Contributed by Planning Department
MISSION – Years of work by current and previous boards and staff have laid the groundwork for these successful and much needed community asset. Despite years of uncertainty from the pandemic, devastating floods, and economic fluctuations, the dedication of the Housing Development Team and Board to not only respond to those events, do their regular daily work, but also complete community asset projects like these is a testament to the resiliency and excellence found in Tribal Government. The Housing Development Team includes members from the Departments of Housing, Economic & Community Development, Planning and Finance. Lindsey X. Watchman, General Council Chairman and Housing Commission Chair and champion of additional housing project highlights that “General Council members and Housing Commissioners have consistently stated that additional housing options should be a priority. We have 76 families currently on the subsidized units’ waiting list. Other households are ready to advance to long-term leases and home ownership in Nixyaawii and future projects. Any new homes or lots made available will no doubt be eagerly scooped up by tribal members.” On July 6, the Board of Trustees alongside the Housing Development Team and the design-builder team broke ground on the Timíne Way North Apartments. Timíne Way North will be an apartment complex to the north of Yellowhawk and Nixyáawii Education Center. The 30 unit project will include 4 studio, 14 bedroom and 12 bedroom market-rate apartments. The project is also designed with solar in mind with a high percentage of the electricity requirements being satisfied by onsite solar Construction is expected to be completed in spring of 2023. The design-build team includes Chervenell Construction, Cole Architects, and Akana, a native owned engineering and planning firm. Please be mindful that this area will be a construction zone with large vehicles frequently crossing Timíne Way. While there should not be many traffic delays, it would be advisable to use the Highway 331 entrance on Timíne Way to avoid
any congestion. The portion of Timíne Way Trail adjacent to the site will also be closed during the construction, however the soon to be completed sidewalks and infrastructure at Nixyáawii Neighborhood to the south of Yellowhawk and Education Center will provide all new walking opportunities for the campus walkers. Nixyáawii Neighborhood infrastructure experienced some delays because of the unusually wet spring, however it is expected to be completed in August 2022. Nixyáawii Neighborhood is 40 residential lots available for long term lease for qualified individuals to build their own home. The most exciting portion of this project was the creation of the 99-year lease process that will provide market rate housing opportunities and all its benefits while also protecting the trust status of tribal lands. “The Nixyáawii Neighborhood is a long-awaited reality to provide Tribal members an opportunity for homeownership on the reservation.” Pamela Ranslam, Homeownership Services Manager for Nixyáawii Community Financial Services (NCFS). “This will not only significantly impact current homeowners but future generation on the Umatilla Reservation. Those leases will be available during a Leasing Event in August. The leasing process, including pricing and how to register for the first round is outlined on the website: www.nixyaawii.com. The website also includes a series of Open House dates and times to answer questions from interested individuals. Open Houses will focus on the process and next steps for individuals to get their home site, so if you’ve attended one of these open houses before, these upcoming open houses will have new information. The third project is the redevelopment of Lucky 7. The project is nearly complete with finishing touches and community amenities still being finalized. Some of the funding for this project was provided by the State of Oregon EBoard as a response for those displaced by the 2020
Umatilla River Flood. The 18 new homes in Lucky 7 are also greatly superior in energy efficiency as opposed to the previous homes, with some residents seeing an 85% drop in energy costs. “This update has been a long time coming. The old units from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s served their purpose, but needed a major overhaul. We get compliments from tenants about the roomy houses, efficiency upgrades and especially the reduced utility bills.” – Housing Department Staff. These projects as well as future projects will help fulfill long needed housing options as identified in the Tribes’ Comprehensive Plan, Housing Strategy Plan, a Housing Needs Study, and a lot of community input and recommendations. These plans ask for a range of housing options. Housing options not only includes sizes from small studio apartments to moderate and large home site development, but also specialty housing
such as elder care and assisted homes, veteran homes, transitional homes, and options for those that are housing stressed or challenged. The Housing Needs Study recognizes that CTUIR requires 349 new homes over the next 20 years to meet tribal member needs, so the approximately 100 total units found in these three projects are just a starting point. “The leadership and direction of current and former Board of Trustees through their priorities and the community inspired plans and policies such as the Comprehensive Plan and Housing Strategy Plan has laid the groundwork for this increase in housing options. It’s an exciting time.” J.D. Tovey, Tribal Planning Director. For updates and information as it is released, please check out the CTUIR website.