County tribes net $1.5 million in housing funds

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Two Aroostook County tribes will receive more than $1.5 million in federal grant funding to boost affordable housing in their communities.

HOULTON and PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Two Aroostook County tribes will receive more than $1.5 million in federal grant funding to boost affordable housing in their communities.

The Houlton Band of Maliseets will receive $651,894, while $887,722 will go to the Aroostook Band of Micmacs in Presque Isle.

The funds are part of $4.3 million in Indian Housing Block Grants issued to five Maine tribes to carry out a number of affordable housing activities. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator David Tille made the announcement on Feb. 18.

“This funding provides an additional tool to help our Maine tribes further their affordable housing goals,” Tille said.

Other Maine tribes awarded include the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Princeton, $1,029,046; the Penobscot Nation of Indian Island, $987,011; and Pleasant Point in Perry, $820,471.

The money is part of more than $655 million in Indian Housing Block Grants being awarded nationally to Native American Tribes in 38 states. Funding is distributed to eligible tribes and their tribally designated housing entities.

Indian Housing Block Grants primarily benefit low-income Native American and Alaska Native families. The amount of each grant is based on a formula that considers local needs and housing units under management by the tribe or their housing organizations. 

Eligible activities for the funds include housing development, operation and modernization of existing housing, housing services to eligible families and individuals, housing management services, crime prevention and safety activities, and model activities that provide creative approaches to solving affordable housing problems.

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