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Historic $120 million housing initiative proposed by Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner are proposing a historic $120 million housing initiative. The funding would expand affordable housing options and offer low-income home repairs and other related housing needs for Cherokee citizens across the reservation. The proposal reauthorizes the Hoskin-Warner administration’s landmark Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act of 2019, which this year will complete repairs and replacements of nearly 200 homes for Cherokee elders or Cherokee citizens with disabilities. Watch this video to learn more.

Posted by Cherokee Nation on Thursday, March 17, 2022
Cherokee Nation: Historic $120 million housing initiative
Investing in safe homes and Cherokee Nation’s future
Monday, March 28, 2022
Cherokee Nation

One of our most critical values as Cherokee people is that our elders are essential keepers of our history and culture, and they deserve to live in safety and dignity. In 2019 Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and I proposed, and the Council of the Cherokee Nation approved, the Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act.

Under that law, we invested $30 million in revenue from the tribe’s business arm, primarily to help elders and Cherokees with disabilities with home repairs or, in some cases, brand-new replacement homes. The investment allowed us to repair or replace 200 homes and upgrade tribal community buildings with solar panels and energy efficient appliances.

Now in 2022, we are ready to build on that progress. Deputy Chief Warner and I recently proposed that the Council expand and extend the law with a commitment of $120 million. This would quadruple our efforts to end home insecurity for Cherokees, as well as create hundreds of quality construction jobs for years to come.

Cherokee Nation Housing
The Cherokee Nation is seeking to invest another $120 million in funding for housing programs on the reservation in Oklahoma. Graphic: Anadisgoi / Cherokee Nation

This historic commitment to safe and affordable housing has the potential to make generational changes across the Cherokee Nation. We will expand affordable housing options, help low-income families with home repairs and address other housing needs, like expanding our Cherokee Speakers Village and ensuring that emergency housing is available for any citizens who find themselves in a crisis across the 7,000-square-mile Cherokee Nation Reservation.

Our goal is to ensure safe, well-maintained and affordable housing across the lifespan, from young Cherokee families putting down roots to Cherokee elders. Cherokee families and the Cherokee Nation are strongest when all of our generations have a safe place within their home community.

The proposed expansion would use a combination of tribal dollars and funds available under the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Half of the proposed funding – $60 million – will be earmarked for new home construction, shortening wait times for applicants to the tribe’s New Home Construction Program.

It is a testament to the progress we are making as a tribe that even as our 2019 investment was the most ambitious housing plan in Cherokee history, it pales in comparison to our new proposal. Our past efforts have been successful, but we still have great need when it comes to secure homes. The program is also structured in a way that will actually boost funding for our housing programs in the future.

Our commitment to build new homes across the reservation means we have an opportunity to strengthen Cherokee families’ finances and help them to build wealth. The Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act reauthorization can be a foundation of security and prosperity for our citizens for generations to come. Building that brighter future starts with having a secure place to call home.

Chuck Hoskin Jr
Chuck Hoskin Jr. is the 18th elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, the largest Indian tribe in the United States. He is only the second elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from Vinita, the first being Thomas Buffington, who served from 1899-1903. Prior to being elected Principal Chief, Hoskin served as the tribe’s Secretary of State. He also formerly served as a member of the Council of the Cherokee Nation, representing District 11 for six years.