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Tulalip Tribes hit with sanctions for housing woes

The Department of Housing and Urban Development sanctioned the Tulalip Tribes of Washington on Wednesday for "serious outstanding performance issues."

HUD is freezing nearly $5 million in funds and will withhold $2 million more in response to problems uncovered at the tribal housing program. Of the $5 million, HUD wants the tribe to return $3 million.

HUD conducted an audit to determine how $6 million in federal funds were spent by the tribe. Housing officials used the money for first-class travel, Palm Pilots, cellphones, expensive meals and drinks, laptops, night-vision goggles and whale-watching trips, according to the audit.

The tribe has acknowledged problems and has made changes to the housing program. But the HUD penalties are unacceptable, a tribal lawyer said, and the tribe will file an appeal.

Get the Story:
Feds freezing funds for Tulalip housing (The Seattle Times 4/28)
Agency cuts off grants to tribe (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 4/28)
$4.8 million in penalties for Tulalips (The Everett Herald 4/28)

Relevant Links:
Tulalip Tribes -

Related Stories:
Tulalip Tribes face punishment in housing case (01/26)
Tulalip Tribes to repay misspent houding funds (12/06)
Former Tulalip housing official admits embezzlement (11/01)
HUD money used for Palm Pilots, night goggles (10/18)
HUD warns Tulalip Tribes about misuse of housing funds (08/25)