he Pascua Yaqui Tribe will begin construction this month on a $9.6 million housing development of 27 townhomes on the southwest side reservation to create much needed affordable housing.
Construction is set to start in several weeks, and the development is expected to be completed by the fall of 2023, said Keith Gregory, director of housing for the tribe. The project is expected to employ up to 200 workers, mostly in construction.
“This is the second phase of our master plan subdivision. The first phase launched in January 2021 and should be finished in October with 50 units of single family housing,” Gregory said. “This is the largest project on tribal lands in the country using low-income housing tax credit,” he said.
In the townhomes development, the tribe received a low-income housing tax credit award from the Arizona Department of Housing that generated over $8.3 million in investor equity from Red Stone Equity Partners for the subdivision, officials said.
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The new development is the tribe’s eighth low-income housing tax credit project and will build three four-bedroom and 12 three-bedroom townhomes with an attached garage and 12 two-bedroom townhomes. The new townhomes will have a rooftop terrace, outdoor patio space, unique oversized window frames, stucco siding, metal roofs and wood canopies. It will feature a Desert Modern design, states a news release.
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Travois Design, the project architect, incorporated several green building techniques in the design to help lower energy use and costs. Each townhome will include energy-efficient insulation, appliances and windows and doors.
Under the tax credit compliance period, the units are rentals for 15 years, and then families have an opportunity to buy the house, Gregory said. He said the tribe manages “just shy of 700 units, and 270 have been built using the tax credit mechanism.”
“We have 1,100 families on a waiting list needing housing. The families currently live throughout Tucson and the Phoenix metro areas and will return to the reservation once housing is available,” Gregory said.
Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio said there is excitement about the development and tribal leaders continue to look at different ways to help Yaqui communities so that members have a better quality of life.
“We continue marching forward,” he said, continuing to look at federal and private entities for funding of housing developments.
“As a tribe we are always excited to launch new affordable housing developments. However, this one is special in that it represents the creation of an entirely new class of housing on our reservation,” said Gregory. “For the first time ever, we are able to offer housing diversity that will hopefully fuel future development creativity in tribal housing while simultaneously providing critical affordable housing for our tribal members.”
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AUTHOR: Carmen Duarte