American Rescue Plan Act Legislation Proposes Over $1.16 Billion for Hardship Assistance and Infrastructure Projects

WINDOW ROCK, AZ – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer recently met with Division Directors to review Legislation No. 0257-21, which seeks the 24th Navajo Nation Council’s support to allocate over $1.16 billion in Fiscal Recovery Funds authorized through the American Rescue Plan Act for hardship assistance, water/electricity/broadband infrastructure, housing, and bathroom additions. This will be the first of several legislations that will be considered to allocate over $2 billion that the Navajo Nation received to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Legislation No. 0257-21 proposes the following funding allocations:

  • Water and Wastewater Projects            $301 million
  • Broadband Infrastructure                     $208 million
  • Electricity for Homes                            $200 million
  • Housing                                              $100 million
  • Bathroom Additions                             $150 million
  • Hardship Assistance                             $207 million

President Nez and Division Directors previously met with the 24th Navajo Nation Council, Speaker Seth Damon, and Navajo Nation Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne, to strategize for the implementation of the Navajo Nation’s Fiscal Recovery Funds. The Office of the President and Vice President worked closely with the Legislative Branch to develop the legislation to help provide immediate and long-term relief for the Navajo people. 

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the Navajo Nation and to improve the quality of life for elders, disabled, veterans, youth, and families,” said President Nez. “Never before has the Navajo Nation received this level of funding in such a short time frame. If passed by the Council, this legislation will provide immediate financial relief for children and adults. We’ve been informed that based on a review conducted by the Department of Justice, individuals who previously received Hardship Assistance will not have to re-apply for the next round of hardship funds. We appreciate all of the hard work that is being done day after day behind the scenes by many. This is not an easy process, but together, we continue to work together and work through the challenges to implement plans for hardship assistance, water, electricity, broadband, housing, and bathroom additions.”

In July, the 24th Navajo Nation Council approved Resolution CJY-41-21, which was signed into law by President Nez and provides the framework for the implementation of the $2 billion in funds and allowed the Executive Branch to establish the Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office led by interim Executive Director Tom Platero. 

“The implementation of the Fiscal Recovery Funds will be life-changing for many of our elders, youth, and many others, but it will take collaboration and support from all leaders to be successful,” said Vice President Lizer. “Jobs will be created and the influx of funds will help to provide a boost to our local economy. Last year, the Navajo Nation used approximately half of the $714 million in CARES Act funds for hardship assistance that went directly to our Navajo people, over 700 families received electricity in their homes for the very first time, and many more received water resources, improved broadband service, and much more. We have so many needs in our communities across the Navajo Nation and we are taking a huge step forward for our people and to help us emerge from this pandemic.”

The Nez-Lizer Administration continues to work with the Legislative Branch to develop more legislations to allocate funds for educational initiatives, wellness centers/detox centers/senior centers/transition housing, mental health services, social services, chapter projects, economic development, tourism, and enterprises.