WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced on Wednesday that more than $651 million for housing block grants would be allocated to the 636 Native American tribes in 34 states. Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) allocations are distributed each year to eligible Indian tribes or their tribally designated housing entities for a range of affordable housing activities.
IHBG funds primarily benefit low-income families living on Indian reservations or in other American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The amount of each grant is based on a formula that considers local needs and housing units under management by the tribe or designated entity.
“Our nation is at its best when everyone has a fair chance to thrive,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro on Wednesday. “These funds will support the innovative work Native American tribes and families are doing to build a more prosperous future. Our partnership with these local leaders today will create better housing opportunities, more robust economic development and stronger communities tomorrow.”
Eligible activities for the funds include housing development, assistance to housing developed under the Indian Housing Program of the 1937 Housing Act, housing services to eligible families and individuals, housing management services, crime prevention and safety, and model activities that provide creative approaches to solving affordable housing problems. The block grant approach to housing was enabled by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA).
HUD’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 Budget seeks $748 million to address critical housing and community development needs in Native American communities, including $660 million for IHBG allocations.