HUD Grants to Support Native American Housing Totals $660M
- Feb 18, 2016
Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is making more than $660 million in grant allocations to 587 Native American tribes in 35 states during this fiscal year. The grants, known as 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 benefit low-income families living on Indian reservations or in other American Indian and Alaska Native communities. According to HUD, 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.
There are a number of eligible activities for the funds, including 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 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.
The Indian Housing Block Grant program is the single largest source of affordable housing assistance in Native American communities, noted HUD Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “Over the life of the program, recipients have been able to build or acquire almost 37,000 affordable homes and have rehabilitated more than 77,000 housing units,” he said.
HUD’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017 Budget seeks $700 million for Native American Housing Block Grants, $40 million above the 2016 enacted level, to address overcrowding and substandard housing conditions. An additional $20 million in Indian Community Development Block Grant funding is being requested by the agency for projects to improve outcomes for Native youth, such as the construction or renovation of community centers, health clinics, transitional housing, pre-school/Head Start facilities and teacher housing.