[Title 25 CFR K]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - April 1, 2004 Edition]
[Title 25 - INDIANS]
[Chapter I - BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR]
[Subchapter K - HOUSING]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


25INDIANS12004-04-012004-04-01falseHOUSINGKSUBCHAPTER KINDIANSBUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                          SUBCHAPTER K_HOUSING


PART 256_HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM--Table of Contents




Sec.
256.1 Purpose.
256.2 Definitions.
256.3 Policy.
256.4 Information collection.
256.5 What is the Housing Improvement Program?
256.6 Am I eligible for the Housing Improvement Program?
256.7 What housing services are available under the Housing Improvement 
          Program?
256.8 When do I qualify for Category A assistance?
256.9 When do I qualify for Category B assistance?
256.10 When do I qualify for Category C assistance?
256.11 What are the occupancy and square footage standards for a 
          dwelling provided with Category C assistance?
256.12 Who administers the Housing Improvement Program?
256.13 How do I apply for the Housing Improvement Program?
256.14 What are the steps that must be taken to process my application 
          for the Housing Improvement Program?
256.15 How long will I have to wait for repair, renovation, or 
          replacement of my dwelling?
256.16 Who is responsible for identifying what work will be done on my 
          dwelling?
256.17 What will the servicing housing office do to identify what work 
          is to be done on my dwelling?
256.18 How will I be advised of what work is to be done?
256.19 Who performs the improvements, repairs, or replacement of my 
          dwelling?
256.20 How are these repairs or construction trades persons, home 
          building contractors, or construction companies selected and 
          paid?
256.21 Will I have to vacate my dwelling while repair work or 
          replacement of my dwelling is being done?
256.22 How can I be sure that the work that is being done on my dwelling 
          meets minimum construction standards?
256.23 How will I be advised that the repair, renovation or replacement 
          of my dwelling has been completed?
256.24 Will I need flood insurance?
256.25 Is my Federal government-assisted dwelling eligible for services 
          under the Housing Improvement Program?
256.26 Can I receive Housing Improvement Program services if I am living 
          in a mobile home?
256.27 Can Housing Improvement Program resources be supplemented with 
          other available resources?
256.28 What can I do if I disagree with actions taken under the Housing 
          Improvement Program?

    Authority: 25 U.S.C. 13.

    Source: 63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 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).



Sec. 256.2  Definitions.

    As used in this part 256:
    Agency means the current organizational unit of the Bureau that 
provides direct services to 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 the 
inaction of an official of the Bureau of Indian Affairs that is claimed 
to adversely affect the interested party making the request, as provided 
in part 2 of this chapter.
    Applicant means an individual or persons on whose behalf an 
application for services has been made under this part.
    BIA means the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Department of the 
Interior.
    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 other 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 dwelling to satisfy the recipient's housing needs well 
into the future.
    Disabled means legally blind; legally deaf; lack of or inability to 
use one or

[[Page 661]]

