Sep 19, 2011 1:20 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
HELENA- The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are picking up some federal economic help. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $641,578 to the Tribes to improve or create housing and economic development opportunities for low- to moderate-income families.
"The competitive grants are provided through HUD's Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program to support a wide variety of community development and affordable housing activities," Regional Administrator Rick M. Garcia said Monday.
"These funds will help American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments create sustainable and community-driven solutions," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan in a press release. "Housing and infrastructure needs in Indian Country are severe and widespread. I'm inspired by the work the tribal communities are taking on to leverage these funds and get their communities on the right track."
The Tribes plan to use the money to cut down on the number of residents who are currently living in substandard housing and also to increase the amount of handicap-accessible rental housing units on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
The project will include rehab work on 14 owner-occupied housing units and three low-rent units, removing lead, mold and asbestos problems. Energy efficient features and appliances will be installed into the homes to reduce the energy cost burden on homeowners and the three rental units will be retrofitted to be handicap-accessible meeting the needs of 50 families.