Funding for Northwest tribes to help challenges with housing, climate change


An aerial photo shows the lower village of Taholah near a bright blue ocean.
An aerial view of the lower village of Taholah, Washington on the edge of the Pacific Coast. (Credit: Quinault Indian Nation)


New funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will fund more homes for Northwest tribes.

The Chehalis Tribal and Quinault Housing Authorities will receive $3.5 million to build more homes on both reservations. 

The Quinault Tribe’s funding is part of a project to relocate the entire village of Taholah to escape the rising sea levels near its coastal lands. 

“It’s going to take a while to move an entire village,” said Mariah Ralston, executive director of the Quinault Housing Authority. “We’re moving up the hill to be safe from tsunami threats.”

Waves roll up from the Pacific Coast behind blue houses in Taholah, Washington.

A king tide crashes into the backyards of homes on First Avenue in Taholah, Washington in January 2022. (Credit: Quinault Indian Nation)

Nearly $2 million from the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program will fund construction of six family homes for elders living in Taholah. The elders will be the first to be relocated.

“To be able to move our elders first is significant for us,” said Ralston, who is a Quinault tribal member. “In our culture, elders eat first and they should be moved first.” 

The blueprints for moving homes, the local school, grocery store and other community buildings in Taholah have been drawn, Ralston said. Housing is just one part of the larger project. 

“We’re excited about helping the Quinault Nation try to combat the impacts of climate change and relocate to higher ground,” said Tom Carney, the administrator for HUD’s Native American Programs Northwest Office. “They’re in a real tough situation, along with many coastal tribes.”

An aerial photo shows a paved roadway on dirt between thick trees with spaces for houses to be built.

The Northeast Neighborhood has 59 lots for future homes for relocating residents of Taholah. Quinault Housing Authority will use the new HUD funding to build six two-bedroom homes for tribal elders. (Credit: Quinault Nation)

Although the funding for the ICDBG program can go to different community projects, Carney said he’s seeing more applications specifically for housing. 

“There’s still a huge need for housing in tribal communities, and that’s going to continue for a long time,” Carney said.

In addition, the Chehalis Tribal Housing Authority plans to use $1.6 million to build four new homes near Oakville. 

“Our hope is that these new homes will not only provide safe and affordable housing but also contribute to the overall well-being and stability of our community,” said Beth Klatush, interim housing director for the Chehalis Tribal Housing Authority.

More than $75 million in funding is available to tribes nationally through the program.