more limbs; chair or bed bound; inability to walk without crutches or 
walker; mental disability in an adult of a severity that requires a 
companion to aid in basic needs, such as dressing, preparing food, etc.; 
or severe heart and/or respiratory problems preventing even minor 
exertion.
    Family means one or more persons maintaining a household.
    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 possessing the ability to 
perform work in a particular vocation.
    Indian means any person who is a member of any of those tribes 
listed in the Federal Register pursuant to 25 CFR part 83, as recognized 
by and receiving services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
    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 Pub. L. 103-454, 
108 Stat. 4791.
    Permanent members of household means adults living in the household 
that intend to live there continuously from now on and any children 
defined as a child in this part.
    Regional Director means the officer in charge of a Bureau of Indian 
Affairs regional office or his/her authorized delegate.
    Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.
    Service area means the reservations (former reservations in 
Oklahoma), allotments, restricted lands, and Indian- owned lands 
(including lands owned by corporations established pursuant to the 
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act) within a geographical area 
designated by the tribe and approved by the Area Director to which 
equitable services can be delivered.
    Servicing housing office means the tribal housing office or bureau 
housing assistance office administering the Housing Improvement Program 
in the service area in which the applicant resides.
    Standard Housing means a dwelling that is decent, safe, and 
sanitary.
    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this definition, standard 
housing must meet each of the following conditions:
    (i) General construction must conform to applicable tribal, county, 
State, or national codes and to appropriate building standards for the 
region;
    (ii) The heating system must have the capacity to maintain a minimum 
temperature of 70 degrees in the dwelling during the coldest weather in 
the area;
    (iii) The heating system must be safe to operate and maintain and 
deliver a uniform heat distribution;
    (iv) The plumbing system must include a properly installed system of 
piping and fixtures;
    (v) The electrical system must include wiring and equipment properly 
installed to safely supply electrical energy for lighting and appliance 
operation;
    (vi) Occupants per dwelling must not exceed these limits:
    (A) Two bedroom dwelling: Up to four persons;
    (B) Three-bedroom dwelling: Up to seven persons;
    (C) Four-bedroom dwelling: Adequate for all but the very largest 
families;
    (vii) The first bedroom must have at least 120 sq. ft. of floor 
space and additional bedrooms have at least 100 sq. ft. of floor space 
each;
    (viii) The house site must provide economical access to utilities 
and must be easy to enter and leave; and
    (ix) Aesthetics and access to school bus routes must be considered.
    (2) The following exceptions apply to the standards in paragraph (1) 
of this definition:
    (i) If access to a particular utility is not available and there is 
no prospect of access becoming available, then the standard relating to 
that utility does not apply; and
    (ii) In regions of severe climate, the size of the house may be 
reduced to meet the region's applicable building standards.
    Substandard housing means condition(s) exist that do not meet the 
definition of standard housing in this part of the rule.

[[Page 662]]

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

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998, as amended at 64 FR 13896, Mar. 23, 1999; 67 
FR 77920, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.3  Policy.

    (a) The Bureau of Indian Affairs housing policy is that every 
American family should have the opportunity for a decent home and 
suitable living environment. The Housing Improvement Program will serve 
the neediest of the needy Indian families who have no other resource for 
standard housing.
    (b) Every Indian who meets the basic eligibility criteria defined in 
Sec. 256.6 is entitled to participate in the program. Participation is 
based on priority of need, regardless of tribal affiliation.
    (c) Tribal participation in and direct administration of the Housing 
Improvement Program is encouraged to the maximum extent possible. Tribal 
involvement is necessary to ensure that the services provided under the 
program are responsive to the needs of the tribes and the program 
participants.
    (d) Partnerships with complementary improvement programs are 
encouraged to increase basic benefits derived from the Housing 
Improvement Program fund. An example is the agreement with Indian Health 
Services to provide water and sanitation facilities for Housing 
Improvement Program houses.



Sec. 256.4  Information Collection.

    The information collection requirements contained in Sec. 256.9 
have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget under 44 
U.S.C. 3507 et seq. and assigned clearance number 1076-0084. The 
information is collected to determine applicant eligibility for services 
and eligibility to participate in the program based on the criteria 
referenced in Sec. Sec. 256.9 and 256.10. Response is required to 
obtain a benefit. The public reporting burden for this form is estimated 
to average thirty minutes per response, including the time for reviewing 
the instructions, gathering and maintaining data, and completing and 
reviewing the form.



Sec. 256.5  What is the Housing Improvement Program?

    The Housing Improvement Program is a safety-net program that 
provides grants for the cost of services to repair, renovate, replace, 
or provide housing. The program provides grants to the neediest of the 
needy Indian families who:
    (a) Live in substandard housing or are without housing; and
    (b) Have no other resource for assistance.

[67 FR 77920, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.6  Am I eligible for the Housing Improvement Program?

