Hopi Tribal Housing Authority wins state 'Housing Heroes' award

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. - The Hopi Tribal Housing Authority has received a state "housing heroes" award for its work rehabilitating rental dwellings on the reservation and in Winslow.

Hopi Homes I Project is a $3.5 million affordable housing program that renovated 20 outdated dwellings in Winslow and seven on the reservation. Work on the duplexes, triplexes and single-family homes began in 2005 and families began returning in 2006, said Miona Kaping, resident services manager for the housing authority.

"The program allows more families to have a decent place to live," Kaping said, adding that families were relocated during renovation. She said the dwellings where the work was done ranged from two bedrooms to four bedrooms and were up to 20-years-old.

The Brian Mickelson Housing Hero Award honors those who help improve the quality of life for state residents by providing quality affordable housing. The Hopi Tribal Housing Authority was among six award winners at a luncheon in Tempe last Tuesday at the 2009 Governor's Housing Forum.

"While we received many outstanding nominations this year, the selected recipients showed remarkable efforts to further affordable housing during these pivotal economic times," said Arizona Department of Housing Director Michael Trailor.

According to the housing department, the homes renovated under the Hopi Homes I Project had fallen into a state of disrepair. While the tribe receives an annual allocation of Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) funds, the department said, that is not enough to meet the tribe's affordable housing needs. The tribe obtained funding through the department's Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, which along with other financing, provided enough money for the rehabilitation project.

Hopi Homes I dwellings were designed for families at or below 60 percent of the area median income, the state housing department said. But because many units have been subsidized by Self-Determination Act money, tenants cannot be charged more than 30 percent of their actual incomes. The Hopi Tribal Housing Authority also can accommodate households with very low or no income, the state said, because of a housing assistance payments agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help provide operating stability to the project.

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