The White Mountain Apache Housing Authority (“WMAHA”) was recently awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Arizona Department of Housing to help build a new housing project in Hondah (near Rim Road) consisting of 38 new homes, at a total project cost of $9,515.266.
This will be the eighth tax credit project awarded to WMAHA. WMAHA was also awarded a $2 million grant under the Indian Community Development Block Grant. This grant will be used to rehabilitate 33 homes in Dark Shadows. They also received a Wells Fargo grant in the amount $140,000 to rehabilitate Veteran Homes, and a U.S. EPA grant in the amount of $800,000 to assess and clean-up contamination from illegal drug manufacturing and use in tribal housing units.
To assist with project costs associated with WMAHA’s seventh Low Income Housing Tax Credit project, currently underway in Cibecue, WMAHA recently received a Capital Magnet Fund award of $562,500 and an Affordable Housing Program grant of $440,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.
WMAHA is applying for a $5 million competitive grant under HUD’s Indian Housing Block Grant to assist in the construction of new homes in the Hondah area and is hoping to be awarded this amount by the end of 2019. WMAHA also applied for a $2.5 million loan from the Water Infrastructure Authority of Arizona to assist with infrastructure costs for the Hondah build out and is hoping to hear good news in August 2019.
Chairwoman Gwendena Lee-Gatewood recently traveled to Washington, D.C. with WMAHA staff, WMAHA Board Vice-Chairwoman Minda Nachu and WMAHA Board Member Herbert Tate to lobby and educate Congress and the Indian Health Service on the housing needs of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. With the Chairwoman’s support, the Indian Health Service committed $370,000 to help with infrastructure costs for the Hondah project.
Competitive grants and loans are awarded based on proven administrative and financial capacity. WMAHA has submitted their federal audits in a timely manner and without any findings for the past several years. Accordingly, WMAHA has been very successful in securing additional funding in the past few years. This additional funding is needed to build homes on the reservation, as WMAHA’s current annual funding is only able to cover current operations and maintenance.
So far this year, WMAHA has been awarded approximately $11,510,000 (assuming average pricing for the credits to be determined) in additional funding, and is waiting to hear about an additional $7,500,000 by the end of the year. This funding will assist WMAHA in addressing it’s waiting list of 1,200 families and will help fund the continued employment of Tribal members.
Executive Director Victor Velasquez, Deputy Director Dorothy Parker, WMAHA staff, and the WMAHA Board of Commissioners have done an excellent job in representing WMAHA and the White Mountain Apache Tribe. The WMAHA Board consists of Chairman Curtis Suttle, Sr., Vice-Chairwoman Minda Nachu, Secretary Henrietta George, Herbert Tate, Roger Zospah, Rencher Paxson, and Rovene Nosie.