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Recently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $56.5 million to 77 Native American communities throughout the country to improve housing conditions and stimulate community development for residents, including funding construction projects and local jobs. The grants are part of HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program, which supports a wide range of community development and affordable housing activities.

“This investment will expand affordable housing and economic opportunities for families in Native American communities across the country,” says HUD Principal Deputy Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “We are proud to continue collaborating with tribal leaders to improve housing conditions and to lift up neighborhoods with vital new infrastructure and vibrant community spaces.”

The ICDBG program was established in 1977 to help Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages meet their community development needs. Federally recognized Indian tribes, bands, groups or nations (including Alaska Indian, Aleuts and Eskimos,) Alaska Native villages, and eligible tribal organizations compete for this funding each year.

The goal of the program is to develop viable Indian and Alaska Native communities, including neighborhoods with decent housing, suitable living environments, and economic opportunities. Communities can use the grants to rehab or build new housing; to buy land for housing; for infrastructure projects such as roads, water and sewer facilities; and to spur economic development including jobs.

This year’s projects include building or fixing homes for many of the awardees. Other uses include the All Mission Indian Housing Authority of the La Jolla Reservation in California using $605,000 to provide the west side of its community with much needed water. To address the effects of the ongoing drought in California, the tribe has three water infrastructure improvements planned. Near Auburn, Washington, the Muckleshoot Housing Authority will use its $500,000 grant to improve 10 housing units, making them more energy-efficient and creating three jobs in the process. Near the City of El Reno, Oklahoma, the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribe will use its $800,000 grant to construct the Concho Head Start Center which will include five classrooms and a large multi-purpose room to serve 57 low-income children and their families with programming to address their educational, emotional, social, cultural, health, nutritional, and psychological needs.

HUD administers seven programs that are specifically targeted to American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian individuals and families, and federally recognized tribal governments.  HUD will provide $798 million in FY 2017 to fund programs that support housing and development initiatives in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.  Through innovative programming, American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments have created sustainable and community-driven solutions to their housing and community development challenges.

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

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