On February 16, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced more than $660 million in grant allocations to 587 Native American tribes in 35 states (see list below).
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. 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.
“Every family, every community in America, deserves the chance to flourish,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “Tribes use this funding to build new homes, or to solve their most pressing housing issues. Our partnerships with tribal communities and leaders are critical today to help ensure better housing, neighborhoods and economic opportunities for tomorrow.”
Eligible activities for the funds include 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 model 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 (NAHASDA).
“The Indian Housing Block Grant program is the single, largest source of affordable housing assistance in Native American communities,” said 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.”
HUD’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017 Budget seeks $700 million for Native American Housing Block Grants, $50 million above the 2016 enacted level, to address severe overcrowding and substandard housing conditions in Indian Country.
An additional $20 million in Indian Community Development Block Grant funding is being requested 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.
And up to $5 million in Jobs-Plus funding will be used to implement a demonstration of the program in Indian Country to boost employment and earnings.