Navajo Housing Authority officials issued a statement Tuesday in response to a letter written by Navajo Nation leaders asking the NHA board to remove top management at the agency because the Navajo people have lost confidence in their ability to do their job.
While it didn’t address the issue of the removal of top staff, what the NHA statement did do is point out some of the accomplishments of the current management team at NHA.
“Since we launched our five-year expenditure plan in 2012, we have spent down the balance of our federal funds by nearly half, averaging $142 million per year in expenditures. Also in the past five years, we have built more than 500 new housing units and modernized nearly 900 existing units. In 2016 alone, we constructed 119 new units and modernized 50 units.” the statement said.
The statement also promoted efforts by the current administration in becoming more transparent in its accounting of how federal housing funds are used, including the installation of customized financial and tenant management software systems to improve programing and financial oversight.
“As we near the end of our five-year expenditure plan, we trust that our progress made and reforms undertaken serve as evidence of our good stewardship and dedication to continuous improvement. While these reforms aim to improve oversight and enhance accountability, ultimately we take on each project with the goal of benefiting the Navajo people,” the statement said.
The big question, however, is whether these kinds of accomplishments will be able to deflect the type of pressure the NHA board is now under from both Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Speaker of the Council LoRenzo Bates to make the changes they want to see in the running of the program.
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