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First woman to hold the position

O;Neil named administrator of a HUD Office of Native American Programs

PHOENIX - Carolyn O'Neil, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and former director of the tribe's housing authority, recently accepted a position with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Phoenix area and is the first woman to head a regional HUD Office of Native American Programs.

As the administrator of the ONAP Southwest housing office, she will be overseeing the largest of the six regional offices.

O'Neil began her new position May 12.

''I am very fortunate to have made the contacts and the working relationships over the years with both HUD and other agencies and tribes,'' she said. ''I am very honored to have been selected for this position and truly fortunate to have an opportunity to work with the highly skilled staff here at the South West Office of Native American Programs in Phoenix.

''My first week here has been rewarding and the staff are experienced and dedicated individuals who want to help the tribes be high performers as they provide housing opportunities utilizing the many programs available through HUD and the ONAP.''

O'Neil was employed for 23 years with the Sault Tribe Housing Authority, the past four as director, and was an employee of the Sault Tribe for the past 30 years. She managed 502 units of housing covering a 300-mile radius among nine different housing sites in the seven counties of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

In her new position as a HUD regional administrator, she will be working with tribal officials, housing entity directors, tenant groups, associations, federal agencies and departmental staff in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and California.

''Sault Tribe member and first tribal housing director, George Nolan, blazed the path on the national level. I am just fortunate enough to be able to follow along in his legacy. I would like to thank the Sault tribe administration and tribal staff that I have worked with. They have so well prepared me for this,'' O'Neil said.

The HUD ONAP consists of six area offices, in addition to its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the national program office in Denver.

The six area offices provide local administration of the department's programs and help address housing and community development issues.

The offices are in Chicago (Eastern Woodlands), Oklahoma City (southwest Plains), Phoenix (Southwest), Denver (northern Plains), Seattle (northwest Plains) and Anchorage, Alaska (Alaska).