The National American Indian Housing Council holds three main events each year to help support Indian Country housing development. The 2012 Legislative Conference was held last month in Washington, DC. The Legislative Conference allows tribes and tribal housing authorities to meet with representatives of the government and discuss legislation that will have a direct impact in Indian Country. I wasn’t able to attend but I did have a chance to meet up with several tribal staff members who were in town for the event.
I enjoyed a great steak at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse on the corner of 15th Street and H Street with Ronald Boni (executive director) and Alonzo Lamas (finance director) of the San Carlos Housing Authority. While dinner was great, our conversations following our meal were even better.
I had an opportunity to discuss San Carlos’ plans for future housing development and delve specifically into the closing of San Carlos’ fifth Low Income Housing Tax Credit project with RBC Capital Markets. The project is a 40-unit development that will rehab 25 existing low-rent homes and construct 15 new homes on the reservation in Bylas, Ariz.
The project, which was allocated $762,051 in credits from Arizona Department of Housing, will be receiving an estimated $6.4 million in investor equity from RBC. With a waiting list of more than 500 tribal members, additional housing is a big priority for SCHA. Presently, San Carlos has an unmet need of more than 360 rental units for tribal families and more than 260 rental units in need of substantial rehabilitation, so continued use of the LIHTC program is important for the housing authority.
Before dinner I also met up with a few folks from Nooksack and Pascua Yaqui in the lobby of the Washington Court Hotel, several of whom were getting ready for a night on the town in DC or heading off to the NAIHC conference reception. NAIHC’s next big event is the 38th Annual Convention and Trade Show, to be held in June in Anchorage. Several Travois team members plan to attend.