Four Rural Innovation Fund Grants in Montana

From Left: Tribal Chairman E.T. Bud Moran, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development Valerie Piper, Tribal Councilmember Steve Lozar, HUD Helena Field Office Director Erik Amundson, HUD Headquarters Special Assistant Judy Herbstman, Housing Authority Executive Director Jason Adams, and Tribal Councilmember Mike Kenmille.

HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development Valerie Piper traveled to Montana on August 23, 2011. She announced the award of $2,900,000 to promote affordable housing and economic development in Montana's tribal communities. Ms. Piper made the funding announcement at a tribal council meeting on the Flathead Indian Reservation, home of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes.

Ms. Piper said, "These awards are a testimony to the need, capacity, and innovation on tribal lands. I'm looking forward to seeing how things are being done here and how you will put the pieces together. I want to make the most of this opportunity to work together."

U.S. Senator Max Baucus sent a congratulatory letter that his Field Director, Kirby Campbell-Rierson, read to the tribal council. His correspondence noted that this investment in the Flathead Indian Reservation will provide much needed help in Montana and reap returns well into the future.

Award winners in Montana included: Northern Cheyenne Tribal Housing Authority ($300,000), Salish and Kootenai Housing Authority ($300,000), Chippewa Cree Tribe ($2,000,000); and Walking Shield, Inc. to undertake a project on the Rocky Boy Reservation ($300,000).

Housing Authority Executive Director Jason Adams, Field Director for US Senator Baucus, Kirby Campbell-Rierson, and HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development Valerie Piper address the tribal council.

Nationwide, the Department awarded 46 grants for the $28 million Rural Innovation Fund, a new initiative to help rural communities tackle their unique housing and poverty challenges. Building on the Rural Housing and Economic Development program, the Rural Innovation Fund takes a more comprehensive approach by helping communities use federal dollars to meet multiple needs.

With this funding, communities will have a powerful tool to spur innovation, create jobs, and grow their economies. It supports communities that can leverage other sources of public and private funding. And it makes a bold commitment to Indian Country, setting aside $5 million for Native American tribes who face unique housing and community development challenges.

Executive Director of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribal Housing Authority Jason Adams said, "We are very grateful for this funding and will be diligent in getting resources to the people that need it the most." He also thanked the tribal leaders for their support to make this vision a reality.


Content Archived: October 11, 2013