    You are eligible for the Housing Improvement Program if:
    (a) You are a member of a Federally recognized American Indian tribe 
or Alaska Native village;
    (b) You live in an approved tribal service area;
    (c) Your annual income does not exceed 125 percent of the Department 
of Health and Human Services poverty income guidelines. These guidelines 
are available from your servicing housing office;
    (d) Your present housing is substandard as defined in Sec. 256.2; 
and
    (e) You meet the ownership requirements for the assistance needed, 
as defined in Sec. 256.8, Sec. 256.9, or Sec. 256.10;
    (f) You have no other resource for housing assistance;
    (g) You have not received assistance after October 1, 1986, for 
repairs and renovation, replacement or housing, or down payment 
assistance; and
    (h) You did not acquire your present housing through participation 
in a Federal government-sponsored housing program that includes 
provision for the assistance referred to in paragraph (g) of this 
section.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998; 64 FR 13896, Mar. 23, 1999]

[[Page 663]]



Sec. 256.7  What housing services are available under the Housing Improvement 
Program?

    There are three categories of assistance available under the Housing 
Improvement Program, as outlined in the following table.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Where to find
   Type of  assistance         What it provides          information
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Category A...............  Up to $2,500 in safety    Sec.  256.8
                            or sanitation repairs
                            to the dwelling in
                            which you live, which
                            will remain
                            substandard. Can be
                            provided more than
                            once, but for not more
                            than one dwelling and
                            the total assistance
                            cannot exceed $2,500.
Category B...............  Up to $35,000 in repairs  Sec.  256.9
                            and renovation, which
                            will bring your
                            dwelling to Standard
                            Housing condition, as
                            defined in Sec.
                            256.2. Can only be
                            provided once.
Category C...............  A modest dwelling that    Sec.  256.10 &
                            meets the criteria in     Sec.  256.11.
                            Sec.  256.11; and the
                            definition of Standard
                            Housing in Sec.
                            256.2; and whose costs
                            are determined by and
                            limited to the criteria
                            in 256.17(b). can only
                            be provided once.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998, as amended at 67 FR 77920, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.8  When do I qualify for Category A assistance?

    You qualify for interim improvement assistance under Category A if 
it is not cost effective to renovate the dwelling in which you live and 
if either of the following is true:
    (a) Other resources to meet your housing needs exist but are not 
immediately available; or
    (b) You qualify for replacement housing under Category C, but there 
are no Housing Improvement Program funds available to replace your 
dwelling.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998, as amended at 67 FR 77920, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.9  When do I qualify for Category B assistance?

    You qualify for repairs and renovation assistance under Category B 
if you meet the requirements of this section.
    (a) Your servicing housing office must determine that it is cost 
effective to repair and renovate the dwelling.
    (b) You must occupy the dwelling and must either:
    (1) Own the dwelling; or
    (2) Lease the dwelling with:
    (i) An undivided leasehold (i.e., you are the only lessee); and
    (ii) A leasehold that will last at least 25 years from the date that 
you receive the assistance.
    (c) The servicing housing office must determine that the repairs and 
renovation will bring the dwelling to standard housing condition.
    (d) You must sign a written agreement stating that, if you sell the 
dwelling within 5 years of the completion of repairs and renovation:
    (1) The assistance grant under this part will be voided; and
    (2) At the time of settlement, you will repay BIA the full cost of 
all repairs and renovation made under this part.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998, as amended at 67 FR 77920, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.10  When do I qualify for Category C assistance?

    (a) You qualify for replacement housing assistance under Category C 
if you meet one of the four sets of requirements in the following table.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 You qualify for Category C
     assistance if * * *            And * * *             And * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You own the dwelling in       The dwelling cannot   ....................
 which you are living.         be brought up to
                               applicable building
                               code standards and
                               to standard housing
                               condition for
                               $35,000 or less.
You lease the dwelling in     Your leasehold is     The dwelling cannot
 which you are living.         undivided and for     be brought up to
                               not less than 25      applicable building
                               years at the time     code standards and
                               that you receive      to standard housing
                               assitance.            condition for
                                                     $35,000 or less.

