Officials at the Ute Indian Housing Authority say a contractor is expected to be selected next month to build 40 single-family homes on the reservation.

In late 1992, the housing authority won a $3.8 million HUD grant for housing construction to ease overcrowding and a lack of available single-family dwellings on the reservation.Lena Duncan, executive director for the housing authority, said soil and site surveys are almost complete, and requests for proposals for contractors will be released early next month. Construction on the homes is expected to begin this spring.

Last summer the architectural firm Tsalagi, headquartered in Bismarck, N.D., was selected to design the two-, three- and four-bedroom homes. The new homes will all be built on tribal-owned land in the communities of Whiterocks, Fort Duchesne, Myton and Rand-lett.

Duncan said there are more than 100 families in need of housing.

"Many families on the waiting list are renting homes in Roosevelt and Vernal until something becomes available in one of the Indian cities, and other families are doubling up and sharing homes."

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Forty of the new homes will be available for purchase under a "mutual help program," which is subsidized by HUD. The remaining 25 homes will be rented out. Renters, too, will receive HUD subsidies.

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