HUD awards $600,000 for affordable housing and economic development in rural Montana

WASHINGTON – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today awarded $600,000 to two rural housing programs in Montana to stimulate economic development, create jobs and produce more affordable housing. The funding is part of $16.8 million in grants provided through HUD’s Rural Housing and Economic Development Program nationwide.

In addition to the HUD grants announced today, rural communities are expected to generate more than $443,472 from other public and private sources to promote economic development and employment.

“These grants will go a long way toward producing more affordable housing in rural communities across our country,” said Jackson. “HUD funding, and the private investment these grants will generate, will offer more than just an affordable home to working families in rural areas. These grants will trigger economic development and breathe new life into rural neighborhoods that are desperate to grow.”

Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) grants help pay for land acquisition, new home construction, housing demolition, infrastructure improvements and construction training. Other possible uses include homeownership and financial counseling; financial assistance to homeowners, businesses and developers; creating micro enterprises and small business incubators; and establishing lines of credit or revolving loan pools to benefit the local business community.

Qualified applicants are local rural nonprofit organizations, community development corporations, federally recognized Indian tribes, State housing finance agencies and/or local economic development agencies. RHED grants have provided nearly $190 million, creating more than 12,000 jobs, assisting nearly 8,200 businesses and producing nearly 20,000 affordable homes.

Rural communities will use this funding as seed money to pay the start-up costs for housing or economic development projects. These grants will also help organizations to hire and train their staffs, develop strategic plans and acquire office space and other needed facilities.

HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.

The following Montana communities will receive grants under HUD’s Rural Housing and Economic Development Program this year:

Browning Community Development Corporation in Browning, Montana will receive a Rural Housing and Economic Development Innovative grant award in the amount of $300,000. The RHED funds will be used to assist the Blackfeet Tribal members in a 2-year initiative. The objective of the first year is to establish financial education and asset building information, counseling and training opportunities for 500 of their residents. The information being provided will assist in curtailing predatory lending activities, increasing the decision making and literacy level of residents by educating them on various issues pertaining to housing and economic development. Partnering with the organization will be the Blackfeet Community College and the Glacier County Regional Port Authority. Proposed leveraging for this project is $237,312.

Contact Person: Dr. Johnel H. Barcus
124 2nd Avenue, NW, Browning, MT 59417
Telephone Number: (406) 338-4015

Crow Tribal Housing Authority in Crow Agency, Montana will receive a Rural Housing and Economic Development Innovative grant award in the amount of $300,000. The funds will be used to establish and Authority in providing financial support for Apsaalooke families who need to make the leap from renter to home owner status. Homeownership training will enhance the ability of their tribal members to become first time homeowners. Partnering with this Tribal Authority will be Apsaalooke Housing Authority along with the recipient Crow Tribe Housing Authority. Proposed leveraging for this project is $206,160.

Contact Person: Audrey Toineeta Black Eagle
P. O. Box 99, #1 Circle Lane, Crow Agency, MT 59022
Telephone Number (406) 638-2665

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