“These grants will support our Native American communities as they work to improve housing conditions and neighborhoods,” Dr. Ben Carson, secretary of the HUD, said in a statement announcing the grants.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is showing support to Native American communities by making available $55.2 million for housing and development projects in those communities.
Seventy-seven (77) tribal communities will share the funding via the HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant Program (ICDBG). The program supports community development projects including new housing and construction of public amenities.
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HUD’s $55.2-Mil. Funding for Native American Communities
The HUD recognized the need to boost affordable housing in Native American communities. Most of the ICDBG grants will go toward the building of new homes or rehabilitation of existing homes “in order to alleviate homelessness, relieve overcrowding, and avoid members having to leave their community – spurring jobs and economic development along the way.” the HUD said.
Other awards from the program will fund the construction or improvement of community facilities such as: the construction of Karuk Tribe’s 4,400-square-foot Workforce Development and Training Center in California; a 24-unit, energy-efficient rental housing for Penobscot Tribe seniors in Maine; and a facility to improve public water for residential and commercial buildings on the east side of the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation in Texas.
A Look at ICDBG’s Role in Community Development
“HUD will continue to be a steadfast partner to tribes as they design and execute their community development plans,” read its September 14 statement.
The HUD created the Indian Community Development Block Grant Program in 1977 to meet the needs of Native American communities for a decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic growth. The program puts emphasis on serving individuals in the low and moderate-income bracket.
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ICDBG through a competitive process provides eligible applicants with direct grants that they can use toward community development projects falling under these main categories:
- Housing covers rehabilitation, acquisition of land for new housing construction, and new housing construction.
- Community facilities such as water and sewer facilities, road construction; and single or multi-purpose community buildings.
- Economic development covers a wide range of commercial, industrial, and agricultural projects that can be owned and operated by the awardee or by a third party.
Eligible applicants are federally recognized Native American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives, or any other groups, bands, communities, or organizations that meet the regulations of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribal organizations may also be eligible to apply.
There are six area ONAPs, or Office of Native American Programs, that administer the housing and community development of their respective area, primarily the allocation of the program funds.
The way it works applicants will only compete for grants on a first-come, first-serve basis against other applicants belonging to the same ONAP area. They can compete for a (i) single purpose grant to meet a specific need, or (ii) an imminent threat grant to address a problem of an urgent nature.
A full list of the ICDBG awarded in 2017 is accessible here.