HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced Monday the award of millions of dollars in housing grants to American Indian and Alaska Native tribes nationwide. Castro made the announcement while in Anchorage.
“Today, I’m pleased to announce that HUD is awarding $60 million in Indian Community Development Block Grants to more than ninety communities throughout the nation. These grants are intended to improve housing conditions and stimulate community development. And they also support self-determination. Our tribal partners, not Washington, determine which activities and projects meet their needs. “
Castro said he chose to make the announcement in Alaska because of the “excellence of the partnerships” among state and local governments and non-profits here that create opportunity for housing and economic development. Castro said local non-profits, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and other housing entities are able to successfully leverage federal funding with other types of funding to get projects done.
The Secretary used the opportunity to announce that additional grants would be available to remove mold from low income housing owned or operated by tribal entities.
Alaska Native tribes will receive about seven million dollars of the Indian Community Block Grant funds, to be distributed among fifteen tribes through out the state. One of those, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, will receive 600 thousand dollars to purchase two properties in the Muldoon area of Anchorage to be used for senior housing.
Gloria O’Neill is CEO of Cook Inlet Tribal Council. She says CITC and Cook Inlet Housing Authority work together on housing issues.
“I hope this demonstrates how we leverage both of our missions, so that we can make investment in the community. And this is the only way that we are able to take the might of what we do and do well, and really expand opportunities, especially in this area. We know that housing is probably our greatest challenge to overcome in Anchorage, and CITC is so very grateful that we could play a small piece in it all. “
CITC plans a project to house 23 senior citizens, including retail space on the lower level.
The HUD grant funds can be used in a variety of ways, including land purchase, rehabilitation of older homes or construction of new ones, even on road construction or water and sewer programs.
Ten Alaska tribal entities received 600 thousand dollar grants, and five other tribal communities received lesser amounts.