- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro says too many American Indian youth are living in overcrowded, dilapidated housing unfit to withstand harsh northern winters.

Castro made the comment during the first Great Plains Conference on Indian Housing. It was being held Tuesday at a hotel in Bismarck, North Dakota.

The daylong conference brought together federal, state, local and tribal leaders to focus on addressing housing challenges in Native American communities.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota brought Castro to the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in the state in 2014. Castro says he saw firsthand the unsafe housing conditions there.

Heitkamp also spoke at Tuesday’s conference, saying a brighter future for Native American youth has to “start at home.”

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