/ Modified aug 2, 2017 9:01 a.m.

Navajo Allocate $3 Million to Area Stuck in Poverty for Decades

Bennett Freeze area was frozen in time due to restrictions arising from a land dispute.

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The Navajo Nation has allocated $3 million to build homes in a portion of the reservation frozen in a state of poverty.

Bennett Freeze Navajo home VIEW LARGER Carol and Charlie Colorado's home in former Bennett Freeze area. (PHOTO: Laurel Morales, Fronteras Desk)

In 1966 Bureau of Indian Affairs Commissioner Robert Bennett outlawed construction of any kind on a million and a half acres in northern Arizona. This was his solution to a land dispute between the Navajo and the Hopi. Former President Obama lifted the freeze in 2009.

But it’s still taking a long time to provide decent housing for the 8,000 people who still live there. The funding earmarked for the former Bennett Freeze area has been tied up in tribal policy red tape.

The Navajo Housing Authority plans to build 36 homes, renovate 45 homes and process 54 homesite leases.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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