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Tribes Get $33.6 Million in Housing and Development Aid

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Fifty-one tribes in twelve states are splitting $33.6 million in federal housing and economic development aid. The $33 million represents roughly half of a total of $65 million authorized for each of the last couple of years for the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG), a program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a separate part of the larger federal CDBG program. President Obama’s request for fiscal 2012 for the ICDBG is also $65 million, as is the “continuing resolution” for fiscal 2011.

ICDBG money can be used to facilitate new housing development, rehabs of existing units of housing, new land purchases for housing construction, or infrastructure. It is often used in conjunction with HUD’s larger Indian Housing Block Grants to build infrastructure such as roads, sewer and water projects. The program was started in 1977. It is sometimes used for new housing construction as well, HUD said.

The largest grants, of $1.1 million apiece, were given to three tribes—the Oglala Lakota of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the neighboring Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and the Northern Ponca Housing Authority of Norfolk, North Carolina.

The smallest grants went to two Alaskan Native villages and a tribe in Oklahoma. The Native Village of Nelson Lagoon was awarded $187,500 and the Knik Village of Wasilla was granted $247,062. The Wyandotte Nation of Wyandotte, Oklahoma, is to receive $369,000.

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Oklahoma was the state with the most tribes receiving grants—sixteen, including four of the Five Civilized Tribes. The Choctaw, Chickasaw and Muscogee (Creek) each were awarded $800,000, while the Cherokee received $726,765.

Alaska was the state with the second most tribes getting ICDBG money, with twelve. Nine of those tribes received $600,000 a piece.

The other states with recipients were Idaho (one), Michigan (five), Minnesota (two), Missouri (one), North Carolina (two), New York (one), Oregon (one), South Dakota (three), Washington (four), Wisconsin (two), and Wyoming (one).

In addition to housing development, the funds can also be used for economic development, according to HUD. “Recipients have used the funding to build community and health centers, or to start businesses to support the community, such as shopping centers, manufacturing plants, restaurants or convenience stores/gas stations."