RCAC’s Tribal Housing Excellence Academy (THE Academy) is a thirty-month initiative to work with innovative native organizations in the rural west with a goal to increase housing built on native lands. The second cohort graduated in July 2018. RCAC is accepting applications now for the 2022 – 2024 class of the Tribal Housing Excellence Academy (THE Academy).
THE Academy will bring together seven NAHASDA grantees, such as TDHEs, Housing Authorities, housing departments and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to learn and apply best practices for managing the housing development process. We emphasize leveraging IHBG/NHHBG with other funding not yet widely accessed by native communities.
The selected organizations will each send two staff people to six multi-day trainings held over 18 months (in-person if possible, virtual if not). The training topics presented parallel stages of housing development. To maximize the capacity building aspect of the training program, participants work on their pre-identified housing project while they attend THE Academy, giving them real world knowledge of the development process.
In addition, each organization will receive individualized technical assistance and coaching between trainings and for up to 12 months afterward from RCAC and our consultants, all of whom are experienced in housing development, housing finance, and organizational management.
Eligible applicants are:
- NAHASDA grantees serving Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians
- Located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
- The organization or the housing project is located in a rural area as defined by HUD’s Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Program. Please confirm by using the mapping tool on this site: https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/rural-capacity-building/
For an application and more information, click here.
What are participants saying?
“THE Academy has assisted the Craig Tribal Housing Department tremendously,” Kari Mackie, Craig’s Housing Coordinator, told her fellow THE Academy participants at the graduation ceremony in July. Mackie explained that it’s challenging to build in Alaska, where materials are hard to get and building in a cold climate isn’t very easy. THE Academy helped her and the Tribe with market analysis, appraisals, procurement, funding sources and phases of construction.
The Santo Domingo Tribal Housing Authority, who were part of the first Academy cohort, credits the initiative with spurring it to investigate and then apply for Low Income Housing Tax Credits. This led to the Wa-Di project, completed in August 2017, and is an outstanding example of financial leveraging that THE Academy promotes.
“The Housing Excellency Academy (T.H.E. Academy) has greatly benefited the Santo Domingo Tribal Housing Authority (SDTHA) through onsite/in-class training’s with direct examples of the do’s and don’ts of Tribal housing development. The SDTHA has used these examples, adapting them to fit our new 41 unit affordable housing development. We’d like to thank T.H.E. Academy for the trainings and support offered through this opportunity”. – Joseph Kunkel, project manager, SDTHA, New Mexico.