$21 Million Secured to Increase Affordable Housing for WA Tribal Communities

Three projects will fund affordable housing efforts for the Lummi Nation, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, and Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe.

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, recently announced over $21 million in federal funding for affordable housing in Tribal communities across Washington state.

In total, the funding will support the construction of 66 new housing units for the Lummi Nation, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, and the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe.

The funding comes from the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Competitive Grant Program, which Murray fights to secure funding for every year and helped secure $150 million for in the government funding bill, passed in March 2022. 

“Affordable housing is a serious concern for families across Washington state, and this is especially true in Tribal communities—whose members suffer from higher poverty rates and face increased barriers to making ends meet,” said Murray. 

“There is nothing more basic and essential than having a safe place to call home, and these grants are going to make a serious difference for Tribal families in Western Washington who need this help the most,” Murray said.

Adding, “You can bet I’m going to keep up the fight as Chair of the Appropriations Committee to secure the resources we need to make sure every family, in every community, has access to quality housing they can actually afford.”

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Native Americans on Tribal lands face some of the most acute housing needs of any group in the United States—and because they have disproportionately high poverty rates and lower median incomes, Native people often have fewer resources to meet their housing needs.

The funding will provide $7.5 million for the Lummi Nation Housing Authority in Bellingham to build 32 housing units, $7.5 million for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Housing Authority in Kingston to build 30 housing units, and $6.17 million for the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe in Tokeland to develop new infrastructure and build four housing units to increase the number of housing units available to American Indian and Alaska Native families.

In addition to building new housing, the funding will help Tribes improve the conditions of existing housing and address issues of overcrowding.

Murray has consistently worked to address Washington state’s housing crisis and has fought for federal investments to help families keep a roof over their heads. Earlier this year, Murray announced more than $33 million in federal awards from HUD for public housing programs across Washington state, and in March, she called on President Biden to utilize a “whole of government” approach to addressing our nation’s housing needs.

Murray also helped secure $72.1 billion in discretionary spending for HUD in the end-of-year spending package, a $6.5 billion increase over the previous fiscal year. And in the American Rescue Plan Murray helped negotiate, she secured major support for people facing housing insecurity, including more than $400 million in rental assistance, $170 million in homeowner assistance, over 2,400 new Emergency Housing Vouchers, and nearly $100 million for housing and services to support people experiencing homelessness in Washington state.