Tester Moves Forward Legislation to Increase Access to Affordable Housing in Indian Country

Senator Persistently Pushes for Better Homes for Native American Families

(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester today secured critical resources to increase access to affordable housing in Indian Country.

Tester used his position on the Senate Appropriations Committee to include affordable housing funding for Montana’s tribal nations in the 2018 Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill.

“When folks have access to affordable housing, it is easier to live healthy lives, get good jobs and perform better at work and in school,” Tester said. “These important resources will help tribal governments work with families to construct and restore homes across Montana. This investment is a step in the right direction to create more safe and affordable housing options for Native American families.”

Tester specifically secured funding for the following initiatives:

  • $755 million for Indian Housing Block Grants to help tribes construct and restore new affordable housing units.
  • $65 million for Indian Community Development Block Grants for local housing authorities to increase the number of affordable housing units in Native American communities.
  • $1.4 million for the Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Program, which provides low-interest home loans to Native Americans.
  • $5 million for Tribal housing vouchers for homeless Native American veterans.

Tester secured an additional $100 million earlier this year to increase affordable housing construction in Indian Country, as well as funding to increase access to affordable housing for the Fort Peck, Flathead, Fort Belknap, and Blackfeet Reservations.

The 2018 Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now waiting for a final vote on the Senate floor.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester is responsible for writing the 12 annual bills that fund the federal government.