Improving Housing and Urban Development For Native Americans

The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a grant of more than 4.8 million for affordable housing to the Red Cliff Chippewa Housing Authority, a federally recognized Native American tribe. 

The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, led by Secretary Ben Carson has made affordable housing for indigenous people a priority, awarding almost $200 million in grants to 52 various Native American tribes throughout the country. 

This grant will be awarded through HUD’s Indian Housing Block Grant program. The Indian Housing Block Grant program is a formula grant that provides a wide range of affordable housing options on Native American reservations and related areas. This block grant approach to housing was established through the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996. Eligible participants for this program, are exclusively federally recognized American indigenous tribe members, or their federally recognized housing entity, as well as some state-recognized tribes as well.  

The grant, which is in the amount of $4,845,656 will go towards new housing rentals, increased opportunities for affordable homeownership, and a much-needed multi-plex. These funds will be used to build 1200 new units for low-income Native American families who are living in Indian reservations or other Indian areas. One intention of these funds is to spur economic growth and career development in these areas. 

In addition to that, the funds could actually help with prospective employment for tribe members, due to the need for contractors and builders that will be created in order to construct the units. 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson had this to say about the announcement regarding the grant funding: “HUD is excited for this new opportunity to better serve Native American communities through our government-to-government relationship with the Tribes. I look forward to seeing the new housing units and renovations the Tribes will complete with this much-needed investment in affordable housing”. 

Beyond the funding from HUD, tribal partners will be leveraging an additional $90 million in additional resources. Many of those families receiving the funds are located in opportunity zones, which are low-income neighborhoods located in specific areas designated by the IRS for tax breaks to encourage investment and economic growth. 

This cycle of this grant block program may have ended, but interested parties looking to apply can find all relevant information on the Indian Housing Block Grant Program through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website and can use this application.

By Lianne Hikind

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