HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. Region VI: 11-135
Patricia Campbell: (817) 978-5974/(817) 681-9741
Scott Hudman: (713) 718-3107/(713) 295-9675
For Release
August 23, 2011

Rural Innovation Grants will create jobs, build housing, and stimulate economy

OKLAHOMA CITY - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded three grants totaling $836,294 to the Choctaw Nation, the Little Dixie Community Action Agency in Hugo, and the Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation. The grants are part of a national effort to address distressed housing conditions and concentrated poverty. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said the grants from HUD's new Rural Innovation Fund promote an 'entrepreneurial approach' to affordable housing and economic development in rural areas. Overall, $28 million was awarded to 46 rural and tribal communities throughout the nation.

"Rural America is vast and diverse, and different communities face different challenges and opportunities," said Secretary 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."

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in Durant, Oklahoma will use its $776,294 Rural Innovation Single Purpose grant to initiate the Choctaw Native American Business Resource (NABR) Project, which will provide culturally relevant economic development services that support Native American business development, job creation, and ongoing entrepreneur activities. They will partner with the Eastern Oklahoma State College (EOSC) and Rural Enterprises Inc. (REI), which will assist with the outreach and infrastructure necessary to implement the project and will also provide educational activities. REI will ensure collaboration with the Native American Small Business Center, provide access for Choctaw NABR participants to a $500,000 revolving loan fund it operates, and provide small business resources and educational activities. Leveraging for this project is $670,976. Contact: Dana Bonham, (580) 924-8280.

The Little Dixie Community Action Agency, Inc. (LDCAA), in Hugo, will use its $300,000 Rural Innovation Single Purpose Grant to improve housing and existing economic conditions. LDCAA will complete a needs assessment in the areas of housing and employment to generate action plans relative to the needs identified.  Activities will include credit and housing counseling, small business training, job-skills training, job fairs, links to available resources, computer skills training, and education. Staff will coordinate with area employers, representatives of the educational community, and other resource providers to schedule and provide trainings, seminars, and workshops. This project will serve 130 participants. Leveraging for this project is $163,200. Contact: Rhonda Teague, (580) 326-3351.

The Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma(HASNOK) in Wewoka, Oklahoma will use its $300,000 Rural Innovation Single Purpose Grant to provide energy-efficient upgrades in an affordable rental housing development under construction in the tribal community in Seminole County, Oklahoma. HASNOK is building 25 single-family homes that will be models for sustainable, healthy, and energy efficient design. All of the newly-constructed homes will have cost-saving energy efficient upgrades including Energy Star lighting, appliances, windows and doors, water heaters, and heating and cooling systems. Leveraging for this grant is $150,000; project also includes $4,448,958 of other financing. Contact: Tom McGeisey, (405) 257-6604.

HUD's new Rural Innovation Fund offers grants of up to $2 million to support innovative housing and economic development activities. Eligible applicants were 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 nationwide:

  • Comprehensive Grants7 Comprehensive grants nationwide, in which grantees have examined the social, housing and economic needs and resources of their target areas and made proposals that address these needs through activities that will have sustained benefit and resources after HUD assistance is used. The maximum grant amount was $2,000,000 for this category. The SBCP grant falls in this category.

  • Single Purpose Grants32 Single Purpose grants nationwide, for more targeted initiatives, which typically focus primarily on either housing or economic development. The Seminole Nation and LDCAA grants fall in this category.

  • Economic Development and Entrepreneurship for Federally Recognized Tribes8 Indian Economic Development and Entrepreneurship grants nationwide, awarded from $5 million set aside for applications for federally recognized Indian tribes. The Choctaw Nation grant falls in this category.

Highlights of the Awards include:

  • 19 states are represented among the service areas, including Oklahoma.

  • 27 awardees (58%) are tribes or tribal affiliates. Tribal organizations were competitive in all categories under the NOFA and were recommended to receive 53% of total funding.

  • 789 housing units are proposed for low income beneficiaries nationwide.

  • 655 total jobs will be created through activities assisted by the grants nationwide. Jobs include 187 construction jobs and 460 permanent jobs nationwide.

  • Grantees propose leveraging more than $18 million in other funds for their respective projects.


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: August 20, 2013