On Wednesday, Adrianne Todman, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), announced over $73.9 million in grant money heading to 68 tribal communities across 12 states.
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Thirty-four of those prioritized communities are in the state of Alaska. Just over $32 million of the grant money will go to those communities.
According to a funding utilization report from HUD, the award money will be used to tackle issues such as providing adequate sewage disposal services and upgrading public wastewater facilities in Alaska’s tribal communities.
Many of the community recipients, such as the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government and the Algaaciq Native Village, will use the funds to construct temporary shelters for families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government will use their share of the grant funds, which is set at $866,206, towards constructing a duplex to help families who are in need of housing. The Algaaciq Native Village, which is set to receive $1,035,000 in funding, will put the money towards constructing five housing units for temporary housing.
The Kenaitze Indian Tribe, which is slated to receive $1,035,000 in funding, will use the support to help provide emergency rent, mortgage, utility and other emergency assistance to families impacted by COVID-19.
During a press call, Todman stressed the necessity of these funds.
“There is a significant need for additional housing units in Indian country. There are some folks who want to come back home and may not be able to find a place.”
Last week, HUD announced that Washington State, Alaska, and Idaho will receive $13.6 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for fair housing organizations to tackle housing inequity during COVID-19.
Alaska Legal Services Corporation, one of the three fair housing organizations entitled to the funding, will receive a Fair Housing Initiative Program – American Rescue Plan (FHIP-ARP) grant for $75,000. According to the corporation, the FHIP-ARP funds will be used for specific activities such as responding to housing inquiries, investigating fair housing complaints, conducting fair housing testing, providing legal assistance, conducting education and outreach, and covering costs towards other services related to the pandemic.
Michael Look, a Region X Deputy Regional Administrator at HUD, said:
“The funds announced today are part of HUD’s commitment to stand with these organizations against housing discrimination with the goal of increasing housing security in our region.”