U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Announces Largest Ever Investment in Key Native Housing Program

WASHINGTON [5.12.22] — Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) – chair of the Senate’s Housing Subcommittee – announced Minnesota Tribes will receive the largest ever housing investment as part of a key federal program dedicated to improving housing on Native land. The $23 million in funding for Minnesota Tribes represents a more than $4 million increase from last year, which Sen. Smith had pushed for.

“If you don’t have a safe, stable, affordable place to live, nothing else in your life works,” said Sen. Smith. “I’ve had the great privilege of visiting and meeting with Tribal leaders from Minnesota and heard firsthand how the affordable housing crisis impacts their communities. This funding will make a real impact for Native families who have been disproportionately impacted by the affordable housing crisis.”

The increased funding comes after Smith pushed for more support in a letter last summer to leaders on the Senate subcommittee responsible for the program. “Funding for the Indian Housing Block Grant has remained mostly level since…1996, [yet] the need for adequate and sanitary housing has grown,” wrote Sen. Smith in her letter. Reports have found the number of Native Americans living in dilapidated houses or doubling up with neighbors has risen over the past two decades.

In 2021, Sen. Smith convened the Senate’s Banking and Housing Committee’s first hearing on Native American housing in nearly a decade. The Subcommittee’s hearing highlighted the importance of fully funding the Indian Housing Block Grant, and featured testimony from two Minnesota witnesses. 

The Indian Housing Block Grant is the largest source of funding for housing on Native land. The grants are awarded to individual Tribes who administer and direct funding towards housing projects that best serve their community. Funds can be used for housing development, housing-related infrastructure, and home repair and maintenance in Indian Country.

A full list of the Minnesota Tribes and their funding amounts is listed below:

FY 2022 Indian Housing Block Grant for Formula Allocations

TribeStateCityFinal Allocation
Prairie Island Indian CommunityMNWelch$86,095
Boise Forte Band,  Minnesota Chippewa TribeMNNett Lake$1,038,572
Fond Du Lac Band, Minnesota Chippewa TribeMNCloquet$4,523,653
Grand Portage Band,  Minnesota Chippewa TribeMNGrand Portage$391,473
Leech Lake Band, Minnesota Chippewa TribeMNCass Lake$4,928,910
Lower Sioux Indian CommunityMNMorton$309,336
Mille Lacs Band, Minnesota Chippewa TribeMNOnamia$1,754,335
Red Lake Band of Chippewa IndiansMNRed Lake$5,736,010
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux CommunityMNPrior Lake$153,857
Upper Sioux Indian CommunityMNGranite Falls$246,276
White Earth Band, Minnesota Chippewa TribeMNWhite Earth$3,834,142