ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The federal government has awarded nearly $60 million in grants to more than 90 tribal communities across the nation, including 15 in Alaska, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announced Monday in Anchorage.
"These grants are intended to improve housing conditions and stimulate community development, including construction projects which will generate local jobs here in Anchorage and neighboring communities," he said.
The projects funded include:
— $600,000 to the Aroostook Band of Micmac Indian Tribe in Maine to build a tribal fitness center to address diabetes, obesity and other health issues.
— $1.1 million to the Blackfeet Housing Authority of Montana to renovate 24 low-rent housing units in Browning and Heart Butte.
— $600,000 to the Seneca Nation Indian Tribe of New York to replace a failing wastewater treatment plant.
— 826,926 to the Pueblo of Zuni Housing Authority of New Mexico to rehabilitate 18 housing units. The authority has 190 people on a wait list for help.
— $800,000 for a tribal heritage center for the Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.
— $605,000 for the Fort McDermitt Travel Enterprise of Nevada to a build diesel fueling area at a travel plaza along Highway 95, creating five new jobs and revenue from fuel sales and increased traffic at a convenience store.
— $600,000 for the Cook Inlet Tribal Council to help pay for a 23-unit senior housing complex in East Anchorage.
Other Indian Community Development Block Grant Program funds will for the first time be used to address mold in lower-income housing.
Among the nine tribes receiving such funds is the Havasupai Tribe in Arizona, which will use nearly $400,000 to remove mold from 10 homes in its village at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Mold is a problem because of overcrowding and frequent flooding.
"These grants are critical to promote better housing and economic development, and they also support self-determination," Castro said. "Our tribal partners, not Washington, decide which activities and projects meet their needs and though we're all challenged to stretch our housing dollars, these funds represent a critically needed investment in the tribal communities that need it most."
List of grant awards: http://is.gd/BVkAGH