HULBERT, Okla. — The dream of moving into a new home is now a reality for several Cherokee elders who recently received their keys to new efficiency homes newly constructed in Hulbert.

Located inside the new Shade Addition, the 720 square-foot efficiency homes are offered as income-based rental units to Cherokee Nation elders. The homes were built through the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation’s rental properties program using the Indian Housing Block Grant, also known as NAHASDA.

“It’s a wonderful day in the Cherokee Nation as the first elders move into these efficient housing units here in Hulbert. These homes are not only beautiful with plenty of natural light, but are also spacious, energy efficient and located in a very safe and senior-friendly environment right next to the new Hulbert community building and senior center,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. “This has been a special project, and just to be here seeing our elders moving in is a very special day.”

Construction on the homes began in November 2019. The Shade Addition includes eight units, featuring one bedroom, one bathroom, a kitchen and a living room.

Cherokee Nation citizen Ellen Graves, 68, has only lived in small apartments over the past decade and always hoped to live in an affordable home and then heard about the new rental homes being offered through the Housing Authority.

“An apartment was never a home, and to me this is my home and a chance to live in something I can be proud of,” Graves said. “This has everything I could ever imagine or need. The location is perfect for someone my age with a park and a Dollar General close by. I just can’t thank the Cherokee Nation enough because without their help there is no way I could ever afford anything like this. This just shows how much the tribe takes care of their elders, and I really appreciate that.”

Applications are still being taken for five units in the Shade Addition. Interested applicants must be 62 years or older to qualify. Household income must be at or below 80 percent of the national median income guidelines, and rent will be based on income. The head of the household or spouse must be a Cherokee Nation citizen. Background checks are required.

“This has been a project near and dear to my heart, and to now see our Cherokee elders moving into their new home and getting settled in makes me so proud of our tribe for making it possible for our elders to have quality and affordable housing here in Hulbert,” said Tribal Councilor Rex Jordan. “The hard work of the Cherokee Nation and the Housing Authority will be appreciated for many years by the elders who will live here.”

In addition to the units in Hulbert, the Cherokee Nation has also built 12 one-bedroom and two two-bedroom efficiency homes for Cherokee elders in Tahlequah, as well as three, three-bedroom family units in Salina, in an effort to replace some of the tribe’s oldest rental properties.

Currently, the Housing Authority oversees 994 rental properties throughout the tribe’s 14 county reservation.

Applications are available on the Housing Authority website at https://www.hacn.org/media/2unf2p21/rental-program-application.pdf, or those interested in an application can request one be mailed to them by calling 918-456-5482.

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