Hud Secretary Donovan Announces $132 Million In Recovery Act Funds To Improve Native American And Alaskan Housing, Spur Economic Development

Press Release

By:  Shaun Donovan
Date: Aug. 11, 2009
Location: Anchorage, AK

During a visit to an Anchorage, Alaska community today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that HUD is awarding 61 grants, totaling $132 million, to Native American and Native Alaskan communities across the country to improve housing and stimulate community development (see below for detailed grant list). The announcement came during a visit to the Mountain View community in Anchorage, which has received Recovery Act funding. The Secretary was joined by U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, and other local elected and housing officials.

The Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) and Native American Housing Block Grant (NAHBG)funds being awarded today are provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). These grants will help Native American tribes improve the quality of their housing stock, develop viable communities, promote energy efficiency and create jobs.

"I am proud to announce today that, thanks to the Recovery Act, HUD has invested a half billion dollars in Native American and Alaskan communities across the country, including communities right here in the beautiful State of Alaska," said Secretary Donovan. "As I have seen firsthand today, these funds are already at work in some of the hardest hit communities, creating jobs and revitalizing neighborhoods."

Earlier this year, HUD allocated an additional $255 million in Recovery Act funding to nearly 600 eligible tribes and tribal housing entities. That funding is already being put to work to improve Indian housing. The total Recovery Act investment for housing and community development in Indian Country is nearly $510 million, which includes the formula and competitive awards.

The grants announced today were awarded competitively from two programs, which are awarding grants on a rolling basis:

The Native American Housing Block Grant (NAHBG): $242,250,000 is available for Indian tribes or tribal organizations representing tribes that are eligible to receive Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) funds. These funds can be used to build new housing and purchase land to support new housing construction. They also can be used to rehabilitate existing housing, including large-scale improvements such as new roofs, plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency. The funding can build infrastructure, including roads and water and sewers facilities, to create suitable living environments. Priority is given to applicants that demonstrate an ability to obligate and expend the funds quickly.

Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG): $10 million is available for Indian tribes or tribal organizations representing tribes that received an ICDBG grant in Fiscal Year 2008. These funds can be used to encourage economic development, including establishing a wide variety of commercial, industrial and agricultural projects. Priority is given to applicants that create job opportunities that will bring economic recovery to tribal communities; and to promote energy efficiency in their projects.

The Recovery Act includes $13.61 billion for projects and programs administered by HUD, nearly 75 percent of which was allocated to state and local recipients only eight days after President Obama signed the Act into law. The remaining 25 percent of funds, including the grants announced today, are currently being awarded through an ongoing competitive grant process. HUD is committed to implementing Recovery Act investments swiftly and effectively as they generate tens of thousands of jobs, modernize homes to make them energy efficient, and help the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis.

In addition, Secretary Donovan and HUD are committed to providing the highest level of transparency possible as Recovery Act funds are administered. It is vitally important that the American people are fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable. Every dollar of Recovery Act funds HUD spends can be reviewed and tracked at HUD's Recovery Act website. The full text of HUD's funding notices and tracking of future performance of these grants is also available at HUD's Recovery Act website.