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Chief Black Coal housing project receives funds to finish by this summer

Sign of project funded by the U.S.D.A Rural Development department in Arapaho, Wyoming.
Taylar Stagner
Sign of project funded by the U.S.D.A Rural Development department in Arapaho, Wyoming.

The Chief Black Coal housing project was awarded around $600,000 of federal money. The project is under the jurisdiction of the Northern Arapaho housing authority and the money will help finish water and sewage infrastructure. Once completed this summer, the project will have 20 units to house Northern Arapaho tribal members in Arapaho.

Patrick Goggles, the executive director of the Northern Arapaho Housing Authority, said the project has been in development for six years.

“When it's all said and done, that includes the planning the development and redevelopment, the architectural engineering costs, all the construction costs, the unit cost construction cost,” he said, “There'll be a little over $nine million when we complete it.”

Goggles said 20 units is a good start but the tribe needs at least 300 more units to address current housing needs.

Glenn Pauly is the state director for the U.S.Department of Agriculture Rural Development. He said there is a need for housing everywhere.

“So, throughout Wyoming, this is true on the reservation as well, housing is a critical issue. There's a lack of affordable housing. So this will help with the development of 20 houses, as well as benefit over 1500 tribal members in total when it's complete,” he said.

The USDA also funded another project to replace old sewage and waste equipment. They awarded $1.4 to the Northern Arapaho Tribe Solid Waste Program for new equipment that will help increase the number of waste program users and combat illegal dumping on the Wind River Reservation.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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