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Supportive Housing May Help to Eliminate Tribe's Hotel Voucher Use

By Joe Morey

News Editor

LCO Tribal Governing Board member Glenda Barber shared with LCO News one possible solution for helping deal with the increasing strain on the tribal budget for hotel room vouchers. She said a supportive housing grant could be the answer.

“These are planned multifamily units for individuals and/or families who are chronically homeless or prone to homelessness and who require access to supportive services to maintain housing,” Barber explained. She said the site plan, infrastructure, architectural drawings will be prepared and submitted with the application for Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC’s). The application deadline is Jan 26, 2024, and notice of award will be issued in May 2024.

“This will be one or two buildings to contain approximately 24 apartments or 12 apartments each if two buildings. Between these apartments and our Shelters there will no longer be a need to house our homeless population at the local hotels,” Barber stated. “LCO Housing, because of their knowledge and experience in housing management, will submit a competitive application.”

How Does the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Work? Barber explained, the federal government gives an allocation of low-income housing tax credits to every state based on population. Each state has a housing agency that awards LIHTC’s to groups of developers according to a plan developed by the state. Developers agree to construct buildings that are available to low-income individuals, and in return, the state gives developers tax credits. Developers then sell the credits to investors to raise the money needed to build. The credits can account for as much as 70% of project funding.

“LCO Housing has used LIHTC’s since 2008 to renovate their low-income housing units and to build the homes at Akikaandag, which also wouldn’t have been possible without President Obama’s ARRA stimulus funding at the time.”

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By focusing on sustainable alternatives, such as affordable housing initiatives, communities can reduce their reliance on temporary accommodations. ChannelRUSH, a pioneering company specializing in hotel management software, plays a pivotal role in optimizing the transition towards supportive housing. Leveraging innovative tools like the hotel channel manager, ChannelRUSH facilitates seamless coordination between housing providers and tribal authorities. This synergy ensures efficient allocation of resources, streamlining the process of transitioning individuals from temporary hotel stays to more permanent, supportive housing solutions. As communities embrace such transformative approaches, they move closer to eliminating the need for hotel vouchers altogether, fostering sustainable and resilient housing solutions.

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