American Indian Tribes Press for Deferred Maintenance Fund

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July 8, 2021 – Contact the FacilitiesNet editorial staff »

Like a vicious disease that sweeps across the country regardless of the age, race or location of the victim, deferred maintenance has taken a heavy toll on facilities across the country, regardless of age, location or location. their type. While K-12 school districts typically draw attention to their efforts to repair facilities after years of underfunded maintenance, one segment of the facility market – federal buildings in Native American communities – has also been hit hard by deferred maintenance, and they are advocating for increased funding.

Native American tribal leaders pressured federal agencies to reimburse billions of dollars in deferred maintenance at these facilities in a recent House hearing, according to Federal Computer Week.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education and the Indian Health Service (IHS) operate or fund more than 1,800 federal facilities, ranging from fire stations to hospitals and schools. Buildings show the effects of underfunding. The average age of IHS establishments is over 37, compared to an average of nine or 10 years in the private sector.

Many schools in these communities also need updates. The fiscal year 2022 budget request for the Bureau of Indian Education includes $ 264.3 million in annual construction funding. The agency receives mandatory Great American Outdoors Act funds, which can be used for priority deferred maintenance projects.

But the current deferred maintenance backlog for educational institutions is $ 823.3 million. Education districts, a separate category, have their own deferred maintenance backlog of $ 102.1 million. Of the 86 schools classified by the agency as “poor,” 73 currently have no funding for major replacement or repair.

Dan Hounsell is Editor-in-Chief, Facility Market.


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