FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2021
Indian Housing Block Grant allocation will exceed $121 million for FY2021
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – On Mar. 25, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge announced $450 million in Indian Housing Block Grants (IHBG) to Indian tribes across the country to respond to COVID-19. The Secretary, in a press release, stated that this fund will be used to help tribes carry out affordable housing activities to protect the safety and health of their tribal members and communities.
The allocation is part of the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” (H.R. 13190) approved by Congress and sign into law by President Joe Biden on Mar. 11. The plan is aimed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic crisis, including $31.2 billion for Indian tribes and Native communities.
The Navajo Nation, through the Navajo Housing Authority, is set to receive $49,795,966 in IHBG funds which equates to 69.13 percent of NHA’s FY 2021 IHBG formula allocation.
NHA Board of Commissioners, Derrith Watchman-Moore, Chairperson; Kerrie Begaye, secretary/treasurer; and David Sloan, member welcomed the funding and thanked leadership. “We would like to thank the Biden-Harris Administration, members of Congress, and our Navajo leadership for their support in advocating for the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.,” said the Commissioners. “This pandemic has affected so many people on the Navajo Nation and the funding allocated will be a much-needed relief for the people of the Navajo Nation and it’s housing needs.”
On Mar. 16, NHA received notification from Southwest Office of Native American Programs (SWONAP) confirming the 2021 Indian Housing Plan was in compliance with HUD and that NHA will receive its annual IHBG funds in the amount of $72,024,391.
Dwyane Waseta, interim chief executive officer of NHA explained that though the ARPA allocation will be in addition to the NHA’s FY2021 IHBG allocation, no official HUD guidance has been issued regarding eligible activities under the ARPA funding. “We are awaiting an official notification from the SWONAP regarding the specific uses and eligible activities regarding the usage of the funds provided from the ARPA,” Waseta said.
IHBG primarily benefits low-income American Indian and Alaska Native families’ Eligible activities include housing development, assistance to housing development, housing services to eligible families and individuals, crime prevention and safety, and model activities that provide creative approaches to solving affordable housing problems in Indian Country.
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