Sen. Schatz announces 1.3 billion federal funding for Native housing

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U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) spoke on the Senate floor on March 19 to highlight the record $1.34 billion in federal funding for Native housing programs as part of a six-bill Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations package that was passed by Congress and signed into law last week.

Schatz, the.chair of both the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, announced the new funding is a 30 percent increase from last year. In addition to housing, Schatz secured $175.5 million in new federal funding for Tribal transportation activities, his communications team said.

“Working together, Democrats and Republicans, in the Senate and the House, included more than $1.3 billion for Native housing as part of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bill. This historic funding is a big deal. It means they can build more affordable housing, provide rental assistance, and get electricity and plumbing into homes,” said Schatz in a statement.

Schatz continued, Over the past few years, as a nation, we’ve begun to reckon with and address historic injustices against marginalized communities. It’s important, it’s necessary, and it’s long-overdue. But somehow, a lot of that work has glossed over America’s first injustice – the injustice towards Native people. It’s a brutal history spanning centuries and generations. Forcibly removing Native people from their homelands, pushing children into boarding schools, robbing ancestral remains and cultural items. The impacts of that colonization and forced assimilation are being felt to this day. We’re not going to reverse hundreds of years of injustices overnight. But it can’t be that remedying those injustices – and finally doing right by Native people – takes another few centuries. It needs to start happening now.”


A video of Schatz’s comments is available here.


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