HUD Budget Seeks $748 Million to Address Critical American Indian Housing Needs

Former Senator Tim Johnson (South Dakota), Nick Tilsen & HUD Secretary Julián Castro on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation discuss needs of Indian housing last fall.

Former Senator Tim Johnson (South Dakota), Nick Tilsen & HUD Secretary Julián Castro on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation discuss needs of Indian housing last fall.

2016 HUD budget includes $25 million increase and teacher housing in Indian Country

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today unveiled President Obama’s proposed HUD budget for Fiscal Year 2016, which includes $748 million to address critical housing and community development needs in Native American communities.  HUD’s 2016 request represents an increase of $25 million over current levels and includes a proposal to fund teacher housing to attract more educators to Indian Country.

“When Native American communities succeed, our nation succeeds,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro.  “The President’s FY 2016 Budget proposal is a blueprint for greater opportunity for all Americans.  By increasing funding for Native American communities, the President’s Budget would give more families a fair chance to get ahead.  HUD is deeply committed to working with our partners to shape a future where every person has the opportunity to pursue the American Dream.”

HUD’s 2016 budget seeks an additional $10 million for the Department’s Indian Housing Block Grant (IHGB) Program, which is a major source of affordable housing assistance to more than 550 tribal governments in 34 states.  In addition, the budget proposes to create a new set-aside within the Indian Community Development Block Grant of up to $10 million to be used to help tribes attract and retain high-quality teachers in Indian Country by improving the availability and physical condition of teacher housing.

The proposed FY 2016 budget includes:

  • $660 million through HUD’s Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Program, an increase of $10 million over the FY15 enacted budget, to help tribal grantees to invest in new homes, infrastructure and economic development.  Grantees will be able to construct, acquire, or rehabilitate homeownership units and rental units.
  • $80 million under the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program, a $14 million increase from FY 2015, including the $10 million set-aside for teacher housing.  Indian CDBG funds are awarded competitively and used by federally recognized Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, and tribal organizations for a wide variety of needs, including producing affordable housing, public facilities and job creation.
  • $8 million for the Indian Housing Loan Guarantee program (Section 184) Program, a $1 million increase over 2015, to tribal communities to access private capital as a means of stimulating their affordable housing and homeownership programs.

The budget also includes a request of $100 million for Jobs-Plus, an $85 million increase from FY 2015, and would allow Tribally Designated Housing Entities to administer a Jobs-Plus Program.  Jobs-Plus provides intensive, employment-focused programs targeting every able-bodied, working-age welfare recipient at a public housing development.

In addition, HUD’s spending plan seeks $177.5 million for rental voucher for families, veterans, and Native Americans experiencing homelessness, as well as victims of domestic and dating violence, who are not currently living in assisted housing. These “special purpose vouchers” are specifically developed to serve Native Americans facing homelessness and overcrowding, and may be used for newly constructed and acquired housing.

Last week, HUD and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that, for the first time ever, a program to help homeless veterans find permanent supportive housing will be expanded into Native American communities.  This support for veterans is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.

 

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