The Red Cliff Chippewa Housing Authority (RCCHA) is making great progress through a snowy winter as it continues construction in northern Wisconsin for its Red Cliff Rehab #2 development.
Reflecting on the development process, RCCHA Executive Director Cheryl Cloud said: “There are a lot of tools, resources and partners available for tribal housing directors to utilize for housing rehab and development,” she said. “I would say the best ‘tool’ that I have available to me is our project/staff team. We have an amazing combination of seasoned and ‘new blood;’ experience and open minds paired with ‘can-do’ attitudes. It inspires me every single day that any challenge we face, in this project or any other, we will solve together.”
As the architect who visits monthly, I see their teamwork in action and am impressed with how RCCHA and its staff, contractors, construction crews and residents are navigating the weather to keep the development on schedule and sometimes even ahead!
The team has completed more than 20 homes out of the 38 homes slated for renovation. Residents are moving in and enjoying the new cabinets, kitchen appliances, doors and windows, new insulation and repairs, and new roofs. Residents are staying nice and cozy with new boiler systems and extra warm clothes straight out of new, in-unit dryers (and washers). (Read more here.)
Funded primarily through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and an Affordable Housing Program grant, the development is also substantially renovating a community services building (see photo below) that houses the RCCHA offices. RCCHA is adding approximately 1,300 square feet to the building to include more community space for residents and to reorganize the space to make it more effective. (Read more here.)
With construction crews already mobilized, RCCHA decided to provide an exterior facelift to its Elder’s Center that will be connected by a new covered walkway. It will receive new siding, soffits, windows and doors. The Elder’s Center portion of the construction project is not funded with LIHTC funds, but the cost savings and efficiencies make it a smart investment.
Demolition is underway on the community building, and it will be complete in fall 2018. Once completed, an expanded parking lot shared by RCCHA and the Elder’s Center will offer visitors and staff many more parking options. They can enter the community building through the covered, beautified drop-off area and can pick up meals from the commercial kitchen, once finished.
Summarizing the development process, Cheryl said: “Although a lot of planning, design and hard work goes into the physical development aspect of a tax credit rehab project, probably the most challenging aspect, and where a bulk of our effort is focused to achieve a truly holistic successful project, is in the area of occupancy. Over the lifetime of the project, juggling the balls of project requirements in conjunction what seem to be ever-changing needs of tenants, really demands we be at the top of our ‘game’ as housing professionals.”
We know they are up to the challenge! We’re proud to partner with Cheryl and the RCCHA team and look forward to more progress on the homes, buildings, and landscaping and seeing residents enjoy the changes!