[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 27 (Thursday, February 9, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 6673-6675]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3015]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

24 CFR Part 954

[Doc. No. FR-5568-F-01]
RIN 2577-AC87


Removal of the Indian HOME Investment Partnerships Program 
Regulation

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian 
Housing, HUD.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule removes HUD's outdated regulations for the 
Indian HOME Investment Partnerships (Indian HOME) program. Under the 
Indian HOME program, HUD awarded funds competitively to eligible 
applicants to provide affordable housing. The Indian HOME program was 
replaced by the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program established 
under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act 
of 1996 (NAHASDA). However, HUD retained the Indian HOME program 
regulations because they continued to govern grants awarded prior to 
the enactment of NAHASDA. Since September 30, 1997, HUD has not awarded 
grants under the Indian HOME program and, therefore, the regulations 
are no longer necessary.

DATES: Effective Date: March 12, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rodger J. Boyd, Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for Native American Programs, Office of Public and Indian 
Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street 
SW., Room 4126, Washington, DC 20410, telephone number (202) 401-7914 
(this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with speech or hearing 
impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free 
Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

[[Page 6674]]

I. Background

A. The Indian HOME Investment Partnerships Program

    The HOME Investment Partnerships Act (Title II of the Cranston-
Gonzales National Affordable Housing Act (Pub. L. 101-925, approved 
November 28, 1990; 42 U.S.C. 12701 et seq.)) established the HOME 
Investment Partnerships program (HOME program) and its subsidiary 
Indian HOME program. The HOME program regulations are codified at 24 
CFR part 92. The HOME program provides grants to state and local 
governments to fund activities that build, buy, or rehabilitate 
affordable housing or provide direct rental assistance. The HOME 
program is the largest federal block grant to states and localities 
designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income 
households.
    Each fiscal year, one percent of the funds appropriated for the 
HOME program were allocated to the Indian HOME program. The Indian HOME 
program awarded competitive grants to eligible applicants to increase 
affordable housing for low-income and very low-income persons. Eligible 
applicants for Indian HOME program funds included any Indian Tribe, 
band, group, or nation. The Indian HOME program regulations are 
codified in 24 CFR part 954. Under the Indian HOME program, grant 
recipients could use funds for housing rehabilitation, acquisition of 
housing, new housing construction, and tenant-based rental assistance. 
Assistance was provided in the form of loans, advances, equity 
investments, interest subsidies, and other forms of investment that HUD 
approved.

B. The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act 
and the Indian Housing Block Grant Program

    NAHASDA (25 U.S.C. 4101 et seq.) reorganized federal housing 
assistance to Native Americans by eliminating several separate programs 
of assistance and replacing them with the IHBG program, a single block 
grant program that recognizes the right of Indian self-determination 
and tribal self-governance. The Indian HOME program was one of the 
programs that was terminated and replaced with the new block grant 
program under NAHASDA.
    The IHBG program supports a range of affordable housing activities 
on Indian reservations and Indian areas. Eligible IHBG recipients 
include federally recognized Indian tribes or their tribally designated 
housing entity, and a limited number of state recognized tribes. IHBG 
funds must be used to develop or support rental or homeownership 
opportunities or provide housing services to benefit low-income Indian 
families. Eligible IHBG activities include modernization or operating 
assistance for housing previously developed using HUD assistance; 
acquisition, new construction, or rehabilitation of additional units; 
housing-related services such as housing counseling, self-sufficiency 
services, energy auditing, and establishment of resident organizations; 
housing management services; crime prevention and safety activities; 
rental assistance; model activities; and administrative expenses.
    When NAHASDA was enacted and the IHBG program was created, 
previously awarded Indian HOME grants continued to be governed by the 
provisions of the statutes and regulations governing the program in 
effect at the time of funding. When funded activities were completed, 
Indian HOME grants were closed in accordance with their program 
requirements and grant agreements. As a result, HUD initially retained 
the Indian HOME program regulations because they continued to govern 
these previously awarded grants. As intended by NAHASDA, grants under 
the IHBG program have now replaced Indian HOME program grants.

C. Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    On January 18, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order 13563, 
``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'' (see 76 FR 3821, January 
21, 2011). The Executive Order requires federal agencies to coordinate, 
simplify, and harmonize regulations to reduce costs and promote 
certainty for businesses and the public. Section 6 of this Executive 
Order requires agencies to review existing significant regulations to 
determine if they are outmoded or ineffective. In response to the 
Executive Order, HUD is working to ensure that all of its regulations 
are updated and remain necessary. As discussed, the regulations 
pertaining to the terminated Indian HOME program are no longer 
necessary.

II. This Final Rule

    This final rule responds to the mandate in Executive Order 13563 by 
removing regulations for a program that is now obsolete. Part 954 of 
title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations governs the Indian HOME 
program. At this time, the Indian HOME program no longer awards grants. 
This final rule removes all regulations pertaining to the Indian HOME 
program because it no longer exists. However, Indian HOME grantees are 
still required to comply with any statutory and regulatory requirements 
that continue to apply beyond the close-out date of an Indian HOME 
grant, such as ensuring compliance with applicable affordability 
requirements. Continued affordability for HOME rental housing projects 
is required by 42 U.S.C. 12745(a)(1)(E), as implemented by 24 CFR 
92.252(e) and 954.306(a)(5).

III. Justification for Final Rulemaking

    In general, HUD publishes a rule for public comment before issuing 
a rule for effect, in accordance with HUD's regulations on rulemaking 
at 24 CFR part 10. Section 10.1 of part 10, however, provides for 
exceptions from that general rule where HUD finds good cause to omit 
advance notice and public participation. The good cause requirement is 
satisfied when the public procedure is ``impracticable, unnecessary, or 
contrary to the public interest.'' HUD finds that good cause exists to 
publish this rule for effect without soliciting public comment on the 
basis that public procedure is unnecessary. After all, the purpose of 
this final rule is to remove all regulations pertaining to a program 
that is obsolete. The Indian HOME program in part 954 was replaced by 
the IHBG program. Public comment is unnecessary because this final rule 
updates the HUD regulations to reflect that the Indian HOME program no 
longer exists, and there is no exercise of agency discretion upon which 
the public could comment.

IV. Findings and Certifications

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 (entitled ``Federalism'') prohibits an agency 
from publishing any rule that has federalism implications if the rule 
either imposes substantial direct compliance costs on state and local 
governments and is not required by statute, or the rule preempts state 
law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements 
of section 6 of the Executive Order. This rule does not have federalism 
implications and does not impose substantial direct compliance costs on 
state and local governments or preempt state law within the meaning of 
the Executive Order.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 
1531-1538) (UMRA) establishes requirements for federal agencies to 
assess the effects of their regulatory actions on state, local, and 
tribal governments, and on

[[Page 6675]]

the private sector. This rule does not impose any federal mandates on 
any state, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector, 
within the meaning of UMRA.

Environmental Impact

    This final rule does not direct, provide for assistance or loan and 
mortgage insurance for, or otherwise govern or regulate, real property 
acquisition, disposition, leasing, rehabilitation, alteration, 
demolition, or new construction, or establish, revise, or provide for 
standards for construction or construction materials, manufactured 
housing, or occupancy. Accordingly, under 24 CFR 50.19(c)(1), this rule 
is categorically excluded from environmental review under the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321).
    Accordingly, under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 35335(d) and 25 
U.S.C. 4101 et seq., HUD amends 24 CFR chapter IX by removing part 954, 
as follows:

PART 954--[REMOVED]

0
1. Remove part 954.

    Dated: February 1, 2012.
Sandra B. Henriquez,
Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing.
[FR Doc. 2012-3015 Filed 2-8-12; 8:45 am]
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