LONGMONT - First Nations Development Institute has been awarded a $700,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to offer tuition-free training and technical assistance for tribal-housing programs.

The grant is given through HUD's Office of Native American Programs.

Longmont-based First Nations is a nonprofit that assists Native American organizations and tribes in their economic development through various grassroots projects.

Technical assistance and training will cover financial and fiscal management, governance and organizational development, construction, environmental review, procurement, self-monitoring, audit preparation, program income, homebuyer education, youth activities, and other issues in Native communities.

The opportunities are based on a demand-response process requested through HUD's Office of Native American Programs, said Randy Blauvelt, First Nations' senior communications officer.

The agreement will benefit American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments, tribal members, the Department of Native Hawaiian Home Lands, Native Hawaiians and other Native American organizations.