|Home | En Español | Contact Us | A to Z|
HUD Archives: News Releases
CUOMO ANNOUNCES OVER $30 MILLION IN AID TO SIOUX TRIBES ON VISIT TO PINE RIDGE AND LOWER BRULE RESERVATIONS IN SOUTH DAKOTA
At the direction of President Clinton, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today visited South Dakota to announce over $30 million in assistance to Sioux tribes and to meet with tribal leaders to discuss ways HUD can help them expand opportunity and improve living conditions on reservations.
Cuomo's announcement of the HUD assistance to expand the supply of low-income housing and increase homeownership on reservations came on the same day President Clinton delivered a major address in Washington to tribal leaders from around the nation at the Conference on Building Economic Self-Determination in Indian Communities.
"I have asked HUD Secretary Cuomo to visit several reservations to determine what more his Department and our Administration can do to boost economic development," President Clinton said. "A few weeks ago, he met with the leaders of 60 Alaskan Native Villages and today, he is visiting the Pine Ridge and Lower Brule Indian Reservations in South Dakota."
Cuomo, who was invited to South Dakota by Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson, announced final approval of $30 million in HUD assistance - and the expected approval of another $2.1 million - under the newly implemented Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA). The Act gives tribes a much greater role in determining how HUD funds are used on their reservations.
"For far too long, the first Americans have been locked out of the American Dream and have endured some of the worst poverty, the worst unemployment and the poorest housing conditions in this land," Cuomo said. "The Clinton Administration wants to work in partnership with Indian Nations to end this grave injustice, and to support the efforts of each tribe to find its own solutions to the challenges it faces."
"The days when the federal government told Indian Nations what to do, when to do it and how to do it are over," Cuomo said. "We are replacing paternalism with partnership. We are acknowledging that Native Americans on the Pine Ridge, on the Rosebud, on the Lower Brule and elsewhere in Indian Country know a lot more than government officials in Washington about how to build better lives for themselves and their children."
Cuomo announced approval of the following assistance to Sioux tribes: Oglala - $8,675,781. Rosebud - $6,645,081. Cheyenne River -- $4,998,056. Standing Rock - $4,045,931. Sisseton-Wahpeton - $3,156,488. Crow Creek - $1,477,099. Lower Brule - $991,536.
In addition, Cuomo said the Yankton Sioux Tribe is expected to receive $1,734,275 and the Flandreau-Santee Sioux Tribe is expected to receive $354,776 in the near future, after HUD completes its review of the tribes' assistance requests. Once this aid is received, the Sioux tribes in South Dakota will receive a total of $32.1 million.
Senator Daschle said: "I am very pleased that Secretary Cuomo has come to South Dakota to see firsthand the housing challenges faced by Native Americans throughout the state. I hope this visit is the beginning of a long-term commitment to addressing the need for decent housing on Indian Reservations."
Senator Johnson said: "As a member of the Senate Banking and Housing Committee, I appreciate Secretary Cuomo demonstrating his leadership in this vitally important public policy area by visiting South Dakota reservations. I look forward to future oversight of the successful implementation of the NAHASDA and to working with Secretary Cuomo to educate the Congress about the needs of South Dakota tribes."
President Clinton announced at the federal conference in Washington that HUD and the Treasury Department will develop a pilot program on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado that would provide a one-stop mortgage center to make it easier for reservation residents to obtain homesite leases and home mortgages so they can become homeowners. The pilot will be expanded to four or five reservations if it is successful and could then be expanded further.
Because land on reservations is tribally owned and cannot be taken by lenders foreclosing on home mortgages that default, Indians on reservations have found it nearly impossible to obtain private mortgage financing. Currently, residents of reservations seeking to acquire a homesite lease from a tribe and a residential mortgage can be required to obtain approval from federal, tribal, state and local agencies, as well as private organizations in different locations.
Cuomo also said HUD is working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to continue expanding and improving a program that began in 1995 to federally guarantee home mortgage loans on reservations. The program guaranteed just 11 loans in 1995, but so far this year has already guaranteed 163 loans.
This year HUD is distributing $590 million nationwide to over 575 tribes under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act.
NAHASDA gives tribes more authority to determine how to use HUD assistance and directs HUD assistance to areas with the greatest needs. The Act reorganized the system of federal housing grants to Native Americans and provides tribes with stability by awarding them annual grants that enable them to plan their activities with the knowledge of future funding. The Act allows tribes, for the first time, to receive funds directly from HUD instead of through regional housing authorities.
The goal of the Act is to help create and support affordable housing and provide housing services for low-income Indians in their own communities. In addition to enabling tribes to use HUD funds for the first time for homeownership programs and for transitional housing for homeless people, NAHASDA can fund new home construction, job training, housing rehabilitation, energy auditing, crime prevention and safety activities.
Here are details of how each Sioux tribe plans to use the HUD assistance:
OGLALA - The $8,675,781 will be used to develop up to 200 homes for rent and for homeownership opportunities. The tribe will do this in partnership with other federal agencies such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Agriculture, along with non-profit organizations such as the Lakota Fund and Habitat for Humanity. In addition, a downpayment assistance program will be developed to help tribal members become homeowners. Funds will also be used to maintain and modernize existing housing.
ROSEBUD - The $6,645,081 will be used to develop homes for rent and for homeownership opportunities, and to improve the condition of existing substandard housing. In addition, a new housing administration complex will be built to allow the tribe to consolidate housing activities on the reservation.
CHEYENNE RIVER - The $4,998,056 will be used to build 125 homes, modernize 150 units of housing and maintain additional housing. A new reservation-wide Tribal Housing Coalition will be created to integrate reservation housing development activities. In addition, housing will be provided for at least 10 low-income police officers in housing developments, and a program to help single mothers become self-sufficient will be expanded.
STANDING ROCK -- The $4,045,931 will be used to maintain low-income housing and cover tenant counseling and administrative costs.
SISSESTON-WAHPETON - The $3,156,488 will be used to maintain and operate low-income housing and for drug elimination and crime prevention programs.
CROW CREEK - The $1,477,099 will be used to: survey all housing on the reservation to determine how to allocate NAHASDA funds; maintain work on current HUD-assisted housing; provide leveraging for an application of funding from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to help finance housing construction; and fund housing authority administration and planning costs.
LOWER BRULE - The $991,536 will be used to maintain and operate existing low-income housing, renovate some units and evaluate applications for individual housing assistance. Funds may also be used to provide home loan grants to eligible families.
YANKTON - The tribe plans to use the $1,734,275 it is expected to receive to develop 10 low-income rental units, maintain existing low-income housing, and fight illegal drug use and other crime. Marketing and education programs and a suitable legal infrastructure will be developed to encourage the use of private mortgage lending to low- and moderate-income tribal members. Whenever possible, the housing authority will provide jobs to low-income residents.
FLANDREAU-SANTEE - The tribe plans to use the $354,776 it is expected to receive to complete renovation on 13 homes, and to move and renovate up to 25 units of surplus Air Force housing from Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. In addition, funds will be used for anti-crime and drug prevention programs.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009