Tohono O’odham Ki:Ki Association to build affordable housing in new subdivision

The Tohono O’odham Ki:Ki Association (TOKA) closed with equity investor Red Stone Equity Partners to begin construction on its $16.9 million affordable housing development, TOKA Homes #5. The development will build 30 new single-family homes within the Sells District of the Tohono O’odham Nation in Kawulk, Arizona.

“These are not just structures, through these 30 homes TOKA is helping O’odham families come together in a safe and healthy environment and improving the community with new infrastructure,” said Kimberly Mull, chairwoman for the board of directors of TOKA. “This is especially important given the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on our Nation over the past two years.”

TOKA Homes #5 received a 2021 Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) award and an award of Hardship Credits from the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) that generated over $11.8 million in investor equity from Red Stone Equity Partners for the development. Hardship Credits are awarded to projects that have faced unforeseeable hardship where the completion of the project is jeopardized. The award of Hardship Credits generated additional investor equity for TOKA Homes #5 to support the challenges of high construction costs. These credits were allocated through ADOH’s first round of requests for Hardship Credits.

“Red Stone Equity Partners is very grateful to have had the opportunity to partner again with the Tohono O’odham Nation and help facilitate the development of high-quality affordable housing units for low and moderate income tribal members”, said Matt Grosz, managing director of Red Stone’s western region. “Since 2018, in collaboration with Travois and our investment partner, American Express, Red Stone has invested in four newly-constructed tribal housing developments in the state of Arizona, totaling 124 residential units.”

TOKA Homes #5 will build 14 three-bedroom homes and 16 four-bedroom homes in a new subdivision — just south of Sells, Arizona — with newly developed infrastructure including a one-mile water line that will provide water to the subdivision. Travois Design provided architecture services for the development. The new home designs include Craftsman style influences and adobe brick veneer accents. The development is TOKA’s fifth LIHTC project and construction will begin later this month.

TOKA Homes #5 also received an Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant of $600,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. The extra subsidy will be used to lower the need for tribal funding in the development.

TOKA partnered with Travois for consulting, architectural and asset management and compliance services. Travois is a Certified B Corporation focused exclusively on promoting affordable housing and economic development for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.

“Congratulations to the Tohono O’odham Ki:Ki Association on its fifth LIHTC development,” said Meaghan Pasbrig, project manager at Travois. “TOKA has been steadfast in its goal to provide quality, affordable housing to its community. We are proud to partner with TOKA and excited to see construction begin on the new homes.”

TOKA Homes #5 design rendering provided by Travois Design.

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