Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Safe, healthy, affordable housing is essential community infrastructure

 

October 20, 2021



f you slip on your boots and take a walk through the remote village of Brevig Mission, you’ll notice 20 homes that were built by the Bering Straits Regional Housing Authority in the 1990s. A few blocks away stand 10 more from the early 2000s. The newest subdivision, built in the last decade, is also the smallest: five modest homes, engineered for maximum economy, around a neat stub of gravel road.

You don’t need an advanced degree to see the economic injustice at work. The pattern repeats almost everywhere and is especially pronounced throughout rural Alaska. From Point Lay to the Copper River Basin, Alaska’s regional Native housing authorities have been forced to face their communities’ mounting housing needs with a stagnant, eroding resource compounded by decades of Congressional neglect.

Despite the passage of a celebrated Senate infrastructure bill in August, this brutal cycle seems poised to continue. The omission of public and tribal housing funds from the bipartisan package leaves housing administrators and advocates to wonder what meaning “infrastructure” has without viable homes for roads, bridges, pipes and wires to connect to.

https://indiancountrytoday.com/opinion/safe-healthy-affordable-housing-is-essential-community-infrastructure

 

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