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Navajo President Calls For Its Housing Leaders To Step Down

NHA home
Anne Hoffman
A Navajo Housing Authority home.

The Navajo president has called for the removal of the Navajo Housing Authority leadership. He said in a letter to the NHA board they’ve mismanaged funds and failed to provide sufficient homes for a tribe living in mostly overcrowded and impoverished conditions. 

Aneva Yazzie, the Navajo Housing Authority CEO, says the president isn’t looking at the whole picture. Over the last five years, the agency has built 500 homes and maintained 9,000 units. Federal rules require the tribe to bring homes up to code. And Yazzie said that accounts for half of the money they spend.

“The remaining funds goes towards new construction, model activities that HUD has to approve day care centers, elderly group homes, women and children shelters,” Yazzie said.

Another challenge: the people who want homes have to first go through a lengthy home site lease process because tribal land is held in trust. But the president is frustrated with the rate of progress. 

Laurel Morales was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2011 to 2020.