Since completing its first Low Income Housing Tax Credit project more than a decade ago, the staff members of Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Housing (YANTH) have become experts in developing housing with the program. Last week, the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) again recognized their work and presented YANTH with the 2016 Brian Mickelsen Housing Hero Award for Tribal Initiatives.
Alexandria Murnan and I had the pleasure of attending the award ceremony at the 2016 Arizona Housing Forum at the JW Marriott Star Pass Resort in Tucson. This was fourth time in 12 years that ADOH has given the award to YANTH to recognize its hard work. YANTH also received the award in 2012, 2008 and 2005.
This year’s award recognizes YANTH’s efforts on Yavapai-Apache Homes V, a Low Income Housing Tax Credit project that is building 38 new units — a mix of single-family homes and duplex and triplex units — and also adding a new community building on the Yavapai-Apache Nation Reservation in Camp Verde, AZ. The housing is targeted for families with children. The project incorporates solar panels on each unit, which will offer residents a potential savings of 60 percent or more on their utility bills.
In a wonderful acceptance speech, Sharie Benson, YANTH executive director, thanked the continued dedication of YANTH staff and Nation tribal council members (several of which were in attendance) to addressing the community’s desperate housing need through the LIHTC program. She also recognized the integral involvement of the Indian Health Service in funding and developing the necessary infrastructure for the project. We echo the sentiments Sharie expressed that day, including her praise of ADOH’s ongoing commitment to listening to the housing needs of tribes in Arizona.
(Pictured above: Construction continues on YANTH’s fifth LIHTC project)
And YANTH has more good news — it recently closed its sixth LIHTC project! In a record time of just under 90 days from award, Yavapai-Apache Homes VI is now on its way to building 35 new units, a community building and a public park. The project is located in the Tunlii subdivision and is the last phase of a four-phase, $35 million development totaling 139 units.
We enjoyed sharing this experience with YANTH and look forward to continuing our work together for many years to come.