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Contact: Lee Jones
(206) 220-5356 (work) or (804) 363-7018 (cell)

July 14, 2011

The two Tribes are among 46 organizations nationwide to win more than $28 million in HUD grants that, in turn, will leverage an extra $18 million in non HUD investments

SEATTLE – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $240,970 to the Kalispell Tribe in Usk, Washington and $799,750 to the Colville Confederated Tribes in Nespelem, Washington under to promote ‘entrepreneurial approach’ to economic development in rural and tribal communities.

The two Washington tribes were among 46 rural and tribal communities in 19 states today to be awarded more than $28 million under HUD’s new Rural Innovation Fund to address distressed housing conditions and concentrated poverty.  This year HUD received more than 300 applications from 48 states for Rural Innovation Fund grants.

“Rural America is vast and diverse, and different communities face different challenges and opportunities,” said Donovan. “Because there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to strengthening rural communities, this funding provides flexible resources to address either housing or economic development needs, or both. This is especially important for communities that may have more limited access to resources because of their distant locations. These are catalytic projects that will have an impact on their communities for generations to come.”

“The entrepreneurial spirit is the “secret ingredient” that’s made America the greatest economy on Earth,” said Mary McBride, HUD’s Northwest Regional Administrator.  “And, as the competition for these grants demonstrates, that spirit is as alive and well in small towns and on reservations as in our biggest cities.  HUD looks forward to working with these small businesses to help their big visions come to life.”

Applicants for HUD’s new Rural Innovation Fund include federally recognized Indian tribes, state housing finance agencies (HFAs), state community development agencies, local rural non-profit organizations, community development corporations, or consortia of these groups.  Grantees can use their grant funding to support a variety of housing and economic development activities including construction, preparation of plans, land acquisition, demolition, homeownership counseling, and financial assistance.

 HUD awarded Rural Innovation Fund grants in three categories.  Seven Comprehensive grants were awarded grants of up to $2 million each to examine the social, housing and economic needs and resources of their target areas and to identify activities that will have sustained benefit in addressing these needs. Thirty-one Single Purpose grants of up to $300,000 each were awarded for more targeted initiatives, which typically focus primarily on either housing or economic development.  And eight Indian Economic Development and Entrepreneurship grants of up to $800,000 each were awarded from $5 million set aside for applications for federally recognized Indian tribes and that will generate 178 construction jobs and 460 permanent jobs.

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville will use its $799,750 Economic Development and Entrepreneurship to purchase heavy equipment needed to start a for-profit woody biomass business to be called Fuel Enterprises that is expected to have 16 employees who will harvest woody biomass and deliver it to local cogeneration facilities where it will be converted into electricity.

The Kalispell Tribe of Indians will use its $240,970 Economic Development and Entrepreneurship grant to build a nursery to cultivate native plants, including over 3,000 trees from locally sourced plant stock, restore lost habitat on the reservation, fund wetland restoration and link these efforts with the initiation/development of a forestry apprenticeship.

To read the summaries for all 46 Rural Innovation Fund grants awarded today, please visit

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