Breaking ground at Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation!

After breaking ground with golden shovels, community members of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN) in Mayetta, KS, celebrated the beginning of the construction phase for 27 new homes that will provide additional housing opportunities for large families.

The project, Southwood Estates Phase II, is the nation’s third Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) project. Liana Onnen, tribal chairperson for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN), and her staff organized the event. Gathering at the construction site, Liana, tribal council members and other project partners turned over the dirt to start the day.

Liana welcomed the group, which included eight Travois staff members, and explained the project’s importance to the nation.

“One of the things I’m excited about this project is we’re developing four- to five-bedroom homes, which is something that we’ve really needed here because we have a lot of extended families,” Liana said. “I hope that this is just the beginning of more development in our future so that we can bring more people home to our reservation.

Southwood Estates Phase II was awarded tax credits last year and closed this month with equity investor RBC Capital Markets. This is PBPN’s third LIHTC project, but it’s named Phase II because it is the second phase in the same subdivision as PBPN’s first LIHTC project, a 24-home project that was completed in 2003.

Construction for this project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2018. Travois Design & Construction Services is the architect for the project and has worked with PBPN and the community to create designs for these beautiful homes, which are a mix of three-bedroom, four-bedroom and five-bedroom houses (see renderings below). Out of the 27-homes, 14 units will be reserved for families with a special needs family member, and six units will be reserved for military veterans and their families.

When asked about the project and how it will improve the community, Liana emphasized the need for more affordable housing options for tribal members.

“We have a waiting list of about 300 people, and of those, I think the percentage is pretty high of low-income families,” Liana said. “We know we need to meet that need, and we also know we have larger families.”

After the groundbreaking ceremony, PBPN hosted everyone in their Housing Community building with donuts and refreshments. Adam Rose, senior project coordinator, spoke on behalf of Travois and about our role as the development consultant that brought together funding through the LIHTC program and an Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant.

“By leveraging the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, the Southwood Estates Phase II project will bring $4,359,564 of private investment from RBC Capital Markets to the nation,” Adam said. “This is funding that will enable the nation to build 27 single-family units with three, four and five bedrooms that does not have to be repaid.”

Adam Rose and Adam Teefey, architect, also presented a commissioned watercolor painting to Liana. It is a preview of a completed home, based on our architects’ designs and renderings.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to be here today at the exciting stage of seeing high quality, energy-efficient housing starting construction for low and very low income families,” Adam Rose said. “We are so lucky to play a small part continuing to work alongside the nation to make this important project happen.”

It was a pleasure to attend the ceremony and to witness the excitement that PBPN has for the project. We look forward to seeing this project come together!


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