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Warm Springs Housing Authority gets $900K federal grant for COVID-19 relief

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced Wednesday that the Warm Springs Housing Authority has secured a $900,000 federal grant to help with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tribes throughout Oregon are battling hard to weather COVID-19’s economic and public health fallout such as its impact on members’ essential need to keep a roof over their heads,” Wyden said. “I am gratified these housing resources are heading to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and will keep working on all the community’s priorities – including passage of the Western Tribal Water Infrastructure Act that would direct urgently needed federal funds to ensure safe drinking water.”

“As people stay home to flatten the coronavirus curve, access to safe housing has only become more essential—especially in our hardest-hit communities,” said Merkley. “Unfortunately, despite the fact that tribal communities are bearing the brunt of this pandemic, the federal government is not doing enough to provide them with critical resources and support.

"While I’m pleased that this grant funding will help the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs support their members by upgrading housing and reducing overcrowding, I know far more needs to be done. I’m committed to fighting for all the resources tribal communities deserve to help them get through this public health emergency.”

The $900,000 Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Imminent Threat award is part of the funding allocated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Congress passed in March.

The federal resources will be used to rehabilitate six units for quarantine purposes and overcrowding reduction, as well as make improvements to the Warm Springs Housing Authority's Office building so that employees and customers can safely conduct business and reduce person-to-person contact.

“These funds come at a critical time, as the Warm Springs people continue to battle with COVID-19 on our reservation,” said Raymond Tsumpti, chairman of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

As of Tuesday, the tribes reported 86 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,089 negative test results, with 62 cases having recovered.

A boil-water notice is still in effect for the Warm Springs Agency area, after a recent break in a main water line crossing Shitike Creek.

Article Topic Follows: Warm Springs

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