Move-in days: The best days on the job

(Pictured left to right: Jeff Ackley, executive director; Shelly Poler, resident; and Samantha Votis, assistant executive director.)

After months of anticipation, after thousands of pages of official forms and paperwork are completed, and after an enormous amount of hard work by the project team, it is extremely rewarding to see a project reach the move-in day milestone.

I recently attended the Sokaogon Chippewa Community’s move-in day for for its second Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) project. The project, named Sokaogon Chippewa #2, is building 20 new single-family homes in Crandon, WI. Two families moved in on the day I visited.

Move-in day is typically very busy with residents signing leases and completing paperwork, but this particular move-in day was even busier because a winter storm was approaching. Everyone from friends and relatives to maintenance staff worked hard to get everyone moved in before the winds picked up and the snow got too heavy (even pitching in to help carry furniture).

Seeing the smiling faces of the families who move in, including Shelly’s (pictured above), is a great feeling!

Sokaogon’s homes, designed by Travois Design & Construction Services, are beautiful. It has been a pleasure working for the Sokaogon Chippewa Housing Authority, and I look forward to a return visit to Wisconsin for a chance to see more completed homes.

While I was helping residents move in, I also saw a wonderful example of one community helping another. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, recently updated the furniture in one of its casinos and donated the old furniture to Sokaogon. Hundreds of pieces of furniture were delivered while I was visiting.

Sokaogon will use a portion of the donated furniture in its third LIHTC project, Sokaogon Supportive Residences, a rehabilitation project that is converting a vacant motel into 24 studio-style apartments that will serve veterans and elder tenants. It is currently under construction. 

Beds, dressers, nightstands, end tables and couches were delivered and will get new homes once the project is completed. Most tenants come into the project with very little to no belongings and a limited ability to find and afford furniture. The hope is this will help them gain a leg-up by providing them with furnishings for their new homes.

This donated furniture will put a smile on many more faces!

See the gallery below to view the donated furniture.