Housing shortage on Wind River Reservation is Chronic, Acute

*Feature Photo: Early morning in Fort Washakie. h/t Laleta Spoonhunter-Whiteplume / Pitchengine Communities. * The annual operating funds for the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshoni tribal housing agencies was announced this week by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Northern Arapaho Housing received $2,289,496 and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe received $1,537,037. "This money goes to my general fund, we apply for it annually and these are the operating funds to pay the wages for my 45 employees, operate the office and maintain our housing stock," said Patrick Goggles, Director of NATH. "We use some of the funds to repair units that have been condemned. The government makes it sound like it's a special appropriation, but it's not. I have to apply for it annually and meet all their criteria including a clean audit and spending plan." Goggles said the housing shortage on the Reservation is acute, for both tribes. "We have severe overcrowding as most of our housing units are single family, but we know there is overcrowding in many of them," he said. Goggles noted that even homes not from the housing authority supply are crowded. "People who have their own manufactured homes has this same problem, it's a chronic undersupply." Goggles noted that in the Northern Arapaho Tribe, there has been a "population explosion" over the past 10 years. "Our housing need has quadrupled, and we have a waiting list that stretches out four or five years," he said. "And, by law, we are required to maintain a waiting list." In total, more than $660 million was allocated to 587 different Native American tribes in 35 states. #county10, #news