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Cherokee Nation to take over housing programs

Tahlequah, Oklahoma (AP) 12-07

The Cherokee Nation’s tribal council has voted to dissolve the American Indian tribe’s housing authority and move oversight of its programs to tribal administrators.

Seven of the tribe’s 25 housing programs fell under the housing authority, which operated separately from the tribe. The board overseeing the housing authority will remain in place to manage properties within the 14 counties in the tribe’s jurisdiction.

Last year, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation made a similar decision and had their state-chartered housing authority dissolved.

Proponents of the plan say dissolving the authority will result in improved services.

“This move brings numerous programs under one umbrella, which should improve accountability, efficiency, and foster cohesive collaboration among the various assistance programs that provide services throughout the Cherokee Nation,” tribal Councilor Chris Soap said.

About $6.5 million in housing funds will be transferred to the tribe’s general fund, and the housing authority’s 170 workers will become Cherokee Nation employees. About a dozen positions could be eliminated because of the move.

Some tribal councilors thought the decision was made in haste.

“It is unknown how many will not have jobs or how many will take a reduction in pay,” Councilor Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “I am not against this, but I am in favor of better planning.”

 

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