Portland, Ore. —RCAC is launching a second Tribal Housing Excellence (THE) Academy cohort training here this week. Eight tribes from across the American West and Alaska are participating. THE Academy is an innovative initiative that helps Native organizations increase the variety and volume of housing on their lands. The program also increases Native organizations’ knowledge and capacity to develop housing by using multiple funding and financing sources, and reduces their reliance on outside developers. Eight tribal organizations completed the first round of THE Academy’s group training in 2015, and are now working on projects to construct or rehabilitate more than 300 affordable housing units in six states.

During the 30-month program, participating organizations develop a housing project from concept to construction. THE Academy’s faculty has achieved exceptional results leveraging underutilized funding sources to develop housing for low-income populations both on and off trust lands.

Participants in THE Academy are Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) Grantees, such as Tribally Designated Housing Entities, Housing Authorities or Tribal/Village housing departments. They are competitively selected based on demonstrated determination to increase their skills; willingness to commit time and resources; and possession of a specific and realistic housing development project to work on.

Training for the second THE Academy cohort began in Portland, OR on March 27th. Participants include: Cheyenne River Housing Authority, Eagle Butte, South Dakota; Coeur D’Alene Tribal Housing Authority, Plummer, Idaho; Puyallup Nation Housing Authority, Tacoma, Washington; Craig Tribal Housing Association, Craig, Alaska; Native Village of Barrow, Barrow, Alaska; Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority, Ukiah, California; Hualapai Housing Department, Peach Springs, Arizona; Pueblo of Zia Housing Services, Zia Pueblo, New Mexico.

Together these eight organizations propose to construct 237 affordable housing units. Projects include new construction of a fourplex to serve low-income renters currently living in substandard housing; 30 homes for higher income families to buy outright or purchase within five years with support from homebuyer and financial management classes; and homebuyer and rental housing projects leveraging federal mortgage loans, or Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

Founded in 1978, RCAC provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. RCAC serves rural communities in 13 western states and the Pacific islands. RCAC provides a broad range of community and economic development services and lending to support local efforts. To find out more about RCAC visit www.rcac.org.

Contact: Eileen Piekarz
Rural Development Specialist
(775) 323-8882