Title VI and Urban Indian Housing

Headnotes: 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is not authorized by statute or regulation to provide tenant rental assistance to an urban housing program whose occupancy is limited to Indians, and such assistance to a program with a racially or ethnically exclusive tenant policy is affirmatively prohibited by Titles VI and VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and by the Fifth Amendment.

Legislation affecting Indians should be construed in their interest; however, if Congress does not explicitly single out Indians for preferential treatment, courts should not imply an intent to treat Indians more favorably or differently from all other citizens.

While Congress has approved special aid for Indians in connection with housing on reservations and Indian areas, neither the Housing Act of 1937 nor long-settled and congressionally ratified administrative practice under that Act sanction off-reservation Indian housing preferences which would otherwise violate statutory or constitutional nondiscrimination requirements.

Updated July 9, 2014