President Obama Speeds Tribal Homeownership

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WASHINGTON – On Monday, President Barack Obama signed the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership, HEARTH Act. This historic Act allows American Indian tribes to lease restricted lands for residential, business, public, religious, educational, or recreational purposes without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.

The HEARTH Act promotes greater tribal self-determination and will help create jobs in Indian country. Under the Act, federally recognized tribes can develop and implement their own regulations governing certain leasing on Indian lands. Upon Secretarial approval of these tribal regulations, tribes will have the authority to process land leases without Bureau of Indian Affairs approval.

This new authority has the potential to significantly reduce the time it takes to approve leases for homes and small businesses in Indian country. By allowing tribes to more quickly and easily lease their lands, the bill promotes investment in tribal communities and more broadly facilitates economic development.

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