NHA into the organization that we know it can be, and the organization that our people want and deserve. Ahéhee’.