Cong Duffy in Northern WI investigating government waste on LCO

Media Advisory: Congressman Sean Duffy To Host Field Hearing At LCO


Media Advisory: Congressman Sean Duffy To Host Field Hearing At LCO

Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today announced that the Subcommittee will hold a field hearing in Hayward, Wisconsin.

This hearing will focus on Federal housing programs that affect housing for Native American communities and reservations. Testimony will address the efficacy of these programs, particularly the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, and any suggested program changes to improve effectiveness and accountability that will achieve a greater impact of improving the lives and economic opportunities for Native American communities. Testimony will also address H.R. 360, the “Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2015,” which passed the United States House of Representatives in 2015, and how that legislation might be used as a means to address Native American housing needs.


Here's the back story from 2015 via Sawyer County Record

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded an $800,000 grant to the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Band to remove and prevent unhealthy mold in rental housing on the LCO reservation.

Details of the project were announced Monday at the tribal offices by Dale Darrow, Wisconsin field director for HUD, Tribal Chairman Michael Isham Jr. and Mark Montano, LCO Housing Authority executive director.

Darrow said that nationwide, HUD is awarding $12.4 million to 18 tribal communities in 13 states under HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant program.

Darrow said the grant will be used to address moisture issues by using construction materials and techniques known to resist mold, and ensure that staff or contractors use safe practices for identifying and remediating mold. Also, the housing residents will be educated on ways to prevent mold from occurring. Montano said that at Lac Courte Oreilles, the grant will be used to address the 53 housing units that have the worst mold problems — out of the total 397 units on the reservation that were assessed for mold.

“We’ve put a lot of work into this,” Montano said. The mold remediation program is “in direct response to the plea of the membership who are living in unhealthy conditions,” he said. The grant “will begin to address this problem. It will take care of the worst of the worst. The list is long.”

The work will include replacement of windows, doors, roof and gutter, exhaust fans and exterior siding, diversion of water from the homes, Montano indicated. Replacement of air filters is recommended once a month.

The tribe’s comprehensive assessment of all homes, conducted by an environmental engineering contractor, “puts us in the forefront of third party verification.”

Montano said the $1.2 million project includes the $800,000 grant plus $400,000 under a previous Indian Housing grant.

Mold causes respiratory problems in people, such as asthma. Mold “is always present,” Darrow said.

Montano said both the LCO Health Center and Sawyer County Health department have grants to deal with asthma-related illnesses.

Earlier this year, the LCO Band received an Indian Housing Block Grant of $2.7 million, Darrow said. The mold remediation grant is in addition to that.

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