HUSLIA VILLAG RECEIVES $271,963 IN HUD FUNDS REPAIR HOMES & INFRASTRUCTURE DAMAGED
BY UNE 2014 KOYUKUK RIVER FLOODING
On-site assessment reports damage and imminent threats to houses,
power and utility lines and boat launch
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has authorized $271,063 in HUD “imminent threat” funds to Huslia village to recover and rebuild from damage caused by the flooding of the Koyukuk River in June, 2014. Huslia is a village of some 270 residents in Interior Alaska and the Council is a Federally-recognized tribal government.
The HUD assistance was requested under the “imminent threat” provisions of HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant program on June 24, 2014, based following an on-site assessment conducted in May by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program. An approximately 300’ X 100’ area of the river bank experienced significant erosion damaging or endangering roadways, electrical power lines and poles, a portion of the community’s water and wastewater systems, the boat launch and five houses. The Council sought HUD funds principally to cover the cost of relocating the houses, all of them occupied at the time of the flooding.
“Across Alaska, communities are struggling to cope with the effects of accelerating flooding and erosion,” said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Bill Block. “I am very pleased that HUD is able to help with both routine CDBG and ICDBG funding and with imminent threat and disaster relief grants to help communities like Huslia and Galena protect, restore and rebuild. Without those funds these close-knit communities could be lost entirely, which would be tragic not just for those living there but for the very fabric of the state.”
The funding was recommended by HUD’s Alaska Office of Native American Programs after the Council advised it that the only other funds available -$85,000 from USDA – would not cover the full amount of the $$356,952 estimated cost of relocating the houses and repairs to the power lines and boat launch. HUD imminent threat grants can be provided to address threats that "represent a non-recurring, unique or unusual circumstance" and "no funds from other tribal or Federal sources are available to address the problem."
The ICDBG Program provides eligible grantees - Federally recognized Indian tribe, band, group, nation (including Alaska Indians, Aleut, and Eskimos), Alaska Native village, or tribal organization on behalf of an Indian tribe - with direct grants for use in developing viable Indian and Alaska Native Communities, including decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities, primarily for low and moderate income persons.
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