Nearly 40 new homes are slated for construction on Navajo Nation land in northeastern Arizona.
Navajo President Russell Begaye has announced that an agreement has been reached between the Navajo Nation and the Navajo Housing Authority that will see some $3 million spent in the effort.
That money will also fund the renovation of some 45 existing area residences.
Structures in what is known as the former Bennett Freeze area have been in a state of decline since the late 1960s after then-Bureau of Indian Affairs head Robert Bennett halted all new home construction and repair work there.
Bennett imposed the freeze during sensitive negotiations regarding land ownership issues between the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Indian tribe.
But the freeze also meant that houses in the 1.5 million acre area in question not only went without vital repairs and upgrades, but also lacked basic plumbing or electricity.
The freeze was finally lifted by President Obama in 2009.
Begaye said that both the Navajo Housing Authority and the Navajo Hopi Land Commission will be responsible for managing the new home construction and remodeling effort.
By Garry Boulard
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