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Two Native American tribes in Utah will receive a combined $1.8 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for housing and economic development that will benefit low- to moderate-income families.

The competitive Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program will award $900,000 to the Utah Paiute Housing Authority and $900,000 to the Ute Indian Tribally Designated Housing Entity as part of $53.6 million in ICDBG funds being distributed nationwide.

"These funds help Native American communities create sustainable and community-driven solutions to the challenges they face," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a statement, describing the awards as investments in the future "for some of the most vulnerable fellow citizens."

The ICDBG program dates back to 1977 and is used to meet pressing housing and infrastructure needs along with commercial, industrial and agricultural projects in areas where federally recognized Indian populations reside.

Cathy McKitrick