[[Page 664]]

 
You do not own a dwelling...  You own land that is  The land has
                               suitable for          adequate ingress
                               housing.              and egress rights
                                                     and economical
                                                     access to
                                                     utilities.
You do not own a dwelling...  You have a leasehold  The land has
                               on land that is       adequate ingress
                               suitable for          and egress rights
                               housing and the       and economical
                               leasehold is          access to
                               undivided and for     utilities.
                               not less than 25
                               years at the time
                               you receive
                               assistance.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) If you qualify for assistance under paragraph (a) of this 
section, you must sign a written grant agreement stating that, if you 
sell the dwelling within 10 years of assuming ownership:
    (1) The grant under this part will be voided; and
    (2) At the time of settlement, you will repay BIA the full cost of 
the dwelling.
    (c) If you sell the dwelling more than 10 years after you assume 
ownership, the following conditions apply:
    (1) You may retain 10 percent of the original cost of the dwelling 
per year, beginning with the eleventh year.
    (2) If you sell the dwelling after the first 20 years, you will not 
have to repay BIA.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998, as amended at 67 FR 77921, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.11  What are the occupancy and square footage standards for a 
dwelling provided with Category C assistance?

    A modest dwelling provided with Category C assistance will meet the 
standards in the following table.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Total
                                                               dwelling
              Number of occupants                Number of      square
                                                  bedrooms   footage \1\
                                                              (maximum)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-3...........................................        \2\ 2          900
4-6...........................................        \2\ 3         1050
7 or more.....................................        \2\ 4     \3\1350
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Total living space; does not include hallways or modest-sized
  bathrooms or closets.
\2\ Determined by the servicing housing office, based on composition of
  family.
\3\ Adequate for all but the very largest families.


[67 FR 77921, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.12  Who administers the Housing Improvement Program?

    The Housing Improvement Program is administered by a servicing 
housing office operated by:
    (a) A Tribe, under a Pub. L. 93-638 contract or a self-governance 
annual funding agreement; or
    (b) The Bureau of Indian Affairs.



Sec. 256.13  How do I apply for the Housing Improvement Program?

    (a) First, you must obtain an application, BIA Form 6407, from your 
nearest servicing housing office.
    (b) Second, you must complete and sign BIA Form 6407.
    (c) Third, you must submit your completed and signed application to 
your servicing housing office. Submission to the nearest BIA housing 
office does not preclude tribal approval of the application.
    (d) Fourth, you must furnish documentation proving tribal 
membership. Examples of acceptable documentation include a copy of your 
Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) or a copy of your tribal 
membership card.
    (e) Fifth, you must provide proof of income from all permanent 
members of your household.
    (1) You must submit signed copies of current 1040 tax returns from 
all permanent members of the household, including W-2's and all other 
attachments.
    (2) You must provide proof of all other income from all permanent 
members of the household. This includes unearned income such as social 
security, general assistance, retirement, and unemployment benefits.
    (3) If you or other household members did not file a tax return, you 
must submit a signed notarized statement explaining why you did not.
    (f) Sixth, you must furnish a copy of your annual trust income 
statement from your Individual Indian Money (IIM) account, for royalty, 
lease, and other monies, from your home agency. If you do not have an 
account, you

[[Page 665]]

must furnish a statement from your home agency to that effect.
    (g) Seventh, you must provide proof of ownership of the residence 
and/or land:
    (1) For fee property, you must provide a copy of a fully executed 
Warranty Deed, which is available at your local county court house;
    (2) For trust property, you must provide certification from your 
home agency;
    (3) For tribally owned land, you must provide a copy of a properly 
executed tribal assignment, certified by the agency; or
    (4) For multi-owner property, you must provide a copy of a properly 
executed lease.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998, as amended at 67 FR 77921, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.14  What are the steps that must be taken to process my application 
for the Housing Improvement Program?

