The Cherokee Nation broke ground Thursday on Shade Addition, a unique new housing addition for elders in Hulbert, a town of around 600 residents.
The eight efficient homes are being built through the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation’s Rental Properties Program. Each home will feature one bedroom, one bathroom, a kitchen and a living room for a total living space of about 660 square feet.
“Cherokees have always believed our elders are the foundation of our families and our communities,” said Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “It is humbling to know that through the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation, we will soon be able to provide even more homes for Cherokee elders. What better way to honor them than by ensuring they have safe homes, which are a key to good health.”
Potential tenants must be 62 years or older and meet income guidelines to sign up. Applications are tentatively set to open in March and rent will be income-based. Preference will be given to eligible residents living in the Housing Authority’s Proctor Heights rental properties in Hulbert.
“It’s a blessing to know the Cherokee Nation can provide quality housing to our Cherokee elders,” said District 1 Tribal Councilor Rex Jordan, of Hulbert. “The Shade Addition is within walking distance to the senior center, to the community post office, to a wonderful park and to other necessities for our elders. I’m proud of this project and the opportunities it will provide for years to come and I am proud the Hulbert community was selected among the first to be a site for new homes for the elderly.”
Future plans call for 17 more efficient homes to be built in Cherokee Nation communities in an effort to replace some of the tribe’s oldest rental properties. Currently, the Housing Authority oversees 944 apartment-style rental properties throughout the tribe’s 14 counties.
“The Shade Addition elder homes represent the first of their kind for our tribe,” said Gary Cooper, executive director of the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation. “These energy efficient homes may be smaller in size, but the interiors are designed with full-sized features including washers and dryers and accessible bathrooms. This is a special program and we’re proud to see work beginning.”
Construction of Shade Addition is expected to be complete by this summer.
Aside from its Rental Properties Program, the Housing Authority also operates other housing services including the New Home Construction Program implemented by Chief Baker in 2012, housing rehabilitation, senior housing, college housing assistance and rental assistance.
Since the New Home Construction Program was implemented, nearly 800 homes have been built for Cherokee families in communities throughout the tribe’s 14-county area.
For more information on programs offered by the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation, visit www.hacn.org.
About Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation is the federally recognized government of the Cherokee people and has inherent sovereign status recognized by treaty and law. The seat of tribal government is the W.W. Keeler Complex near Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the capital of the Cherokee Nation. With more than 360,000 citizens, 11,000 employees and a variety of tribal enterprises ranging from aerospace and defense contracts to entertainment venues, Cherokee Nation is one of the largest employers in northeastern Oklahoma and the largest tribal nation in the United States.
To learn more, please visit www.cherokee.org.