$1 Million to Benefit Red Lake Reservation Housing Authority Through Affordable Housing Program

last updated on Monday, March 11, 2024 in Community News

First National Bank Bemidji to award Red Lake Reservation Housing Authority (RLRHA) a $1 million grant to support the construction of nearly 30 new three-bedroom single-family units on the Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota. This grant is made available through the FHLB Des Moines’ Affordable Housing Program (AHP).

Red Lake Reservation is owned and occupied entirely by members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians — the only such reservation in Minnesota. RLRHA has extensive experience developing and managing affordable housing projects to members who live both inside and outside its northern Minnesota reservation. Today it maintains a portfolio of more than 465 affordable housing units.

The proposed project units will be located in four communities on the Red Lake Reservation: Red Lake, Little Rock, Redby and Ponemah. The project will have 28 three-bedroom, 1,300-square-foot units.

“We are thrilled to partner again with FHLB Des Moines and First National Bank Bemidji in supporting and advocating for the construction of safe, decent, affordable housing for members of the Red Lake Nation on the same land as our ancestors,” said Jane Barrett, executive director of RLRHA. “We appreciate the Affordable Housing Program grants through FHLB Des Moines for they are critical to the success of affordable housing development in Indigenous communities.” 

FHLB Des Moines and First National Bank Bemidji have partnered with RLRHA on several AHP grants. It is through collaboration such as this where FHLB Des Moines demonstrates its commitment to providing funding for affordable housing throughout the 13 states it serves. FHLB Des Moines is a member of the national FHLBank System, which is one of the largest sources of private sector grants for housing and community development in the country.

“We are immensely proud to partner with FHLB Des Moines to contribute to the construction of safe, stable, and affordable rental housing for the Red Lake Reservation community,” said Hugh Welle, Chief Executive Officer of First National Bank Bemidji. “Our longstanding partnership with FHLB Des Moines dates back to 2015, and we have collaborated multiple times since then, underscoring our commitment to supporting initiatives that not only provide essential housing but also help communities thrive. Together with FHLB Des Moines, we are honored to play a role in advancing the well-being of the Red Lake Nation and its members.”

The RLRHA project is one of 60 AHP collaborations between FHLB Des Moines and member financial institutions and local housing organizations. Last December, FHLB Des Moines announced that more than $46 million would be awarded to projects that would impact more than 2,300 families and individuals. Nine of the 60 AHP projects are Native housing projects impacting Native American and Alaska Native households.

“We are honored to help Red Lake Reservation through our AHP grant continue to improve their community, says Kris Williams, president and CEO of FHLB Des Moines. ”FHLB Des Moines empowers members like First National Bank Bemidji to strengthen their communities by providing funding that supports housing and enables communities such as Red Lake Reservation to become more vibrant places to live and work.”

From construction of new affordable housing to the rehabilitation of existing homes and rental properties, FHLB Des Moines and its member financial institutions play a critical role in meeting the affordable housing needs of their communities. Since 1990, FHLB Des Moines has given approximately $733 million in AHP awards to help more than 93,000 families and individuals find safe and affordable housing.

For a complete listing of 2023 competitive Affordable Housing Program grant recipients, click here. The 2024 AHP application period will open on Monday, April 1. Awards will be announced in December. Find more information at fhlbdm.com/products-services/affordable-housing.

  1. Affordable Housing Program
  2. Press Releases