    (a) The servicing housing office must review your application for 
completeness. If your application is incomplete, the office will notify 
you, in writing, what is needed to complete your application and the 
date it must be submitted. If you do not return your application by the 
deadline date, you will not be considered for assistance in that program 
year.
    (b) The servicing housing office will use your completed application 
to determine if you are eligible for the Housing Improvement Program.
    (1) If you are found ineligible for the Housing Improvement Program 
or otherwise do not qualify for the program, the servicing housing 
office will advise you in writing within 45 days of receipt of your 
completed application.
    (2) If you are found eligible for the Housing Improvement Program, 
the servicing housing office will assess your application for need, 
according to the factors and numeric values shown in the following 
table.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Ranking factor and       Randing
    Factor         definition         description      Point descriptors
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1............  Annual Household    Income/125% FPG    Points
                Income: Must        \1\                (maximum=40):
                include income of  (% of 125% FPC)
                all persons         \1\.
                counted in
                Factors 2, 3, 4.
                Income includes
                earned income,
                royalties, and
                one-time income.
                                   0-25               40
                                   26-50              30
                                   51-75              20
                                   76-100             10
                                   101-125            0
2............  Aged Persons: For   Years of Age:      Points:
                the benefit of
                persons age 55 or
                older, and Must
                be living in the
                dwelling.
                                   Less than 55.....  0
                                   55 and older.....  1 point per year
                                                       of age over 54
3............  Disabled            % of Disability--  Points
                Individual: Any     (A% + B%/2):.      (Maximum=20):
                one (1) disabled
                person living in
                the dwelling.
                (The percentage
                of disability
                must be based on
                the average
                (mean) of the
                percentage of
                disabilities
                identified from
                two sources (A+B)
                of statements of
                conditions which
                may include a
                physician's
                certification,
                Social Security
                or Veterans
                Affairs
                determination, or
                similar
                determination).
                                   100%.............  20
                                   or...............
                                   Less than 100%...  10
4............  Dependent           Dependent Child--  Points (Maximum =
                Children: Must be   (Number of         5):
                under the age of    Children):
                18 or such other
                age established
                for purposes of
                parental support
                by tribal or
                state law (if
                any). Must live
                in the dwelling
                and not be
                married.
                                   1................  0
                                   2................  1
                                   3................  2
                                   4................  3
                                   5................  4
                                   6 or more........  5
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ FPG means Federal Poverty Guidelines.


[[Page 666]]

    (c) The servicing housing office will develop a list of the 
applications considered and/or received for the Housing Improvement 
Program for the current program year. The list will include, at a 
minimum, sufficient information to determine:
    (1) The current program year;
    (2) The number of applications considered and/or received;
    (3) The eligible applicants, ranked in order of need, from highest 
to lowest, based on the total numeric value assigned according to the 
factors shown in table B. (In the case of a tie, the family with the 
lower income will be listed first);
    (4) The estimated allowable costs of the improvements, repairs or 
replacement projects for the eligible applicants and the ``Priority 
List,'' identifying which applicants will be served based on the amount 
of available funding, starting with the most needy applicant and 
continuing until the amount of available funding is depleted; and
    (5) The applicants not ranked, with an explanation (such as reason 
for ineligibility or reason for incomplete application).
    (d) Your servicing housing office will inform you in writing within 
45 days of completion of the listing whether funding is available to 
provide Housing Improvement Program services to you in that program 
year.
    (1) If funding is available, you will be provided appropriate 
information concerning the availability of Housing Improvement Program 
services.
    (2) If funding is not available, you will be advised, in writing, 
and provided appropriate information concerning submission for the next 
available program year. At the option of your servicing housing office 
and when extenuating circumstances exist, your application can be 
carried forward, for one year, into the next program year. You will be 
advised that you must provide written confirmation that the information 
in your application is still accurate and that you must provide current 
income documentation for that application to be considered in the next 
program year.
    (e) Your servicing housing office will prepare an annual report 
identifying construction work undertaken during the fiscal year and 
related construction expenditures. The annual report is due to the 
servicing regional office on the fifteenth day after the end of the 
fiscal year. The report, at a minimum, will contain:
    (1) Number of Eligible Applicants;
    (2) Number of Applicants Provided Service;
    (3) Names of Applicants Provided Service;
    (4) For Each Applicant Provided Service:
    (i) Date of Construction Start;
    (ii) Date of Construction Completion, if applicable;
    (iii) Cost;
    (iv) HIP Category.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998, as amended at 67 FR 77921, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.15  How long will I have to wait for repair, renovation, or 
replacement of my dwelling?

