HUD Archives: News Releases

Lee Jones
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For Release
July 2, 2013

Will focus on age-old practice of using compressed earth to provide sustainable housing in Alaskan native communities

ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced the Aleutian Housing Authority is one of four organizations nationwide to be awarded today a $100,000 grant to promote sustainable construction practices in Native communities and assist them in providing their members with healthier, more comfortable, and more resource-efficient homes.

HUD's Sustainable Construction in Indian Country Initiative ( is a Congressionally mandated effort that seeks to promote and support sustainable construction practices in Native communities, helping tribes to provide their members with healthier, more comfortable, and more resource-efficient homes.

The Aleutian Housing Authority will use its HUD grant to demonstrate the viability of an innovative, highly sustainable, energy-efficient and affordable housing construction technique — contemporary Stabilized Rammed Earth — through videography of construction techniques, performance monitoring and testing, and the production and dissemination of education and training materials. The focus of its project will be a 3-bedroom house that uses the materials in Anchorage that the Authority expects to build beginning next Spring.

"For generations living within and not at odds with one's environment has been a first principle among our first peoples," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "It's no wonder that native organizations like the Aleutian Housing Authority are among the leaders in developing affordable housing suitable to and sustainable in in the communities where they are built. Even better, many of the lessons they learn can easily be shared, adapted or replicated ha by non-native housing providers across the country."

Established in 1977, the Aleutian Housing Authority is a tribally designated housing entity comprised of 12 Federally-recognized tribes. It provides affordable housing to more than 200 low-income households in a 100,000 square-mile area comprised of the Pribilof Islands and the islands of the Aleutian archipelago which stretch some 1,300 miles southwest from the mainland of Alaska. It has successfully developed 296 single-family homes, 30 senior living units and 28 affordable rental units in the region.

In addition to the Aleutian Housing Authority, today HUD today awarded $100,000 Sustainable Construction in Indian Country to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe Housing Authority in Minnesota, Enterprise Community Partners and the Regents of the University of Colorado:

  • The Sault Tribe Housing Authority will use its grant to develop a "Green Development Code" manual, written as an easy to understand form-based building code format; and will prepare an educational guide and brochures that can be downloaded or distributed to other regional tribes to encourage them to either adopt as is or modify the codes and create their own "Green Development Code."
  • The Regents of the University of Colorado will use its grant to review and systemize existing tribal, academic and industry knowledge on compressed earth block fabrication and construction, document short- and long- term impact of CEB sustainable construction from Crow Tribe of Montana case study; identify lessons learned, limitations and critical success factors for CEB construction in Indian Country; and create best practices manual of CEB construction in Indian Country for broad dissemination among Tribes, donors, and other federal and industry partners.
  • Enterprise Community Partners will use its grant to develop a web-based development guide, focused on the needs of tribal leadership and housing providers, to help integrate sustainable housing development and to build development capacity in tribal communities across the country.

The Sustainable Construction in Indian Country is a competitive grant program administered by HUD's Office of Native American Programs and its Office of Policy Development and Research to identify and overcome barriers to the adoption of sustainable construction practices in Indian Country. Participating tribes are receiving technical assistance to support their adoption of sustainable construction practices in residential construction or rehabilitation projects, and HUD is providing training on sustainable construction practices.


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.


Content Archived: July 20, 2015