2014 RCAC Annual Report Page 3 n October 2013 RCAC and Native Home Capital NHC launched The Tribal Housing Excellence Academy THE Academya three-year initiative to work with innovative tribal organizations in the West to increase housing variety and volume on tribal lands. THE Academy provides an incubator to increase tribal organizationsknowledge and ca- pacity to develop housing using multiple funding and financing sources to reduce their reliance on outside developers. Prior to 1996 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban De- velopment HUD identified administered and funded housing development in Indian Country. The 1996 Native American T.H.E. Academyincreasing quality quantity and types of housing on tribal lands The consultants and experts ease the way as we work through multiple layers of rules and regulations during this course. Laurie Ann Cloud Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act NAHASDA significantly changed the model moving all HUD funding into a block grant program that allows tribes to structure their own approaches to develop housing for their members. While NAHASDA presented a welcome change today tribes still struggle to meet the housing needs of their members which in- clude low-income families teachers healthcare workers public safety officers and the entire reservation community. They also encounter unique challenges to building on trust land have dif- ficulty attracting outside financing and face a lack of capacity and experience among tribal housing developers. Overcoming these challenges will put tribal organizations in the lead and reduce dependence on others. THE Academy employs faculty members and coaches who have extensive expertise in housing development on and off tribal lands and in best practices to leverage new funding and financing sources. Through peer-support intensive capacity- building sessions networking with top developers and financial institutions legal guidance and coaching from seasoned devel- opment experts THE Academy is moving housing projects from concept to construction. Nine tribal organizations were selected because they demon- strated clear determination to increase their skills willingness to commit time and resources and had a potential housing devel- opment project. As the program unfolded one Tribal Housing Authority withdrew leaving the project with a cohort of eight agencies. Each participating organization assembled a develop- ment team and at least two development team members from each organization are participating in four week-long training sessions over the course of 15 months. The development teams also receive technical assistance from a coach as they move their projects forward. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to participate in the Tribal Housing Excellence Academy. The diverse experience and commonality among the participants creates a great classroom setting to discuss a variety of challenges and barrierssaid Laurie Ann Cloud from the Nez Perce Tribal Housing Authority in Idaho.The consultants and experts ease the way as we work through multiple layers of rules and regulations during this course.