    The length of time that it takes to accomplish the work to be done 
on your dwelling is dependent on:
    (a) Whether funds are available;
    (b) The type of work to be done;
    (c) The climate and seasonal conditions where your dwelling is 
located;
    (d) The availability of a contractor;
    (e) Your position on the priority list; and
    (f) Other unforeseen factors.



Sec. 256.16  Who is responsible for identifying what work will be done 
on my dwelling?

    The servicing housing office is responsible for identifying what 
work is to be done on your dwelling or whether your dwelling will be 
replaced. This includes responsibility to communicate and coordinate, 
through provision of the current Priority List, with the Indian Health 
Service, when it is the organization responsible for verifying the 
availability/feasibility of water and wastewater facilities.



Sec. 256.17  What will the servicing housing office do to identify what 
work is to be done on my dwelling?

    (a) First, a trained and qualified representative of your servicing 
housing office must visit your dwelling to identify what repairs or 
renovation are to

[[Page 667]]

be done under the Housing Improvement Program. The representative must 
ensure that flood, National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and 
earthquake requirements are met.
    (b) Second, based on the list of repairs or renovation to be done, 
the representative must estimate the total cost of repairs or renovation 
to your dwelling. Cost estimates must be based on locally available 
services and product costs, or other regional-based, industry-recognized 
cost data, such as that provided by the MEANs or MARSHALL SWIFT. If the 
dwelling is located in Alaska, documented, reasonable, substantiated 
freight costs, in accordance with Federal Property Management 
Regulations (FPMR 101-40), not to exceed 100 percent of the cost of 
materials, can be added to the cost of the project.
    (c) Third, the representative must determine which Housing 
Improvement Program category the improvements to your dwelling meet, 
based on the estimated cost of repairs or renovation. If the estimated 
cost to repair your dwelling is more than $35,000, the representative 
must approve your dwelling for replacement or refer you to another 
source for housing. The other source does not have to be for a 
replacement dwelling; it may be for government-subsidized rental units 
or other sources for standard housing.
    (d) Fourth, the representative must develop a detailed, written 
report, also called ``bid specifications'' that identifies what and how 
the repairs, renovation, or construction work is to be accomplished at 
the dwelling.
    (1) When the work includes new construction, the ``bid 
specifications'' will be supplemented with a set of construction plans. 
The plans must not exceed the occupancy and square footage criteria 
identified in Sec. 256.11. The plans must be sufficiently detailed to 
provide complete instructions to the builder for the purpose of 
construction.
    (2) ``Bid Specifications'' are also used to inform potential bidders 
of what work is to be done.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998, as amended at 67 FR 77922, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.18  How will I be advised of what work is to be done?

    You will receive written notice from the servicing housing office of 
what work is being scheduled under the Housing Improvement Program. You 
will be requested to concur with the scheduled work by signing a copy of 
the notice and returning it to the servicing housing office. No work 
will be started until the signed copy is returned to the servicing 
housing office.



Sec. 256.19  Who performs the improvements, repairs, or replacement 
of my dwelling?

    Independent or tribal repair or construction trades persons, home 
building contractors, or construction companies will perform the 
repairs, renovation, or replacement of your dwelling.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998, as amended at 67 FR 77922, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.20  How are these repairs or construction trades persons, 
home building contractors, or construction companies selected and paid?

