- Associated Press - Friday, August 2, 2019

CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) - The Cherokee Nation will overhaul hundreds of tribal homes, remodel community buildings and generate construction jobs across northeastern Oklahoma under a $30 million rehabilitation plan, officials said.

The Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act of 2019 is part of Cherokee Nation Principal Chief-Elect Chuck Hoskin Jr.’s first 100 days of office initiatives. The act will now proceed to the tribal council for final approval.

Hoskin said Thursday in Claremore that the renovation plan will help the tribe’s elderly people and citizens who have disabilities, the Tulsa World reported.

“The improvements mean our most vulnerable citizens can get the help they need after waiting sometimes years for assistance,” he said.

Most of the enhancements will involve renewable energy projects. Hoskin also touted the restoration plan for the extensive array of construction-related jobs it will create.



Cherokee elders or citizens with disabilities represent more than 400 of the 668 listed low-income families with housing repair needs that include new roofs, HVAC, wheelchair ramps or removal of lead.

Lola McKinzie, a 73-year-old widow, said she could’ve lost insurance coverage if she didn’t get a new roof. This week, the tribe finished installing a roof on her 1960s-era home.

“I got on the waiting list over a year ago hoping the tribe could help,” McKinzie said. “There are a lot of Cherokee citizens who need home repairs, so the tribe having programs like this and more funds to do it, is marvelous.”

Under the Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act, 75% of the $30 million will aid tribal citizens with housing maintenances. Another 25% will improve the Cherokee community buildings with HVAC systems, Wi-Fi and cost-saving renewable energy technology.

“We are focused on improving communities at the grassroots level within the Cherokee Nation. That means investing in our citizens’ homes and the community buildings where Cherokees gather,” Hoskin said.

Hoskin officially becomes the tribe’s principal chief on Aug. 14.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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