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Tax credits ease reservation housing crunch

News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Tax credits ease reservation housing crunch
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

WHITE EARTH -- A federal program that provides tax credits for investors who build homes on the White Earth Indian Reservation is easing a chronic housing shortage for tribal members.

Thirty families are living in new homes this spring because of the program. The tribe hires contractors to build two- and three-bedroom homes with money from private investors who receive a 10-year tax break. After 15 years, the tribe will own the homes. It will then decide whether to transfer ownership to individuals or continue to rent them.

Minnesota Public Radio News says about 9,200 of White Earth's 20,000 members live on the northern Minnesota reservation where housing is a mix of single-family homes and apartment buildings. The tribal housing authority manages about 310 units and has a waiting list of about 200 families.

Pioneer staff reports