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NM Delegation Celebrates Over $31.4 Million in Grants to Improve Housing in Native Communities

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) hailed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s announcement of over $31.4 million in grants to eight Tribes in New Mexico to improve Native access to affordable housing.

The eight Tribes received the grants from HUD’s Indian Block Grant Competitive Program. The grants were funded under Congress’s expansion of the Native American Housing and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) last year. The program is designed to streamline the grant funding process for federally-recognized Tribes to facilitate Tribal autonomy when directing resources. The funding will be used for Tribally-administered affordable housing development, maintenance, and operation.

“Safe, well-built housing and infrastructure are the building blocks for strong, healthy communities, and this major funding will help improve housing for Native communities across New Mexico,” said Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “It’s clear that NAHASDA is delivering critical resources to Native communities. That’s why I am working across the aisle to reauthorize NAHASDA, which expired as a mandatory funding mechanism in 2013. I am committed to ensuring that the federal government upholds its trust responsibility to Tribes. We must provide Native communities across the country with reliable funding they can use to plan their future.”

“I am proud to support this critical federal funding for tribal housing agencies that build and repair homes so that Native Americans can live in the communities where their families have lived for generations,” said Heinrich. “We need to finally renew the expired Native American Housing and Self Determination Act to ensure that this type of funding will never lapse. Safe and affordable housing is absolutely essential to self-determination and tribal sovereignty.”

“It’s critical that Tribal communities have access to safe and secure housing, and I’m glad to see significant federal resources go toward housing assistance for Tribes and Pueblos across New Mexico. I promise to continue fighting with Native communities to ensure our government meets their respective needs, and that includes reauthorizing NAHASDA with crucial supports for Native veterans,” said Luján.

“All communities deserve access to safe and affordable housing, but due to a failure of the federal government to live up to its trust responsibility, Native communities suffer from housing shortages and housing insecurity. These funds will help close gaps so Pueblo families across New Mexico can grow healthy, happy families in safe and affordable homes and the federal government can uphold its government-to-government relationship with Native Nations,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.

“We have a responsibility to ensure our tribes and Pueblos have the necessary support to build a better future. I’m proud to join the New Mexico delegation in announcing that seven Pueblos in New Mexico will receive grants from the Indian Housing Block Grant Competitive Program, including the Mescalero Apache Tribe Housing Department’s grant award of $4 million,” said Torres Small. “Strengthening the relationship between the federal government and Native communities continues to be a priority and I’m committed to fighting for the resources our communities need.”

A full breakdown of the eight awards is below:

-          The Mescalero Apache Tribe Housing Department has received $4 million

-          The Nambé Pueblo Housing Entity received $3 million

-          The Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority received $5 million

-          The San Felipe Pueblo Housing Authority received $5 million

-          The Tamaya Housing, Inc. in Santa Ana Pueblo received over $4.8 million

-          The Jicarilla Apache Housing Authority received $5 million

-          The Santo Domingo Tribal Housing Authority received over $4.5 million

-          The Zuni Housing Authority received $5 million