U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan has announced that HUD is awarding five grants, totaling $2.5 million, to Native American and Native Alaskan communities across the country to improve housing and stimulate community development. The Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) funds being awarded today are provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). These grants will help Native American tribes improve the quality of their housing stock, develop viable communities, promote energy efficiency and create jobs. "I am proud to announce today that, in just six months, HUD has awarded over a half billion dollars to Native American and Alaskan communities across the country as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," said Secretary Donovan. "As I have seen for myself in several communities throughout the country, these funds are already at work in some of the hardest hit communities, creating jobs and revitalizing neighborhoods." Since the Recovery Act was passed in February, HUD has allocated $500 million in Native American Housing Block Grants (NAHBG) to nearly 600 eligible tribes and tribal housing entities. That funding is already being put to work to improve Indian housing. The grants announced today were awarded competitively from the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program, which awarded grants on a rolling basis. In addition to the $500 million in NAHBG funds, $10 million was made available for Indian tribes or tribal organizations representing tribes that received an ICDBG grant in Fiscal Year 2008. These funds can be used to encourage economic development, including establishing a wide variety of commercial, industrial and agricultural projects. Priority is given to applicants that create job opportunities that will bring economic recovery to tribal communities; and to promote energy efficiency in their projects. The Recovery Act includes $13.61 billion for projects and programs administered by HUD, nearly 75 percent of which was allocated to state and local recipients only eight days after President Obama signed the Act into law. The remaining 25 percent of funds, including the grants announced today, are currently being awarded through an ongoing competitive grant process. HUD is committed to implementing Recovery Act investments swiftly and effectively as they generate tens of thousands of jobs, modernize homes to make them energy efficient, and help the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis. For more information, visit www.hud.gov.