U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Announces Largest Ever Investment in Key Native Housing ProgramMay 16, 2022 09:29AM ● By Laura Durenberger
By Tina Smith Staff - May 12, 2022 - Tina Smith
Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) – chair of the Senate’s Housing Subcommittee – announced Minnesota Tribes will receive the largest ever housing investment as part of a key federal program dedicated to improving housing on Native land. The $23 million in funding for Minnesota Tribes represents a more than $4 million increase from last year, which Sen. Smith had pushed for.
“If you don’t have a safe, stable, affordable place to live, nothing else in your life works,” said Sen. Smith. “I’ve had the great privilege of visiting and meeting with Tribal leaders from Minnesota and heard firsthand how the affordable housing crisis impacts their communities. This funding will make a real impact for Native families who have been disproportionately impacted by the affordable housing crisis.”
The increased funding comes after Smith pushed for more support in a letter last summer to leaders on the Senate subcommittee responsible for the program. “Funding for the Indian Housing Block Grant has remained mostly level since…1996, [yet] the need for adequate and sanitary housing has grown,” wrote Sen. Smith in her letter. Reports have found the number of Native Americans living in dilapidated houses or doubling up with neighbors has risen over the past two decades.
In 2021, Sen. Smith convened the Senate’s Banking and Housing Committee’s first hearing on Native American housing in nearly a decade. The Subcommittee’s hearing highlighted the importance of fully funding the Indian Housing Block Grant, and featured testimony from two Minnesota witnesses.
The Indian Housing Block Grant is the largest source of funding for housing on Native land. The grants are awarded to individual Tribes who administer and direct funding towards housing projects that best serve their community. Funds can be used for housing development, housing-related infrastructure, and home repair and maintenance in Indian Country.
A full list of the Minnesota Tribes and their funding amounts is listed below:
FY 2022 Indian Housing Block Grant for Formula Allocations
Prairie Island Indian Community
Boise Forte Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Fond Du Lac Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Grand Portage Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Leech Lake Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Lower Sioux Indian Community
Mille Lacs Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
Upper Sioux Indian Community
White Earth Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
To see the original report follow this link to the US Senator Tina Smith website.