Stimulus goes to tribal housing

Washington state’s American Indian tribes are expected to receive nearly $15 million in federal dollars to build new homes, renovate old ones and repair roads, according to a statement from Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office.

The money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is funneling nearly $800 billion into the U.S. in an effort to jump-start the economy.

The Tulalip Tribes are expected to receive $1.2 million. The only tribes receiving more are the Colville Confederated Tribes in northeastern Washington, with $1.7 million, and the Yakama Indian Nation in southeastern Washington with $1.9 million.

Tulalip tribal leaders plan to put the money toward a tax credit to help finance the construction of 66 homes for tribal members.

“We are so excited and grateful that we are going to receive this money,” Tulalip Vice Chairwoman Marie Zackuse said in a prepared statement. “This money allows us to give our tribal membership the opportunity to have a home.”

Lack of adequate housing is a chronic problem on reservations. At Tulalip, hundreds of families are on a housing waiting list.

The Lummi Nation, near the U.S.-Canada border, is set to receive $1.2 million through the act.

The Stillaguamish Tribe is expected to receive about $90,000, and the Sauk Suiattle Tribe is expected to receive nearly $150,000.

The money is part of about $3 billion going to tribes nationwide as part of the act. About $600 million of that pot is slated for housing programs, according to the National Congress of American Indians, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for tribal governments. Additional money will be available to tribes in the Pacific Northwest through a competitive grant process.

Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422,

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