– Press release from Travois
The Bishop Paiute Tribe recently made history with Travois, a Kansas City-based consulting firm, when it became the first California tribe to receive an award of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) for an affordable housing project. The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC) awarded the tribe, located in Bishop, Calif., with $884,507 in federal LIHTCs and $3,446,131 in California state LIHTCs to build 30 new homes and a new community building.
“We are proud and excited to be awarded the LIHTC project; adequate housing for our tribal citizens is one of our community’s greatest needs,” said David ThunderEagle, Bishop Paiute Tribe tribal administrator. “Moreover, we embrace the opportunity to showcase how this project can be implemented professionally and responsibly in Indian Country and lead the way for other tribes to benefit from this excellent program in the future years to come.”
The project will meet the needs of large families and multi-generational households common to the Bishop Paiute Tribe. Twenty-six of the homes will be three-bedroom units or larger and will include two full bathrooms. All of the units will be built on quarter-acre lots, allowing for private yards and outdoor recreation space.
The homes will be highly energy-efficient and will even produce their own energy. Each home will be equipped with solar panels that are estimated to produce at minimum 50 percent of the unit’s annual electricity needs. The families who occupy the homes will also benefit from reduced on-going utility costs.
The development also includes a 3,000-square-foot community building, a playground and a barbeque pit. The community building will provide the tribe with meeting space, a kitchen and restrooms. It will also be equipped with solar panels that are estimated to meet 75 percent of the building’s annual electricity needs.
Travois, a mission-driven consulting firm that is focused exclusively on promoting housing and economic development for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities, worked with the housing authority to structure the project and submit the successful LIHTC application.
“For nearly 15 years, Travois has been advocating for changes to the TCAC’s scoring process to give tribes a realistic chance to receive tax credits,” said David Bland, chairman and CEO of Travois. “This breakthrough for Indian Country is coming from a pilot Native American set-aside. This opportunity is very important for tribes in California, and we encourage all California tribes to urge the state to make these changes permanent. We are proud to be partners with the Bishop Paiute Tribe and look forward to much more LIHTC success in Indian Country and California.”
About the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit program was developed by Congress is 1986, and its regulations are provided for in Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code. It was created to encourage private investment in the construction or rehabilitation of housing for low-income families.
The IRS makes tax credits available to each state, and the states are responsible for developing Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) and determining which projects receive awards. Investors are interested in buying tax credits to reduce the amount of taxes they owe the federal government.
Tax credits offset taxes on a dollar-for-dollar basis for a 10-year period. Tribes can raise the equity they need for building projects through the LIHTC program, which lowers the amount a tribe will need to contribute to the project. It does not need to repay this equity but must follow all regulations for the 15-year compliance period.
Travois is a mission-driven consulting firm focused exclusively on promoting housing and economic development for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.
Since 1995, Travois has brought investor equity to more than 170 projects through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and New Markets Tax Credit program, making an impact of more than $1 billion across Indian Country. These private investor funds have helped build or rehabilitate more than 4,300 homes and have helped finance critical economic development projects, including infrastructure, health care, community centers, education facilities and other businesses.
The Travois family of companies also offers architectural design and construction monitoring services, environmental assessments, consulting on green energy improvements, asset management services and comprehensive training to clients in 20 states, from Hawaii and Alaska to Maine. For more information, please visit www.travois.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram or on our blog.