CASPER, Wyo. — Northern Arapaho tribal officials plan to use a recently awarded federal grant of nearly $5 million to build 20 affordable housing units, but they say it won’t make much of a dent in the Wyoming tribe’s housing shortage.
The 10 three-bedroom units and 10 four-bedroom homes will be built in the Great Plains area of Arapahoe, with basic infrastructure, excavating and utility work expected to begin next summer, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.
Tribal housing director Patrick Goggles said the tribe struggles with an acute lack of affordable, single-family homes for its members. The tribe would have to double the 262 housing units it currently has to significantly address the problem, he said.
“The shortage of housing is very real,” Goggles said. “It’s been real for a while.”
The tribe shares the Wind River Reservation with the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, which has also said it’s facing a housing crisis.
The federal grant was part of $200 million the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded to more than 50 tribes for affordable housing. Overall, about 1,200 housing units will be built with the money.
Goggles said the tribe’s housing program also recently received an $800,000 grant and is waiting for a decision on a more than $850,000 grant application.