Workers brick one of three model homes at the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation complex along Highway 62 in Tahlequah, Okla. The Cherokee Nation, under the Bill John Baker administration, will resume building homes for CN citizens. DILLON TURMAN/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Cherokee Nation to build homes again

One of three model homes at the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation complex along Highway 62 in Tahlequah, Okla. The Cherokee Nation will begin taking applications in April from Native Americans wanting new homes built.
DILLON TURMAN/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Model home B has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath with 660 sq. ft. of living space.COURTESY PHOTO
One of three model homes at the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation complex along Highway 62 in Tahlequah, Okla. The Cherokee Nation will begin taking applications in April from Native Americans wanting new homes built. DILLON TURMAN/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BY CHRISTINA GOODVOICE
&
JAMI MURPHY
Reporter
03/28/2012 08:21 AM
Related articles:
Tribe begins taking new housing apps April 2

New homes to range from 2 to 4 bedrooms

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Housing Services officials plan to build nearly 300 new homes per year for tribal citizens under a New Construction Home Ownership Program, which will begin taking applications April 2.

David Southerland, executive director of Housing and Community Development, said the housing strategy changed under the Bill John Baker administration.

“The biggest strategy change from the previous administration is to actually construct homes,” Southerland said. “We’re still going to have mortgage assistance, home rehab and rental assistance, we’re just adding the component of building new homes.”

Southerland said during the years there has not been a lot of new home development through the Mortgage Assistance Program.

“A lot of the homes that were newer have been bought, there’s just not a lot of development going on in the price range that we’re talking about of the folks we’re serving,” he said. “It’s tough when you move into a new house and six months later you have something that screws up and you have to fix something. We’re in the business of serving low-income folks. We think it’s important to put newer stock on the ground.”

Another change is that the tribe will not be relying heavily on federal money to build the homes, which means it can make applicant requirements somewhat more lenient, he said.

“We’re doing new construction and we’re trying to do it as a non-federal,” Southerland said.

Another adjustment deals with the companies that will be contracted to build the homes. In the past the tribe would bid out to any contractor, but now it’s trying to use smaller contractors and bring more work to other people.

“The HACN will act as the general contractor in this construction. We’re using smaller sub(contractors) when we bid out the model homes. If you were general and were allowing subs, we didn’t allow it. Whoever bid had to do the work,” he said.

Everything under the housing change has been bid out through the Tribal Employment Rights Office, except for some supplies.

“The only four that were not TERO was the lumber, concrete, truss and brick (suppliers),” Southerland said.

With the new homes, Southerland expects some jobs to open up within the tribe, too.
“We anticipate two positions to open up, more in construction ¬– qualified inspectors – since we’re acting as the general contractor,” he added.

With the tribe discontinuing the self-help program, Southerland said there are six homes through the self-help program that they are trying to finish up and seven others they are considering before building new homes.

“There are seven that we are looking at, the last seven. I think I was told last week that the ones we’re working on this week will be done in a couple of weeks,” he said.

jami-custer@cherokee.org


918-453-5560

About the Author
Reporter

Jami Murphy graduated from Locust Grove High School in 2000. She received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 2006 from Northeastern State University and began working at the Cherokee Phoenix in 2007.

She said the Cherokee Phoenix has allowed her the opportunity to share valuable information with the Cherokee people on a daily basis. 

Jami married Michael Murphy in 2014. They have two sons, Caden and Austin. Together they have four children, including Johnny and Chase. They also have two grandchildren, Bentley and Baylea. 

She is a Cherokee Nation citizen and said working for the Cherokee Phoenix has meant a great deal to her. 

“My great-great-great-great grandfather, John Leaf Springston, worked for the paper long ago. It’s like coming full circle. I’ve learned so much about myself, the Cherokee people and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

Jami is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, and Investigative Reporters and Editors. You can follow her on Twitter @jamilynnmurphy or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jamimurphy2014.
jami-murphy@cherokee.org • 918-453-5560
Reporter Jami Murphy graduated from Locust Grove High School in 2000. She received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 2006 from Northeastern State University and began working at the Cherokee Phoenix in 2007. She said the Cherokee Phoenix has allowed her the opportunity to share valuable information with the Cherokee people on a daily basis. Jami married Michael Murphy in 2014. They have two sons, Caden and Austin. Together they have four children, including Johnny and Chase. They also have two grandchildren, Bentley and Baylea. She is a Cherokee Nation citizen and said working for the Cherokee Phoenix has meant a great deal to her. “My great-great-great-great grandfather, John Leaf Springston, worked for the paper long ago. It’s like coming full circle. I’ve learned so much about myself, the Cherokee people and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.” Jami is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, and Investigative Reporters and Editors. You can follow her on Twitter @jamilynnmurphy or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jamimurphy2014.

