HUD Energy Efficiency and Green Building Activities

National Pollution Prevention Roundtable Tribal Workgroup Conference Call

Tuesday May 19, 2009 at 2 pm EDT, 1 pm CDT, Noon MDT, 11am PDT

Guest Speaker: Keith Giarrusso, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

Keith works in the Office of Native American Programs and provided an overview of HUD energy efficiency and green building activities, as well as outline upcoming funding opportunities.

HUD ONAP covers 552 recognized tribes, and provides funds to run tribal housing programs. Largest program: Native American Block Grant program (NAHASDA). Typically, NAHASDA grants are $600 million per year. It is a formula program where formula was decided by tribes and the government.

  • Stimulus grant has already been distributed and recipients have begun to use the money. Competitive NAHASDA grant will hopefully be soon issued. Recipients that get these grants will have to demonstrate they meet green building criteria. Keith believes the percentage for green is significant. This is HUD’s first attempt to encourage green building directly with criteria.
  • Another grant(Native American Community Development Grant) is $70 million/year. Stimulus provides $10 million. NOFA should come out in the next two weeks. There is a sizeable requirement for green building as well.
  • ONAP sponsors trainings and onsite energy assessments. In late 2007, twelve site visits and 48 assessments focus on indoor air quality (mold, mildew, moisture), insulation, exterior water management, partnerships/financing, renewable energy, energy-efficiency techniques.

More information:

  • has full descriptions of the stimulus programs and grants.
  • HUD also hosts an interagency website, CodeTalk (search at, to integrate all tribal programs.
  • ONAP participates with EPA to sponsor trainings. It has 6 offices around the U.S, including Phoenix, Seattle, Denver, Anchorage, Oklahoma.


  • How are trainings and assessments administered?
    Had five regional trainings and one national training. They contract out the work. They do the assessments with the training, and divide equally in their regions. They come up with potential recipients, and contact tribes. The ultimate goal is that recipients do some of the work themselves
  • What are some tips for a successful grant application?
    Their major funding mechanism is a formula grant, so grant-writing is simplified. For housing , they need a one and five year plans. The Block Grant is a competitive grant. Some tribes band together and apply as an umbrella organization — one plan covers a number of tribes. Some tribes contract to other tribes to write grants.
  • Where are the green building criteria?, search for CodeTalk and ONAP site. The criteria in Keith’s opinion are broad enough so that they’re not restrictive and are broadly applicable to tribes. They hope recipients make inroads; they are not dictating type of building, but rather providing incentive and encouragement.