Two Arizona tribal clients win 2018 Brian Mickelsen Housing Hero Awards!

The Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) has announced the recipients of the 2018 Brian Mickelsen Housing Hero Awards, and you might recognize two names on the list of award recipients.

TOKA Homes #2 received the Tribal Initiative award, and Yavapai-Apache Homes #6 received the Exemplary Rural Multifamily Project award!

ADOH presented the awards at a luncheon on Aug. 24 to recognize outstanding service by individuals and organizations for their commitment to numerous housing issues throughout the state.

The Tribal Initiatives Award recognizes achievement in helping to meet the housing needs of tribal members in Arizona through the provision of housing and/or services. TOKA Homes #2, located in Sells, AZ, is the Tohono O’odham Ki:Ki Association’s (TOKA) second Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development completed in two years’ time.

TOKA addresses the nation’s needs for both rehabilitated units and additional new housing with TOKA Homes #2. The development includes 20 rehab units and 20 new construction units that are a mix of one-, two-, three-, four- and five-bedrooms incorporated into a mix of townhomes and single-family homes. The units were designed to specifically meet the needs of families with children.

Some residents in affordable housing developments struggle with the high cost of utilities. TOKA Homes #2 has remedied this problem by building energy-efficient, resource-conserving homes. The units include various sustainable development features, including a number of locally sourced materials, hard surface flooring, power-vented exhaust fans, water-efficient toilets, water-saving artificial turf, thermal performance wall materials, high performance windows, high efficiency HVAC systems and energy-efficient water heaters. These features will increase the efficiency and durability of the homes to ensure tribal members can live in the homes for many years to come.

The Exemplary Rural Multifamily Project Award recognizes an outstanding multifamily rental project in rural Arizona that serves low- to moderate-income individuals, families or seniors. Yavapai-Apache Homes #6, located in Camp Verde, AZ, is the Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Housing’s (YANTH) sixth LIHTC development in the last 15 years. The 35 new construction units in Yavapai-Apache Homes #6 development include a mix of two-, three-, and four-bedroom units in a mix of triplexes, duplexes and single family homes. The units are designed with families in mind and are quite large – between 1,400 and 1,900 square feet.

The development also included the new construction of a community building that provides essential supportive services to the residents, including after-school educational assistance, job training, nutrition classes and financial literacy classes. The playground included in the development gives residents access to green space, a fitness trail and picnic space. Construction began in January 2017 and was completed in January 2018.

YANTH’s efforts at keeping the units affordable began early – by selecting various sustainable development features such as water-efficient toilets, water distribution systems, highly reflective roofing materials, and high-performance windows – utility bills are more affordable for the residents and the homes are more efficient and durable. YANTH has succeeded in providing low-income residents with new, stunning homes that conserve natural resources and showcase the finest attributes within a community.

The Tohono O’odham Ki:Ki Association and Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Housing have become a beacon of hope to the hundreds of tribal members in need of housing and a model for other tribes to follow. They have proven successful in not only creating a vision for the future of their communities but also in implementing the plans to bring their vision to life.

Congratulations to the Tohono O’odham Ki:Ki Association and Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Housing — both are well deserving of the 2018 Housing Hero Award, and we are honored to be their partners in these creative endeavors!


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