The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the recipients of its Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program, and the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria of Santa Rosa, CA, was selected to receive the full amount it requested, a grant of $605,000 to purchase land for future development of tribally-owned rental units.
“Our community is continually growing and the need to meet the demands for housing is a major concern,” said Raymond McQuillen, housing director for the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria. “Providing decent, safe and sanitary housing will help to eliminate overcrowding and homelessness, increase opportunities, and improve the lives of tribal members.”
It’s very uncommon to receive an ICDBG grant for land acquisition. In recent years, the Kashia Band has focused on buying back land to add to its 40-acre land base, but with high land prices in California, opportunities are limited. The additional land that will be purchased with this grant and other funds is the next step in enhancing a viable community for Kashia tribal members who live in Santa Rosa.
“As the price of housing continues to go up in the Santa Rosa area, the grant [ICDBG] gives us a chance,” Raymond said. “It is the first step in creating a place we can provide affordable housing where there are greater employment opportunities, access to schools and health care facilities — a place to raise families, a place our homeless working families, veterans and elders can call their own.”
The tribe plans to apply for a Title VI Loan Guarantee from the Southwest Office of Native American Programs (ONAP), which will be used to pay for at least 25 percent of the total land acquisition cost. The remaining balance will help pay for vertical construction of homes in the Santa Rosa area, which will directly benefit Kashia tribal members.
“The project will afford us, as a people, the opportunity to meet the needs of our most valuable asset/commodity, our Kashia people,” Raymond said.
The ICDBG Program more commonly provides direct grants for developing and creating decent and affordable housing and economic opportunities for low and moderate income populations in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Click here for HUD’s announcement about the ICDBG awards.
Congratulations, Kashia Band, I enjoyed working with you on your successful ICDBG application!