HUD Archives: News Releases

Lee Jones
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For Release
August 23, 2011

Two Alaska organizations are among 46 nationwide to win more than $28 million in HUD grants that, in turn, will leverage an extra $18 million in non HUD investments

ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $798,888 to the Atmautluak Traditional Council and $567,908 to the Village of Kake to promote an 'entrepreneurial approach' to economic development in rural and tribal communities.

The two Alaska organizations are among 46 rural and tribal communities in 19 states today to be awarded a more
than $28 million under HUD's new Rural Innovation Fund to address distressed housing conditions and concentrated poverty. This year HUD received more than 300 applications from 48 states for Rural Innovation Fund grants.

The Atmautluak Council will use its $798,888 grant to launch the Pikat Housing Development Company Project to address the need for sustainable, permanent jobs by developing energy-efficient, climate-sensitive, culturally-informed, and healthy housing for low- and very-low income residents in the Village of Atmautluak. In collaboration with the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, the for-profit company will construct two prototype homes that can then be duplicated in the village. The project will use a hands-on approach to build the capacity of the tribal government staff and local construction workforce. The tribe has a trained construction workforce with experience in conventional construction techniques but lacks training in green, energy-efficient new construction.

The Village of Kake will use its $567,908 grant to provide small business development assistance to start-up oyster and geoduck farmers. Shellfish aquaculture shows strong promise to provide expanded private sector employment
and revenue to rural Southeast Alaska. The Southeast Alaska Mariculture Business Development Project will offer technical assistance and capacity building services to existing and start-up mariculture businesses in the Kake, Naukati, Hoonah and Angoon areas that have less than 2,500 inhabitants. Services include a shellfish business incubator, mariculture small farmer apprenticeship program, and a mariculture equipment revolving loan fund. Project partners include the Alaska Shellfish Growers Association, the University of Southeast AK Marine Advisory Program; the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development; the Alaska Oyster Cooperative and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation.

"Rural America is vast and diverse, and different communities face different challenges and opportunities," said Donovan. "Because there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach to strengthening rural communities, this funding provides flexible resources to address either housing or economic development needs, or both. This is especially important for communities that may have more limited access to resources because of their distant locations. These are catalytic projects that will have an impact on their communities for generations to come."

"This is a great example of an effective public-private partnership," said HUD's Northwest Regional Administrator, Mary McBride. "Entrepreneurs succeed because they understand their markets. These flexible funds will produce climate-appropriate housing in western Alaska that will withstand Alaska's unique climate demands in a sustainable way and will promote the development of a stronger mariculture industry in southeast Alaska. I am pleased that HUD is a partner in these ventures."

Applicants for HUD's new Rural Innovation Fund include federally recognized Indian tribes, state housing finance agencies (HFAs), state community development agencies, local rural non-profit organizations, community
development corporations, or consortia of these groups. Grantees can use their grant funding to support a variety of housing and economic development activities including construction, preparation of plans, land acquisition, demolition, homeownership counseling, and financial assistance.

HUD awarded Rural Innovation Fund grants in three categories. Seven Comprehensive grants were awarded grants of up to $2 million each to examine the social, housing and economic needs and resources of their target areas and to identify activities that will have sustained benefit in addressing these needs. Thirty-one Single Purpose grants of up to $300,000 each were awarded for more targeted initiatives, which typically focus primarily on either housing or economic development. Eight Indian Economic Development and Entrepreneurship grants - including the grant
awarded to the Council - of up to $800,000 each were awarded from $5 million set aside for applications for federally recognized Indian tribes and that will generate 178 construction jobs and 460 permanent jobs.

To read the summaries for all 46 Rural Innovation Fund grants awarded today, please visit HUD's website.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.


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