Catawba community receives $600K grant

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro today announced $600,000 to improve housing conditions, stimulate community development and create jobs in a Native American South Carolina community.  Provided through HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program, these funds support a wide variety of community development and affordable housing activities.

“These grants will create better housing, spur economic development and support self-determination in Native American communities,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “ICDBG funds are an important investment in the remote and low-income tribal communities that need it most.  Through this work, we’re proud to help our tribal partners expand opportunity in their community by determining on their own, not from Washington, which local projects meet their needs and strengthen their future.”

“This is an investment to promote neighborhood development and increased job and educational opportunities for hard-working families of the community.” said Ed Jennings, Jr, HUD Southeast Regional Administrator.

The purpose of the ICDBG program is to develop viable Indian and Alaska Native communities, including decent housing, suitable living environments, and economic opportunities. Recipients can use the funding to support rehabbing or building new housing or to buy land for housing; for infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer facilities; and to spur economic development including job creation.

The Catawba Indian Nation/ISWA Development Corporation will use its grant of $600,000 to construct an expansion to the current Little People Academy which is a daycare/wrap around program and Head Start school.  The project will include an additional 3,000 square feet to house an Early Head Start Program, including 2,300 square feet of learning and child care areas and 700 square feet of office space.  More than half of expectant and current mothers with zero to age three children work outside the home and need adequate care and education opportunities for their children.  The expansion will allow the tribe to serve up to 100 children from the current 56 children being served.

For the first time in fiscal year 2014, the awards will also be used through a special program to remediate and prevent mold in housing units owned or operated by tribes and tribally designated housing entities.

The ICDBG program was established in 1977 to help Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages to meet their community development needs.  Federally recognized Indian tribes, bands, groups or nations (including Alaska Indian, Aleuts and Eskimos,) Alaska Native villages, and eligible tribal organizations compete for this funding.

HUD administers six programs that are specifically targeted to American Indian, Alaska Native, or native Hawaiian individuals and families, and federally recognized tribal governments.  In Fiscal Year 2014, HUD received more than $736 million to fund programs to support housing and development initiatives in American Indian, Alaska Native, and native Hawaiian communities.  Through innovative programming, American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments have created sustainable and community-driven solutions to their housing and community development challenges.

Article (from release) posted in The Lancaster News