Construction complete on Cherokee Nation’s 8 efficiency homes for elders

BY D. SEAN ROWLEY
Senior Reporter
05/25/2020 12:30 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Dist. 1 Tribal Councilor Rex Jordan tour one of the Cherokee Nation’s new income-based efficiency homes for elders in the Shade Addition in Hulbert. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
One of eight new efficiency homes in the Shade Addition for Cherokee elders. COURTESY
HULBERT – With construction recently finished, eight single-efficiency detached residences are being offered by the Cherokee Nation to eligible tenants, and applications are being accepted.

Sited in the Shade Addition, the houses will be rental units for tribal elders meeting income guidelines. Construction on the homes began in November. 

“In times like these, it is important that our Cherokee Nation elders have a place they can call home,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Programs like these ensure that we provide housing so our most vulnerable citizens can continue to social distance. This is the type of innovative approach to housing that we need across all of Cherokee Nation.”

Each of the units is one-bedroom, accessible and covers 720 square feet with a living area, kitchen and bathroom. Parks, the post office and the senior citizens center are short walks from the addition.

“I applaud the administration and the Housing Authority (of the Cherokee Nation) for taking an innovative approach to housing needs, and I am excited to see this project completed for the Hulbert community,” said Dist. 1 Tribal Councilor Rex Jordan. “We are always looking for new ways to provide housing for our elders. The hard work of our Housing Authority will be appreciated for years to come by the Cherokees who will live in this new addition.”

To meet application requirements, a household member must be a CN citizen. Household income must be at or below 80 percent of the national median income guidelines and the rents charged will be based on family income. Criminal background checks will be conducted on all household members age 18 or older, and tenants must adhere to policies of HACN rental programs.

“These units were built with elderly occupants in mind, and will provide safe and sanitary living conditions for them,” Gary Cooper, HACN executive director, said. “With many people now experiencing lower incomes, our elders need homes with rent based on income, and the Housing Authority is willing to help.”

Applications are available at https://www.hacn.org/media/2unf2p21/rental-program-application.pdf. Applications can also be mailed on request by calling 918-456-5482.

The CN is also building 12 one-bedroom and two two-bedroom efficiency homes for Cherokee elders in Tahlequah, and three three-bedroom family residences in Salina, to replace some of the tribe’s oldest rental properties. The HACN oversees about 950 apartment-style rental properties throughout the tribe’s 14 counties.

Completion of the units is expected in the summer, if weather permits. The Shade Addition groundbreaking ceremony was held on Jan. 24, 2019, but the heavy rains – resulting in historic spring flooding in northeast Oklahoma – delayed start of construction for months.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, subcontractors working on HACN projects, including the homes in the Shade Addition, could safely continue their interior and exterior work on unoccupied residences. For safety, all other housing repair projects were limited to exterior work for occupied homes.
About the Author
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987. 

He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relati ...
david-rowley@cherokee.org • 918-453-5560
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987. He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relati ...

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