October 7, 2011

HUD Recognizes Tribal Authorities for Excellence in Sustainability

Written by:

From left to right: Rodger Boyd, Deputy Assistant Secretary, HUD Office of Native American Programs; Monica Hunger-Moran, Sicangu Wicoti Awanyakapi Corporation; Jeff Judd, Cook Inlet Housing Authority; Judy Romann, Kalispel Tribe of Indians; Mark Parrish and Chester “Chet” Swisher, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians; Bob Carlile, Citizen Potawatomi Nation; Denny James, Isleta Pueblo Housing Authority

Today’s guest blogger is Francis Harjo from the Office of Native American Programs.

Sustainability starts at home – whether that home is an urban or rural one, single family or multifamily, privately funded or publically assisted. HUD has long emphasized the importance of energy efficiency in all of our programs, and I know my colleagues take pride in the work our partners have done to promote sustainable communities across the nation.

Today, I’d like to highlight some of the great work I’ve had the pleasure of seeing unfold in the Native American community. Just a few days ago, at the HUD-sponsored 3rd annual Greener Homes National Summit in Denver, the department’s Office of Native American Programs recognized six tribal housing authorities for their outstanding efforts in the area of sustainable construction and energy efficiency. Here’s a quick look at our award winners’ accomplishments.

  • The Cook Inlet Housing Authority in Anchorage, AK, used innovative leveraged financing, improved energy efficiency, and sustainable housing design to catalyze change in the city’s Mountain View neighborhood.
  • The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians of Dowagiac, MI have embraced comprehensively sustainable design. Their master plan for their award-winning project includes ENERGY STAR-certified housing, a green tribal government building, and a LEED-certified community center in a sustainable landscaped campus.
  • The Sicangu Wicoti Awanyakapi corporation of Rosebud, South Dakota developed green jobs using Recovery Act formula funds to install solar heat panels on 100 single-family units located on the reservation.
  • The Kalispel Tribe of Indians in Washington state, which now has efficient homes for tribal member families after constructing six LEED-certified houses.
  • The Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma built a multifamily development with 10 duplex units for elderly residents. These new homes are equipped  with an array of greener features including geothermal, solar panels and ENERGY STAR appliances.
  • Pueblo of Isleta in New Mexico’s recognition came for innovative use of alternative building materials. They manufacture naturally energy efficient lava blocks, which they will use to construct 20 lava block houses, which will also be furnished with Energy Star appliances. Lava block construction is also structurally sound, fire proof, sound proof, termite resistant, impervious to wind damage, and virtually maintenance free.

These tribal authorities’ creative approaches to sustainable housing are making a difference in their communities and the environment. I look forward to seeing what the coming years’ projects will bring.

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