PORCUPINE, SD – U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, met today with representatives of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (CDC) to discuss their work to create a coordinated regional plan for the Pine Ridge reservation.
“Life on the reservation creates many unique challenges, and the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation is doing great work to face those challenges by coordinating to develop a plan that will help drive economic development, promote safe, stable housing and improve public transportation options,” said Senator Johnson.
The Thunder Valley CDC was formed with a focus on improving outcomes for youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and has been working to foster economic development and improve quality of life.
In 2010, Thunder Valley CDC received a $996,100 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Thunder Valley CDC has been using those funds to partner with the Oglala Sioux Tribe and other tribal entities to develop a regional plan for Pine Ridge. In order to overcome challenges presented by the large geographic area and tribal members’ transportation hurdles, they have been holding multiple community visioning sessions across Pine Ridge.
“Just last week at a Banking Committee hearing, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan pointed to Pine Ridge as an example of the innovative work being done with Sustainable Communities funding, and I couldn’t agree more,” Johnson continued. “It was clear in today’s meeting that Thunder Valley CDC is working very hard and making significant progress toward building a sustainable community that will improve the quality of life on Pine Ridge.”
The funds were provided as part of HUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative, a program based on ideas developed by Senator Johnson along with former Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT), which takes an inclusive approach toward supporting sustainable development in rural and tribal areas. The Initiative provides support for comprehensive, sustainable regional and local planning efforts that integrate housing, transportation, economic development, energy, and environmental concerns.