Left to right: Colleen Steele - The Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial, Inc., Tawney Brunsch - The Lakota Fund, Fr. George Winzenburg SJ - Read Cloud Indian School, Taylor Little Whiteman - Oglala Sioux Housing Authority, Senator Tim Johnson, Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks, Mark St. Pierre - Wounded Knee Community Development Corporation, Lakota Mowrer - Four Bands Community Fund, and Rick M. Garcia - HUD's Regional Director.
Regional Administrator Rick M. Garcia, in conjunction with Senator Tim Johnson, announces $2.9 million in Rural Innovation Fund grants for South Dakota
On Friday August 26, 2011 Regional Administrator Rick M. Garcia was joined by Senator Tim Johnson (D) SD, and Elsie Meeks, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Eagle Butte, SD for a joint HUD and USDA grant announcements. Mr. Garcia presented $2.9 million in ceremonial checks through HUD's Rural Innovation Fund to four South Dakota Native American organizations. Mr. Garcia complimented the awardees by saying "Our competition challenged localities to come up with innovative solutions to their problems and the winners delivered."
On the Pine Ridge Reservation, the housing authority will utilize the $2 million grant to design and build 16 affordable rental and owner-occupied houses. Also on the Pine Ridge Reservation, $300,000 will be utilized to prepare residents for first-time homeownership and to replenish loan funds to meet increased demand. An additional $300,000 will be used to address housing and poverty issues for the Oglala Sioux Tribe by accelerating job creation, increasing employment and income and promote healthy living. And on the Cheyenne River Reservation, the $300,000 award will be used to implement a Native American Green Business Development program for underserved Native entrepreneurs.
Read the news release.