WASHINGTON (Source: HUD) – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded more than $56 million to 76 tribal communities throughout the nation to improve housing conditions, promote community development and to spur local economies with construction projects and jobs. The competitive grants awarded are part of HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program that address a wide variety of community development and affordable housing activities for low- to moderate-income families (see grant chart below and project summaries here).
“These grants are a step forward in forging solutions to improve the housing and economic conditions for some of our country’s most culturally rich neighborhoods,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “I’m impressed at the energy and creativity in how these communities are leveraging public funds to create lasting solutions for countless families.”
The recipients will use these grants to develop viable communities including rehabilitating housing or building new homes or to purchase land to support new housing construction. The funding can also used to build infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer facilities. To stimulate economic development and job growth, recipients use the grants to establish commercial, industrial and agricultural projects. Recipients also use the funding to build community and health centers, or to start businesses to support the community including shopping centers, manufacturing plants, restaurants or convenience stores and gas stations. Specific examples of this sort of economic and community development include:
•The Caddo Nation in Oklahoma will use its $800,000 grant to build a community facility for elderly low income residents.
•The Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin will devote its $600,000 grant to install solar photovoltaic panels on low-income single-family home and apartment rental units to decrease resident energy cost by 24 percent, and to decrease emissions due to the energy efficiency benefits.
•The Cook Inlet Tribal Council in Alaska will target its $600,000 grant to help build a group home for Alaska Native youth near Bartlett High School and the Alaska Native Heritage Center, reducing the number of homeless youth and increasing academic stability and support.
•The Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of California will use its $604,998 grant to upgrade the reservation’s existing infrastructure by replacing segments of old sewer lines serving tribal members. The original installations date back to the 1950s.
•The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma will use its $800,000 grant to build a Multi Purpose Community Health and Wellness Center.
•The Sac and Fox Tribe in Iowa will use its $600,000 grant to construct the Meskwaki Travel Center that will include a convenience store, car and truck fueling stations, a branch bank, sandwich shop, truck stop and a truck wash/mechanics bay. The project will retain 28 jobs and create 8 new positions.
•The ICDBG program was established in 1977 to help Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages to meet their community development needs. Federally recognized tribes, bands, groups, nations or eligible tribal organizations compete for this funding.