4 New Mexico pueblos receive funding for housing

4 New Mexico pueblos receive funding for housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development presented four New Mexico pueblos with $2 million each on Thursday.

Native American tribes across the country are getting almost $70 million dollars from the federal government and four of our own Pueblos got a good chunk of that money. Thursday the Pueblos of Santa Clara, Ohkay Owingeh, San Felipe and San Ildefonso each received a $2 million grant from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“This critical funding resources resulted in new homes, new infrastructure, wellness facilities, housing, rehabilitation in tribal communities across the country,” HUD Regional Administrator Candance Valenzuela said.

Valenzuela added, “Tribal Communities are investing in themselves through ICDBG, making strides in affordable housing, homeownership, and community development.” ICDBG stands for the Indian Community Development Block Grant Program.

Governors from the four pueblos all shared why this grant is so important for their communities.

“[From] 1969 to 1998 HUD was responsible for building 341 homes there in Santa Clara but since then, no new homes have been built,” Pueblo of Santa Clara Gov. J. Michael Chavarria said. Governor Christopher Moquino from San Ildefonso Pueblo also shared that this is the first opportunity for housing in a long time.

Gov. Larry Phillips Jr. explained some of the issues Ohkay Owingeh faces. “We also have a very poor and dilapidated system that we all have to fight for,” Governor Phillips Jr. continued. “One of the struggles we have is the income limits.”

Gov. Moquino says this grant plus others will help build 27 new homes in the Pueblo of San Ildefonso. “Infrastructure which we’ve received from TIF, capital outlay and ARPA we’ve utilized. We currently have under construction for water, utility infrastructure,” Gov. Moquino said.

Governors Chavarria and Anthony Ortiz expressed frustration with the limits this grant places on them, especially because many homes are multi-generational.

“When the criteria speaks to monies that are being generated into the home because there’s multi-generations living in one home which the money coming into the home makes it go higher,” Pueblo of San Felipe Gov. Anthony Ortiz said.

The majority of the money will go towards building new homes or rehabiliting current ones. In Ohkay Owingeh, that money will go towards a $14 million community health, wellness and outreach center. That project is in phase 1 right now and is expected to be complete by 2025.