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Standing Rock veteran receives new home thanks to HUD-VA housing grant

(KFYR)
Published: Jul. 15, 2016 at 6:02 PM CDT
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Many people dream of owning a home.

That wish came true today for a veteran on the Standing Rock Reservation.

A lack of affordable housing is a major problem in Fort Yates. Hundreds of people are on waiting lists but today that number was reduced by one.

Brooke and Aspen Yellow Hammer began moving in to their new house July 15. Something they never thought they would experience.

"I'm very excited, I just got it on Wednesday and it's moving really fast," says Brooke.

Brooke was number 47 on the low income housing list but was moved to the top thanks to a Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing grant.

"The HUD VASH has been around for public housing authorities but it's the first year ever for Indian housing authorities. Our Standing Rock Housing Authority is very honored to receive such a gr

ant," says Brian Thunder Hawk, Standing Rock Housing Authority.

Brooke is a veteran of the Iraq war, and because of her service she qualified for the program.

"I have never really utilized any of my veterans benefits just until recently. I just wasn't to familiar with it," says Brooke.

Theirs is one of two homes that was built with the grant, but there is still a huge need for more housing on the reservation.

"Getting infrastructure costs and developing more housing plans and that is what we're doing right now to try to develop more home and housing to situate this housing deficit we're in," says Thunder Hawk.

In addition to the veterans waiting list, there are over 400 tribal residents waiting for housing.

On August 3 Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. and a number of Housing and Urban Development officials from Washington D.C. will be visiting Fort Yates to see how the housing situation is developing.