News

BY STAFF REPORTS
01/24/2015 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration is considering improvements on Highway 82 in Cherokee County that would begin near East Allen Road in Tahlequah and go north to near Gideon, according to reports. The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 27 in the University Center Ballroom at Northeastern State University. ODOT held a meeting in 2013 regarding the highway, and following that meeting the state performed studies on the corridor. ODOT officials said within that study they evaluated upgrading the existing highway. They plan to discuss their findings from the studies during the meeting. The meeting is open to the public and will be an open-house format. It will allow for some discussion with engineers and planners for the potential project. For more information, call Frank Roesler III at 405-521-2350 or email <a href="mailto: m-coordinator@odot.org">m-coordinator@odot.org</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
01/24/2015 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. –The Cherokee Nation and the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation NAHASDA Annual Performance Reports are readily available for the public to view and to make comments upon. The reports are available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Jan. 27 at the Cherokee FIRST department located in the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex and in the lobby of the HACN office located at 1500 Hensley Drive in Tahlequah. <a href="http://www.cherokee.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=7G5FQptSBvE%3d&tabid=5274&portalid=0&mid=5878" target="_blank">Click here to view</a> the report.
BY JAMI MURPHY
Reporter
01/24/2015 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Businesses officials said before work on any site to be developed can begin they must do due diligence with regards to pre-development steps. Currently, that is where CNB officials area at on the Cherokee Springs Plaza project. Since the project’s September announcement, CNB officials said they have done several “behind the scenes” tasks in preparation for construction. From September to December, CNB officials said they met with Tahlequah officials to review city permit requirements, located all existing utilities and completed some infrastructure planning. They also they developed and posted a request for proposal for civil engineering work, completed the land survey for the site, as well as competed an aerial topography of the site for elevations and civil engineering design work. CNB Executive Vice President Charles Garrett said CNB officials selected a civil engineer in November for master planning and design and are conducting a traffic impact study that’s required prior to roads being designed or built. CNB officials said they also began civil engineering design of utilities, roads and temporary storm water, as well as identified what parts of the land would be submitted for a trust application. “(CNB) Developed, posted and selected a geotechnical firm to do a soils investigation report that is required by civil engineering for the design of foundations, utility and roads,” Garrett said. “In January we will be drilling 56 borings throughout the site. With the soil borings taking place, we will have the information required to develop a grading plan and start turning dirt to develop Phase I of the site.” In September, Garret said the first phase was establishing the infrastructure that creates access and provides the necessary utilities and the “civil engineering” portion of the project that would consist of road construction and pad sites where potential businesses will be developed. The continuation of the project will include two other phases, one being the construction of a new Cherokee Casino Tahlequah that will include a resort hotel, convention center and golf clubhouse. The third phase will create a retail strip, centering along Grand Boulevard, which will enhance the pedestrian and shopper experience. Overall, it is anticipated 1.3 million square feet of mixed-use space will be developed at an estimated cost of $170 million, officials said.
BY STAFF REPORTS
01/23/2015 04:00 PM
The Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board will be meeting via conference call at 9 a.m. CDT, February 6, 2015. To attend, please use the conference call information listed below. The meeting agenda is here. Dial-in: 866-210-1669 Entry code: 4331082 <a href="http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/Docs/2015/1/8864_150205_EditorialBoard_Agenda.pdf" target="_blank">Click here to view</a> the meeting agenda.
BY TESINA JACKSON
Reporter
01/22/2015 01:37 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On Jan. 9, the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission approved a cutover plan that would allow Cherokee Nation Entertainment to operate its own simulcast signal through the tribe’s Will Rogers Downs Cherokee Casino. To operate the simulcasts, CNE previously contracted with the Oklahoma City-based Remington Park Dissemination Company. Simulcast is a simultaneous transmission of the same program on radio and television, or on two or more channels. The agreement between CNE and the Remington Park Dissemination Company was that Remington was to provide the off-track betting services at Cherokee Casino West Siloam Springs and Cherokee Casino Sallisaw. “There was a decision on Remington’s part that they wanted to exit that agreement, and in order to transition the services that Remington has provided up to this point over to a new provider, which in this case is going to be a company that is created by CNE and ran through Will Rogers Downs,” Jamie Hummingbird, CNGC director, said. Hummingbird said the plan is to take what the Remington Park Dissemination Company had been previously offering in terms of signal, wagering and reporting and put that over onto the new CNE company, Will Rogers Downs Dissemination. “So it’s taking the services that were provided by one company, transitioning them over to another one and providing for all of the transitional services that are required, primarily the redemption of any outstanding wagering that have not been redeemed prior to going to a Remington system to a WRD system,” he said. Like the Remington Park Dissemination Company, Will Rogers Downs Dissemination will also be providing totalisator equipment that controls parimutuel betting. “Will Rogers Downs Dissemination will just simply be doing the exact same thing Remington Park would,” CNE Chief Operating Officer Mark Fulton said. “When they informed us that they would not be renewing the contract to provide those services our decision became ‘do we want to keep our facilities or parlors open at West Siloam or Sallisaw?’ and ‘yes we do.’’ Because CNE will no longer be contracting with the Remington Park Dissemination Company, Fulton said Cherokee Nation Businesses, which is CNE’s parent company, would save some costs but not a lot because it isn’t a heavy volume of business. “We don’t have a heavy volume of business that utilize that so it was probably more of an administrative burden to them (Remington Park Dissemination Company) then the revenue they were generating,” he said. Fulton added that the creation of Will Rogers Downs Dissemination would not need CNB board approval. “The operating agreement is executed and falls within the authorities that already exist. It’s not a new entity for large revenue generation or profitability,” he said. Plans to have Will Rogers Downs Dissemination running are expected to be in mid-February.
BY STAFF REPORTS
01/21/2015 10:00 AM
AKINS, Okla. – A meeting regarding the proposed Plains & Eastern Company transmission power line that would run from western Oklahoma through the state into Arkansas to Memphis will be held at 6 p.m., Jan. 27 at the Akins Community Center (Baptist Church). The community building is located about 4 miles north of Sallisaw. Organizers said the meeting is to inform and answer questions regarding the direct current or DC power line that, if constructed, would carry power generated by windmills in western Oklahoma to Tennessee. On Jan. 12, the Tribal Council approved a resolution opposing the construction of the transmission power line. The council voted unanimously against the 750-mile transmission line and is particularly opposed to the line running through Sequoyah County and is concerned it would affect Trail of Tears sites in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Organizers plan to have maps, printed material, petitions and handouts available at the meeting. For more information, call 918-315-0214 or 918-776-4320.