The Sokaogon Chippewa Housing Authority (SCHA) finished rehabilitating a vacant motel last year and has since been providing additional affordable housing options for veterans and seniors on the Mole Lake Indian Reservation.Yesterday, Sokaogon’s years of hard work, persistence and commitment were recognized — with the most prestigious award in our industry!
The Sokaogon Supportive Residences project, developed with the leadership of Tribal Administrator Jeff Ackley, was honored yesterday as this year’s Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award winner in the rural housing category at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC. It was a pleasure to attend and see Jeff accept the award in front of a crowd of Congressional representatives, investors, developers and other partners.
This is the 23rd year the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) has administered the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards. The award recognizes the most outstanding Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties in the country.
“The Low Income Housing Tax Credit has been transformative in our community, where more traditional funding sources are scarce,” said Jeff Ackley said. “The substantial need for affordable housing for tribal communities continues to grow, so we are honored that Sokaogon Supportive Residences has been recognized for its efforts to meet this need.”
In addition to rural and urban communities, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program helps tribal communities to build desperately needed housing, where traditional financing is especially challenging. SCHA identified a need in the community for quality housing and services for their tribal members and pursued a vision that would address those needs.
Transforming the existing 30 year old ‘L shaped’ building was a unique design challenge. Travois Design & Construction Services, the architect for the project, provided a thoughtful solution that transformed the 24-unit motel into vibrant and functional living spaces for residents.
(Photos in the gallery are copyrighted by Ryan Siemers, 2016.)
In addition to housing, the residents now have access to information about resources and programs available to them such as transportation, meals, and help with prescriptions. Adult education services are also provided by the Sokaogon Chippewa Community Education Department (SCCED) and the Tribe’s General Assistance Program that assists clients with educational activities, job training and employment search.
The Sokaogon staff undertook two LIHTC projects simultaneously, and with courage and determination, have made a difference for their tribal members and community.
We congratulate the Sokaogon Chippewa Housing Authority and the Sokaogon Chippewa Community and are so proud to be their partner!