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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 25Chapter ISubchapter KPart 256 → Subpart A

Title 25: Indians

Subpart A—General Provisions

§256.1   Purpose.
§256.2   Definitions.
§256.3   Policy.
§256.4   Information collection.
§256.5   What is the Housing Improvement Program?

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§256.1   Purpose.

The purpose of the part is to define the terms and conditions under which assistance is given to Indians under the Housing Improvement Program (HIP).

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§256.2   Definitions.

As used in this part:

Agency means the organizational unit of BIA that provides services to or with the governing body or bodies and members of one or more specified Indian tribes.

Appeal means a written request for review of an action or inaction of an official of BIA that is claimed to adversely affect the interested party making the request, as provided in part 2 of this chapter.

Applicant means an individual(s) filing an application for services under the HIP.

BIA means the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior.

Category A means the HIP funding category for minor repair not to exceed limits in §256.7 of this part.

Category B means the HIP funding category for renovation not to exceed limits in §256.7 of this part.

Category C-1 means the HIP funding category to replace a house that cannot be brought up to standard housing condition for $60,000 or less.

Category C-2 means the HIP funding category for building new housing as defined in §256.13(g)(1)-(5).

Category D means the HIP funding category for assistance as defined in §256.11(a)-(c).

Certificate of Title or Ownership means a document giving legal right to a house constructed with HIP funds.

Child means a person under the age of 18 or such other age of majority as is established for purposes of parental support by tribal or state law (if any) applicable to the person at his or her residence, except that no person who has been emancipated by marriage can be deemed a child.

Cost effective means the cost of the project is within the cost limits for the category of assistance and adds sufficient years of service to the house to satisfy the recipient's housing needs.

Dilapidated housing means a house which in its present condition endangers the life, health, or safety of the residents.

Disabled means having a physical or intellectual impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Family means one or more persons living within a household.

Homeless means being without a home.

House means a building for human habitation that serves as living quarters for one or more families.

Household means persons living with the head of household who may be related or unrelated to the head of household and who function as members of a family.

Independent trades person means any person licensed to perform work in a particular vocation pertaining to building construction.

Indian means any person who is a member of any federally recognized Indian tribe.

Indian tribe means an Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe pursuant to Public Law 103-454, 108 Stat. 4791.

Overcrowding means a number of occupants per house that exceeds limits identified in §256.10(d).

Permanent members of household means adults living in the household who intend to live there continuously and any children who meet the definition of child in this part.

Regional Director means the officer in charge of a BIA regional office or his/her authorized delegate.

Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

Service area means any of the following within a geographical area designated by the tribe and approved by the Regional Director to which services can be delivered:

(1) Reservations (former reservations in Oklahoma);

(2) Allotments;

(3) Restricted lands; and

(4) Indian-owned lands (including lands owned by corporations established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act).

Servicing housing office means the tribal housing office or bureau housing office administering the HIP.

Standard housing means a house that meets the definition of standard housing condition in this part.

Standard housing condition means meets applicable building codes within that region and meets each of the following conditions:

(1) General construction conforms to applicable tribal, county, State, or national codes and to appropriate building standards for the region.

(2) The heating system has the capacity to maintain a minimum temperature of 70 degrees in the house during the coldest weather in the area and be safe to operate and maintain and deliver a uniform heat distribution.

(3) The plumbing system includes a properly installed system of piping and fixtures certified by a licensed plumbing contractor.

(4) The electrical system includes wiring and equipment properly installed to safely supply electrical energy for lighting and appliance operation certified by a licensed electrician according to the applicable electrical code.

(5) The number of occupants per house does not exceed these limits:

(i) Two-bedroom house: Up to four persons;

(ii) Three-bedroom house: Up to six persons;

(iii) Four-bedroom house: Adequate for all but the largest families.

(6) The first bedroom has up to 120 sq. ft. of floor space and additional bedrooms have up to100 sq. ft. of floor space each.

(7) The house site provides economical access to utilities and is easy to enter and leave.

(8) The house has access to school bus routes, if the household includes children who rely on school buses.

Substandard housing means any house that does not meet the definition of standard housing condition in this part.

Superintendent means the BIA official in charge of an agency office.

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§256.3   Policy.

(a) The BIA housing policy is that every American Indian and Alaska Native should have the opportunity for a safe and decent home and suitable living conditions, which is consistent with the national housing policy. The HIP will serve the neediest of the needy Indian families who have no other resource for standard housing.

(b) Every American Indian or Alaska Native who meets the basic eligibility criteria defined in §256.6 may participate in the HIP.

(c) The BIA encourages tribal participation in administering the HIP. Tribal involvement is necessary to ensure that the services provided under the program respond to the needs of tribes and program participants.

(d) The BIA encourages partnerships and leveraging with other complementary programs to increase basic benefits derived from the HIP, such as an agreement with:

(1) The Indian Health Service to provide water and sanitation facilities;

(2) The United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development to leverage down payment assistance for a new unit; or

(3) Any other program and resource.

(e) The servicing housing office will issue a Certificate of Title or Ownership.

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§256.4   Information collection.

The information collection requirements contained in this part have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3507 et seq. and assigned control number 1076-0184. The information is collected to determine applicant eligibility for services and eligibility to participate in the program. Response is required to obtain a benefit. You may comment to the Bureau at any time with regard to this information collection.

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§256.5   What is the Housing Improvement Program?

The HIP is a safety-net program that provides grants for the cost of services to repair, renovate, or replace existing housing and/or provide housing. The program provides grants to the neediest of the needy Indian families who:

(a) Live in substandard housing or are homeless; and

(b) Have no other resource for assistance.

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