PUBLISHED: 9:13 AM on Tuesday, October 17, 2006
HUD awards $1.2 million to boost housing development
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced $1.2 million in grants to help rural communities in Alaska produce more affordable housing. The funding is provided through HUD's Rural Housing and Economic Development Program and is part of a total $17 million awarded to more than 56 rural communities nationwide.

"This investment in rural Alaska demonstrates HUD's commitment to our rural communities," said Colleen Bickford, HUD's Anchorage Field Office director. "These grants will help rural communities across Alaska produce affordable housing and jobs where they're needed most."

Rural Housing and Economic Development grants help pay for land acquisition, new home construction, housing demolition, infrastructure improvements and construction training. Other possible uses include homeownership and financial counseling; financial assistance to homeowners, businesses and developers; creating microenterprises and small business incubators; and, establishing lines of credit or revolving loan pools to benefit the local business community.

In Alaska, the recipients of the RHED grant funding are: Asa'carsarmiut Tribal Council in Mountain Village, Chilkoot Indian Association in Haines, the Organized Village of Kasaan, and the Rural Alaska Community Action Program, working with villages in the Copper River Basin. Each of the recipients will receive a $300,000 grant.