Tribes Can Apply for $56M in Community Development Funds

Mark Fogarty

Tribes have until June 14 to apply for part of a $56.6 million pot of community development money.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to make about 75 awards from its Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) funds in its 2016 disbursement.

The ICDBG money goes toward decent housing, suitable living environments and economic development opportunities for people of low- and moderate-income, HUD said in its Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA).

Tribes can also apply for imminent threat grants. (The June 14 deadline does not apply for these grants.) Four million of a total of $60 million in ICDBG money has been set aside for imminent threat grants, leaving over $56 million for competitive awards, including some carryover funds.

HUD said its NOFA has been simplified and duplicate language eliminated to make it easier for tribes to apply.

The actual amount of money available may be more, the agency said, if it recaptures unused money or more money becomes available.

The grant ceilings for tribes vary among the six Office of Native American Program offices. They range from $500,000 in the Northwest office to $5.5 million for tribes with a population of more than $50,000 in the Southwest area.

The area offices will get differing amounts of allocations. There will be $7 million for Alaska, $4.6 million for the Eastern Woodlands, $8.5 million for the Northern Plains, $13.4 million for the Southern Plains, $3 million for the Northwest, and $19.8 million for the Southwest.

There are also varying limits for how much HUD will fund housing rehab efforts (though tribes can exceed that amount if they use funding from other sources). They are $75,000 for Alaska, $35,000 for Eastern Woodlands, $50,000 for Northern Plains, $50,000 for Northwest, $35,000 for Southern Plains, and $65,000 for Southwest.

HUD will make the awards no later than Sept. 15, 2018. And tribes will have until Sept. 15, 2023 to finish the projects.

Tribal organizations as well as tribes are eligible for the funds. They must get approval letters from the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Indian Health Service to be eligible. Individuals are not eligible for grants.

If a tribe or organization has an outstanding obligation to the ICDBG fund that is in arrears, it will not be eligible according to the NOFA, which is published in the Federal Register.

New housing construction is eligible under the program as well as rehabs, but a Community Based Development Organization must build the project. Economic development projects require a financial analysis to be submitted with the application.

Types of projects approved under the 2015 ICDBG round include: the biggest grant by far went to the Navajo Nation, for $4.1 million. According to HUD the tribe plans to use the money to extend power lines and waterlines for six regional chapters that include Kayenta, Dilkon, Coalmine, Rockpoint, Chinle, and Many Farms.

The second-largest allocation also went to an Arizona tribe, the Tohono O’odham, for $2.75 million. The Tohono O’odham Ki:ki Association will use the funds to build 15 single-family homes.

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