July 24, 2009

Defense Bill Contains Idaho Housing Partnership

Crapo writes Mountain Home AFB, Shoshone-Paiute Tribes language

Washington, DC - A groundbreaking partnership to transfer unneeded housing units from the Mountain Home Air Force Base to members of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes may soon be law, thanks to language added to a defense authorization bill. An amendment based on legislation written by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo (S. 390), was included in the final passage of the FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390). Crapo supported the authorization bill, which passed the Senate on a vote of 87 to 7.

"My legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Risch, states that the Air Force may convey relocatable military housing on certain Air Force bases to Native American reservations in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and several other states," Crapo said. "This establishes a unique partnership between the Mountain Home Air Force Base and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe, which may result in several dozen housing units being transferred from the military to the Duck Valley Indian Reservation.

"This measure makes permanent a temporary partnership model that had been authorized year-to-year," Crapo added. "The amendment recognizes that Walking Shield, Inc., a national, Native American veterans non-profit organization, will work with Native American tribes and Air Force Base commanders to address the housing needs on the reservation. This is a win-win situation where housing that might have been underutilized will help alleviate a housing shortage at Duck Valley."

The Defense bill will now be sent to a conference committee with the U.S. House of Representatives. Final passage could come as early as next week.