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New Tribal Housing Department

Scott Csernyik

2/28/2000 12:00:00 AM

In an effort to improve service and accountability for all members, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal government officials recently announced the reorganization of its housing programming.

In the first phase of the process, Tribal Council has assumed the duties of the Saginaw Chippewa Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. This action was taken pursuant to Resolution No. 00-041, adopted on Feb. 1.

After completion of a financial audit and the transfer of the authority's assets and liabilities, functions of the defunct entity will be assumed by a new Tribal Housing Department under the direction and control of the Tribal Council, a press release stated.

According to the Native American Housing and Self Determination Act of 1996, the Council "has the authority to designate the Tribally Designated Housing Entity (TDHE) for purposes of the Act."

The Saginaw Chippewa Housing Authority was designated the Tribe's TDHE in Resolution No. 97-048, approved on March 18, 1997.

"In furtherance of the principles of self-determination, the Council has decided to phase out the Authority created by Tribal Ordinance No. 10 and transfer its functions and assets to a new Tribal Housing Department under the direction and control of the Council," according to language found in Resolution No. 00-041.

The resolution also stated that the designation of the Authority as the TDHE is hereby rescinded effective immediately, and the Council is designated as the TDHE "in place of the Authority for all purposes under NAHASDA from the effective date hereof going forward."

"Meeting the housing needs of all Tribal members is a top priority of the current Council," stated Chief Phil Peters Sr. "There are still too many members with low and moderate incomes who cannot afford to rent or buy adequate housing in the Mt. Pleasant and Saganing areas. Also, we want to focus on improving the management and maintenance of Tribally-owned housing.

Peters also emphasized that Housing Authority staff will be transferred to the new Tribal Housing Department at the same grade and salary.

"Our goal is to achieve a smooth transition that builds on and improves the current program," he added.