COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT STATEMENT: PUBLIC FACILITIES AND IMPROVEMENTS
2021 Ho-Chunk Nation Application for Indian Community Development
Block Grant (ICDBG) Funds:
HHCDA Solar Project
This Ho-Chunk Nation ICDBG proposal will request U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 2010 funding of $700,000, to be matched by $233,350 of HHCDA funds for installation of solar photovoltaic panels on HHCDA affordable rental units in Indian Mission, Chakh-Hah-Chee, Potch Chee Nunk, Dane County, La Crosse County, and Blue Wing Village. The solar PV systems will be 3 kilowatts each and will be installed and maintained by HHCDA.
The proposed solar project, which will target all low-income tenants in these HHCDA communities, will be designed to meet the communities’ need for maximum energy efficiency, to render their living situation as affordable as possible and freeing up room in their budget to enhance their family’s quality of life. HHCDA estimates that the solar panels will save tenants 30-50% in their electric bills. The benefits to the environment, with the lessened carbon load, are of course significant, as well.
Program and Project Specific Threshold Requirements
As explained in the Federal Register Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), “Community Development Block Grant Program for Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages,” Section III.D, program-related thresholds include outstanding ICDBG obligations, of which the Ho-Chunk Nation has none, and compliance with Fair Housing and Civil Rights laws. The Ho-Chunk Nation is a federally recognized Indian tribe and has no outstanding violations of applicable civil rights provisions.
This Ho-Chunk Nation proposal requests funding for the HHCDA Solar Project, which is a HOUSING REHABILITATION project. As explained in Section iv.B of the above Federal Register notice, Housing Rehabilitation projects must provide a statement that housing-rehabilitation standards and policies have been adopted, and that ICDBG funds will be used to rehabilitate housing only when the homeowner’s (or renter’s) payments are current or the homeowner (or renter) is current in a repayment agreement.
Components That Address the Rating Factors.
Following Section V.A.1 of the NOFO, “Rating Factors” this proposal for ICDBG funding for the HHCDA Solar Project (a Housing Rehabilitation project) will be rated based upon the following factors:
Rating Factor 1: Capacity of the Applicant (34 points).
Rating Factor 2: Need/Extent of the Problem (25 points).
Rating Factor 3: Soundness of Approach (29 points).
Rating Factor 4: Leveraging Resources (6 points).
Rating Factor 5: Comprehensiveness and Coordination (6 points).
Posting of and Comments on This Statement
This Community Development Statement has been publicly posted on the HHCDA website and Facebook page, on October 14, 2021. HHCDA welcomes comments on this statement. (The grant application will be submitted to HUD on or before October 25, 2021.) Please contact: Paul Tysse or Neil Whitegull at HHCDA, 1-800-236-2260 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
HHCDA provides organic gardens in its communities of Blue Wing Village, Indian Heights, Sandpillow Village, Ho-Chunk Village, and Chakh-Ha-Chee Village. The Blue Wing Village organic garden, located in Tomah, Wisconsin, was started in 2014 and continues to thrive and grow to this day. From this one garden, HHCDA received requests from other HHCDA communities for their own organic gardens, and in 2015, Indian Heights Village garden was started in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. In 2016, a third garden was developed in Sand Pillow Village, Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Following this, in 2018, HHCDA started a fourth organic garden in Ho-Chunk Village, located in Wisconsin Dells, WI. The fifth and most recent garden was started in 2019 at Chakh-Ha-Chee Village, located in Nekoosa, Wisconsin.
For three years, HHCDA used the original garden-development template used at Blue Wing Village as the foundation upon which to continue a vision gifted to the program by a Ho-Chunk elder veteran, who led with Ho-Chunk values: the purpose of the gardens is to help feed our Ho-Chunk people and to teach them to feed themselves. HHCDA took this vision on, as a part of the agency’s community-development aspect, to assist families in learning new skills that address their needs.
In 2017, HHCDA conducted a Food Sovereignty Assessment of the Ho-Chunk Nation, obtaining grant funding from First Nations Development Institute. The demand for gardens needed to be assessed before we could start more gardens. The Food Sovereignty Assessment will be conducted again in 2020.
The garden project utilizes organic practices regarding soil, seeds, and garden management, and begins activities in January each year. Planning meetings start off with the scheduling of organic garden training classes for everyone to learn or review these practices. Community members decide what fruits, vegetables and healing herbs they will be planting, aided by educational classes conducted by tribal nutritionists and herbalists. In addition to learning about the health benefits of garden produce, they learn both to preserve food for winter and to make healing salves for their families. Canning classes and herbal classes are scheduled throughout the year, so families can become comfortable utilizing what they learn.
In 2019, HHCDA was able to hire a full-time Garden Coordinator. The Garden Coordinator is vital to these projects, as the number of gardens has increased year by year, as has the number of community members drawn to the program each year.
We believe strongly that green and recreational spaces are important to the health and social well-being of HHCDA communities. HHCDA has developed, and on an ongoing basis, maintains parks and recreation areas for neighborhood and community gatherings. These green/recreational areas have included: