The tribe at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation is getting more help to improve living conditions on the reservation.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and HUD Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator Rick Garcia announced Wednesday that the Chippewa Cree Tribe was one of two Native American tribes in Montana receiving $900,000 grants to improve or create housing and economic development for low- to moderate-income families.
The other grant, through HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant Program, went to the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Housing Authority.
“These funds help Native American communities create sustainable and community-driven solutions to the challenges they face,” Donovan said in a release announcing the grants. “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.”
“Native villages and tribal organizations are using these funds to meet their most pressing housing and community development priorities,” Garcia added in the release.
The release said the grants are part of $53.6 million HUD will award in 2013 in the program, in which federally recognized Indian tribes, bands, groups or nations, including Alaska Indian, Aleuts and Eskimos, or Alaska Native villages compete for funding. The program was established in 1977.
The recipients use the funding to develop viable communities, including rehabilitating housing, or building new housing or to buy land to support new housing construction.
The program’s funding also can be used to build infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer facilities, and to create suitable living environments. To spur economic development, recipients have used the grants to establish a wide variety of commercial, industrial and agricultural projects. The grants have been used to build community and health centers, or to start businesses to support the community, such as shopping centers, manufacturing plants, restaurants or convenience stores and gas stations.