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Tohono O'odham to house more Native veterans with $400k federal grant

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Tohono O'odham to house more Native veterans with $400k federal grant

  • Tohono O’odham Chairman Ned Norris Jr. in February 2020
    Jessica Myers/Cronkite NewsTohono O’odham Chairman Ned Norris Jr. in February 2020

The Tohono O’odham Nation will be able to secure housing for more tribal military veterans with more than $400,000 from a Department of Housing and Urban Development grant.

The grant to the Tucson-area tribe, announced this week, is the largest one in the country, under a $4.4 million program overseen by HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs. A total of $1.1 million will go to four Native American tribes in Arizona.

The Tohono O’odham KIKI Association, the nation’s housing service provider, will receive the money from the Tribal HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing grant.

The grant will pay for rental assistance and support services for Native American veterans who are experiencing homeless or housing insecurity. It combines rental assistance from HUD and case management and clinical services from the VA, according to a HUD press release.

“Our nation’s veterans made the ultimate sacrifice and are more than deserving of a decent and stable place to call home,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said in the release. “These grants allow tribes to provide housing and supportive services to Native American veterans and their families.”

HUD has been working with tribal housing programs since 2015 to plan and coordinate effective delivery of the program’s housing assistance and supportive services to eligible Native American veterans.

The pilot program has since housed 600 eligible veterans and provided case management services to more. The new funding is expected to help tribes across the country help more veterans.

The program is providing funds to help homeless veterans to 28 tribes and housing authorities across the country.

“It is exciting to see the growth of this program that serves American Indian and Alaska Native veterans struggling with homelessness,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said. “The expansion of existing programs and inclusion of additional tribal locations means that veterans will have access to housing and case management supportive services close to home.”

While the KIKI Association is receiving $417,931, other Arizona housing authorities that are receiving money include those serving the Navajo Nation with $281,152; the Hopi Tribe with $188,403 and the San Carlos Apache Tribe with $80,946.

Bennito L. Kelty is’s IDEA reporter, focusing on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access stories, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.

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