Last week, I attended the Northwest Indian Housing Association’s (NWIHA) quarterly meeting and was fortunate enough to spend some time talking about housing opportunities with Diana Phair, executive director of the Lummi Housing Authority in Bellingham, WA. I was incredibly impressed by her insight, knowledge, and experience, as well as her drive to bring infrastructure and housing to Lummi Nation.
What I wasn’t fully aware of, at the time, is just how highly respected she is by her peers in the industry. I was honored to be present as Diana was named NWIHA’s Tribal Housing Director of the Year at the Annual Awards Banquet on Sept. 10. Here is a portion of Diana’s tribute, written by Housing Finance Commission’s Director Kim Herman, that was read at the ceremony :
“Diana Phair is one of the longest-serving executive directors in all of Indian Country. She also was selected to serve on the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee — and served as an alternate during the prior round of Negotiated Rulemaking. Diana is known for being a strategic thinker — and relentless. Through her efforts at her housing authority, she created a number of social programs to support residents and help preserve the integrity of the Lummi Nation community. Her tribe was the first to take advantage of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program [in Washington]; they built 24 homes through the program in 2000. Currently, they are in the process of transitioning these homes out of the initial 15-year rental program.”
Travois is very proud to have been a partner in securing financing for this project 14 years ago, and we look forward to working with Diana and Lummi Nation in the future. We are very lucky to have the opportunity to work with so many capable and motivated leaders throughout Indian Country.