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Lumbee Indian Tribe must repay $225K in housing money

LUMBERTON — A federal government review says the Lumbee Indian Tribe of North Carolina must repay $225,000 that was supposed to be spent on housing services and instead paid for a fishing trip for veterans, banquet catering and other expenses that aren’t allowed.

Multiple media outlets reported that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ordered the tribe to repay the money. Meanwhile, the review says Lumbee members must wait an average of 10 to 15 years for housing services.

In a statement, Lumbee Chairman Paul Brooks criticized the federal office for using a “more narrow interpretation” of how the federal funding can be used.

A grant evaluation specialist from the federal housing office visited the tribe last August to review compliance with the Indian Housing Block Grant.

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