    The servicing housing office must follow Federal procurement or 
other Bureau-approved tribal procurement policy. Generally, your 
servicing housing office develops a ``bid specification'' or statement 
of work, which identifies the work to be performed. The appropriate 
contracting office uses the ``bid specification'' to provide information 
and invite bids on the project to interested parties. The contracting 
office selects the winning bidder after technical review of the bids by 
and written recommendation from the servicing housing office, and after 
determination that the bidder is qualified and capable of completing the 
project as advertised.
    (a) Payments to the winning bidder are negotiated in the contract 
and based on specified delivery of services.
    (1) Partial payments will not exceed 80 percent of the value of the 
completed work.
    (2) Final payment will be made after final inspection and after all 
provisions of the contract have been met, including punch list items.

[[Page 668]]



Sec. 256.21  Will I have to vacate my dwelling while repair work or 
replacement of my dwelling is being done?

    (a) You will be notified by the servicing housing office that you 
must vacate your dwelling only if:
    (1) It is scheduled for major repairs requiring that all occupants 
vacate the dwelling for safety reasons; or
    (2) It is scheduled for replacement which requires the demolition of 
your current dwelling.
    (b) If you are required to vacate the premises for the duration of 
the construction, you are responsible for:
    (1) Locating other lodging;
    (2) Paying all costs associated with vacating and living away from 
the dwelling; and
    (3) Removing all your belongings and furnishings before the 
scheduled beginning work date.



Sec. 256.22  How can I be sure that the work that is being done on my 
dwelling meets minimum construction standards?

    (a) At various stages of construction, a trained and qualified 
servicing housing office representative or building inspector will 
review the construction to ensure that it meets applicable minimum 
construction standards and building codes. Upon completion of each 
stage, further construction is prohibited until the inspection occurs 
and approval is granted.
    (b) Inspections are, at a minimum, made at the following stages of 
construction:
    (1) Footings;
    (2) Closed in, rough wiring and rough plumbing; and
    (3) At final completion.



Sec. 256.23   How will I be advised that the repair, renovation or 
replacement of my dwelling has been completed?

    The servicing housing office will advise you, in writing, that the 
work has been completed in compliance with the project contract. Also, 
you will have a final walk-through of the dwelling with your servicing 
housing office representative. You will be requested to verify that you 
received the notice of completion of the work by signing a copy of the 
notice and returning it to the servicing housing office representative.



Sec. 256.24  Will I need flood insurance?

    You will need flood insurance if your dwelling is located in an area 
identified as having special flood hazards under the Flood Disaster 
Protection Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-234, 87 Stat. 977). Your servicing 
housing office will advise you.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998. Redesignated at 67 FR 77922, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.25  Is my Federal government-assisted dwelling eligible for 
services under the Housing Improvement Program?

    Yes. You may receive services under the Housing Improvement Program 
if your home was purchased through a Federal government sponsored home 
program that does not include provision for housing assistance.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998. Redesignated at 67 FR 77922, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.26  Can I receive Housing Improvement Program services if I 
am living in a mobile home?

    Yes. If you meet the eligibility criteria in Sec. 256.6 and there 
is sufficient funding available, you can receive any of the Housing 
Improvement Program services identified in Sec. 256.7. If you require 
Category B services and your mobile home has exterior walls of less than 
three inches, you must be provided Category C services.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998. Redesignated at 67 FR 77922, Dec. 20, 2002]



Sec. 256.27  Can Housing Improvement Program resources be supplemented 
with other available resources?

    Yes. Housing Improvement Program resources may be supplemented 
through other available resources to increase the number of Housing 
Improvement Program recipients.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998. Redesignated at 67 FR 77922, Dec. 20, 2002]

[[Page 669]]



Sec. 256.28  What can I do if I disagree with actions taken under the 
Housing Improvement Program?

    You may appeal action or inaction by an official of the Bureau of 
Indian Affairs, in accordance with 25 CFR part 2. You may appeal action 
or inaction by tribal officials through the appeal process established 
by the servicing tribe.

[63 FR 10134, Mar. 2, 1998. Redesignated at 67 FR 77922, Dec. 20, 2002]

[[Page 670]]