The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday awarded more than $9.5 million to a dozen Indian tribes in Oklahoma to fund housing and economic development opportunities for low- to moderate-income families.
The Absentee Shawnee Tribe, Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Comanche Nation Housing Authority, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Kaw Nation, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma, Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma and Wyandotte Nation received $800,000. The Tonkawa Tribe got $799,990.
“These funds help Native American communities create sustainable, community-driven solutions to the challenges they face,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a news release. “They are investments in the future that improve, preserve and expand the supply of decent, affordable housing, as well as expand economic opportunities for some of the most vulnerable fellow citizens.”
The grants were awarded through the agency's Indian Community Development Block Grant program, which will dispense $53.6 million this year.
The program was created in 1977 to help Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages with their community development needs.
Funds can be used to provide housing or build infrastructure needed to create suitable living environments. Recipients also have used the grants to establish a variety of commercial, industrial and agricultural products.
“Native American villages and tribal organizations are using ICDBG funds to meet their most pressing housing and community development needs,” said Tammye Treviño, the agency's regional administrator. “These grants will address unique challenges faced by tribes in remote areas which may also be experiencing severe weather conditions and an extremely short construction season.”