North Fork Rancheria Indian Housing Authority to build 26 new housing units for community

NORTH FORK — The North Fork Rancheria Indian Housing Authority held a groundbreaking ceremony on for a new $16.4 million affordable housing development on tribal lands in North Fork.


The project, called ‘North Fork LIHTC Homes #1,’ will include 19 structures, made up of both single-family homes and duplexes, and provide 26 new affordable housing units for tribal citizens. Construction will begin in early 2021 and be complete by December 2022 and groundbreaking as Jan. 22.


The new development is NFRIHA’s first Low Income Housing Tax Credit project, a joint state and federal program designed to promote private investment in affordable rental housing for low-income Californians. The project received a 2020 LIHTC award from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee and generated $10.6 million in investor equity from RBC Community Investments. It is only the 11th tribal project to be awarded credits by CTCAC since the Native American set-aside was established in 2014.


Additional funding comes from a $5 million Indian Housing Block Grant-Competitive Grant Program award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Indian Health Service Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction resources, and the North Fork Rancheria’s (“Tribe”) annual IHBG formula funding.


The development is the result of over two decades of planning and efforts by the Tribe to improve and provide affordable housing and address substantial structural obstacles.


“Lacking a tribal land base, we acquired the development property in 2000 and placed it into federal trust in 2002,” said NFR Tribal Chair Elaine Bethel-Fink. “Lacking casino resources, our Tribe and Indian Housing Authority have leveraged limited funding sources to develop 14 prior housing units on the site, a community center, family wellness youth center, general store, playground, and supporting infrastructure.”


Project details


According to Paul Irwin, NFRIHA’s Executive Housing Director, the North Fork LIHTC Homes #1 project will include seven duplexes and 12 single-family homes, with units ranging in size from 1-4 bedrooms, as well as accessible housing units. The geography of the development site is unique, requiring significant engineering and facility upgrades, including road, water, and sewer infrastructure. Homes will be built into the mountainous landscape with views of the Sierra Nevada. All homes are designed as two-story structures due the site’s topography and to limit earthwork and impacts to the surrounding landscape. The NFRIHA and Tribe already own and operate 33 existing affordable housing units total, and the additional LIHTC units will significantly increase our housing stock and ability to meet tribal housing needs.


The NFRIHA has partnered with Travois for consulting and architectural services. Travois is a Certified B Corporation focused exclusively on promoting affordable housing and economic development for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.


“Travois would like to congratulate NFRIHA on its first LIHTC development,” said Trent Rogers, senior project manager for Travois. “The housing authority’s two-decade community vision is coming to fruition through hard work, innovation and perseverance. We are proud to be a partner in this development!”


Civil engineering services are being provided by Blair, Church & Flynn Consulting Engineers, an award-winning Native American-owned company committed to designing safe, sustainable and economical infrastructure solutions since 1958.


“We are excited to team with the NFRIHA and Travois on a project that will substantially benefit the local tribal community. We recognize the significance and impact this project will have for tribal members,” said Luis Gonzalez, Project Manager for Blair, Church & Flynn. “It’s been a pleasure to be a part of such an exceptional team.”


“RBC Community Investments is proud to be a partner in NFRIHA’s first LIHTC development” said John Galfione, a Director at RBC. “We are excited to see the project come out of the ground and welcome families in need of high quality, affordable housing to their new homes.”

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