Just over $15.4 million in grants have been awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a variety of new transitional and rental housing projects on American Indian tribal lands.
In announcing the funding, which is just a part of a larger $100 million expected to be released for the same purposes, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said the grants will specifically “help families throughout Indian Country to access essential resources amid the coronavirus outbreak.”
The funding, coming through the agency’s Indian Community Development Block Grant Imminent Threat program, can be used to build transitional housing for quarantined families and individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The funding will also go for COVID-19 emergency operation center construction, as well as the building of rental housing needed for homelessness and overcrowding.
The largest block grant, at $3 million, is heading to the White Mountain Apache Housing Authority in Whiteriver, Arizona, for housing construction.
Tribes in five other states are also among the program’s initial recipients, including the Santa Clara Pueblo Housing Authority in Espanola, New Mexico, which is getting $900,000, also for housing work.
The funding was established through the passage in March of this year of the landmark Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act legislation.
In a statement, R. Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing with HUD, said, “From helping Tribes build more affordable housing to building a place where families can go to quarantine, this funding will help Native Americans persevere during this unprecedented time.”
Additional Indian Community Development Grant Block Grant Imminent Threat funding is expected to be announced later this year.
By Garry Boulard
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