STILWELL, Okla. - The Cherokee Nation will receive an additional $2.1
million for Indian housing for low-income families. The monies from Housing
and Urban Development (HUD) are from the Native American Housing Assistance
and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA).
Cherokee Nation receives funding for Native American housing through HUD
based on a formula for all tribes. This additional $2.1 million from an
under-funding error that spanned from 1998 to 2004.
Cherokee Nation will receive a lump sum of $2.1 million in 2004. Thereafter
an additional $350,000 a year will be granted to Cherokee Nation from HUD.
Money received will be put into the 2004 Indian housing plan for home
improvements and to build additional homes through NAHASDA.
The funding from HUD is proposed to help Cherokee Nation self-help
projects. The self-help projects will be modeled after a current
demonstration project being built in Adair County. The current project
includes 20 homes for low-income families.
June was declared National Home Ownership month by President George W.
Bush. On behalf of President Bush, Brent Kisling, state director for United
States Department of Agriculture, attended the dedication of Cherokee
Nation's self-help project at Stilwell. The project was dedicated to the
late Johnson Soap of the Oak Ridge community, whom helped to bring the
communities together in Adair County to begin the project. Families working
on the homes in this community dubbed the project "Our Generation."
"We are highlighting our top projects and "Our Generation" is one of those
premiere projects that President Bush wishes to recognize," Kisling said.
"This project is a little different than most projects that President Bush
wants to recognize, since it is the first time for us to work with a
Wayne Sims, administrator for the office of Native American programs for
HUD, also attended the dedication ceremony. "This project is really
impressive, I have seen a sense of pride and community togetherness in this
project," Sims said. "We are happy to be a small part of the idea for this
Cherokee Nation's self-help project is geared toward families with
low-incomes, inadequate housing and those willing to work to do their part
in receiving a home through NAHASDA. Families that are approved to receive
homes are included throughout the entire process of the project from
purchasing land to building the homes. Families that receive homes must
work together to build every home included in the project. Families are
taught how to measure and construct a home from beginning to end.
"This project is an excellent example of how Cherokee people can work
together to make something positive come about," said Jackie Bob Martin,
Cherokee Nation District 2 council member.