By Nixyáawii Marketing Team
CTUIR Tribal members will soon have more opportunities to build market rate homes on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
After a recommendation on names from the General Council, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) Board of Trustees passed a motion to formally name the neighborhood as Nixyáawii.
The Nixyáawii neighborhood will be on approximately 12 acres of land south of Nixyáawii High School and Education Center and Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center. The 50 residential lots will be available to CTUIR tribal members, 18 years and older, through the purchase of a 99-year lease. Single lots ranging from 4,000 to 6,800 square feet. The development is designed for market rates homes owned by CTUIR tribal members. Owners of the purchased lease-lots will have the ability to build, live on and enjoy that property. From the time of purchase, the owners will have three years to build on the lot.
“Housing has been a Priority for the Tribal Community and the Board of Trustees for many years, if not generations,” said J.D. Tovey III, Planning Director for CTUIR. “The Reservation is the home of the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Indians, but for a long time it was difficult for tribal members to actually live on the reservation – because of fractionation, high land prices, or construction barriers such wells and septic tanks. This neighborhood will be a compact residential neighborhood on Tribal Water and Sewer. It is designed to be a walkable neighborhood so residents can easily walk to and from work or events.”
Tentatively, the lease-lots will become available for purchase in the summer. Infrastructure such as streets, water, sewer, and power and fiber optic cable construction is expected to be complete by the fall. After that, homes may be constructed on the lots. Nixyáawii will be a neighborhood featuring sidewalks, alleys and a community park. Lease-lot owners will be responsible for all construction and maintenance of their homes.
Lease-lots at Nixyáawii will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Interested parties should be prepared to go through all the steps of the mortgage loan process starting with reviewing credit history, pre-qualification to determine affordability and gathering documents for pre-approval of a loan. Tribal members will be able to assess construction loans using HUD Section 184 Native Guaranteed Loans and the Veterans Affairs Native American Direct Loan (NADL). An independent sales broker, similar to a real estate agent, will also be involved to keep the transactions neutral and fair.
“The path to homeownership can be complex, but also very rewarding,” said Pamela Ranslam, Homeownership Services Manager for Nixyáawii Community Financial Services. “Getting organized is key to making the mortgage process smooth. This is an exciting opportunity that allows Tribal members access to land on the reservation to achieve their goal of becoming homeowners.”
The Capital Improvements Committee and the Housing Development Team, who is spearheading the project, reminds residents of the 2010 Comprehensive Plan goals and this project is the beginning of a blend of options for tribal homeownership.
Nixyáawii Marketing Team has developed a website and informational materials to help interested parties understand the project and the buying process. For more information, please visit the website: www.Nixyaawii.com.