Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., delivers the congressional response to the State of Indian Nations. Knight Studio. Newseum. Washington, DC. Jan. 30, 2014. Photo by Jared King and courtesy Flickr Navajo Nation Washington Office)
On May 24, U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s office announced more than $10 million in Indian Housing Block Grant Program Funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Fort Peck, Blackfeet, and Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation (CSKT).
The Indian Housing Block Grant Program is a formula grant that provides a range of affordable housing activities on Indian reservations and Indian areas. According to the Indian Housing Block Grant Program website, eligible activities include housing development, assistance to housing developed under the Indian Housing Program, housing services to eligible families and individuals, crime prevention and safety, and model activities that provide creative approaches to solving affordable housing problems.
“All Montana families deserve a roof over their heads and a place to call home,” Tester said in a statement announcing the grants. “Access to affordable housing provides families with the foundation they need to launch successful careers, live healthier lives, and achieve self-determination for themselves and for future generations.”
These Indian Housing Block Grants come on top of hundreds of millions of dollars in funding that Tester helped secure in Congress’ annual funding bill passed in March. This funding includes $120 million for rural water projects, a $497 million budget increase for the Indian Health Service, $914 million for the Bureau of Indian Education, $157 million in Child Care and Development Block Grant funding for Indian country, and an additional $101 million ($655 million total) for Native American Housing Block Grants.
Tester is a senior member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.