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National Low Income Housing Coalition Statement in Support of Trail of Hope Demonstration
WASHINGTON - April 16 - On April 17, a house from the Oglala Sioux Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation will be placed on Union Square near the U.S. Capitol to draw attention to the lack of affordable housing and poor housing conditions experienced by American Indians on the Northern Planes and other reservations. The house, built in 1961, was the first federally assisted housing unit built on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition supports this demonstration, called Trail of Hope, in its effort to call attention to the dire need for decent, affordable housing on Indian reservations. Statistics show that while American Indians make up just 1% of the population, they represent 8% of the country’s homeless population. The overcrowding and dilapidated housing conditions experienced on reservations are well-documented and evidence of the need for continued federal investment in quality affordable housing on Native lands.
The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) provides assistance to Indian tribes to address the substandard housing and infrastructure conditions on reservations and other tribal areas. NAHASDA is up for reauthorization this year.
“The housing conditions I encountered during my visit to the Pine Ridge Reservation were among the worst I have seen in my life,” said Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The Trail of Hope is an opportunity for policymakers to learn first-hand the gravity of the housing situation in Indian Country, and a call to address the housing needs of the lowest income people in every part of the United States.”
The home will be open to visitors on Wednesday, April 17, 10 am to 4 pm on Union Square at 3rd St. NW near the Capitol building.