Bishop Paiute Tribe gets big help with housing project

– 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.

About Travois

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 or find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram or on our blog.


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12 Responses to Bishop Paiute Tribe gets big help with housing project

  1. Pedro August 22, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    Here’s some of legal side of tribal sovereignty. There are Elders that can speak to spiritual side more eloquently than I.

    • Trouble August 22, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

      Good info. there Pedro. I learned something!

  2. DESCO August 22, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    It is my understanding that as a “sovereign nation” the res is not even a part of the United States. Never quite understood this. Maybe someone can clarify. No snotty opinions please. Just some check able facts.

    • Trouble August 22, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      Desco-I think they do have some special civil protections on the res. when it comes to property rights. But they have to obey the same criminal laws as the rest of us.

  3. Trouble August 22, 2014 at 7:14 am #

    Pedro, I gave you a dislike only because I’m pretty sure the Res, is in Inyo. But I think it’s great that they get some of their tax dollars back. My tax dollars just seem to go up in smoke in Iraq and all those other screwed up countries!

    • Pedro August 22, 2014 at 10:28 am #


      Agree about Iraq.

      Res is it’s own territory. Like Vatican City is own recognized state surrounded by Italy or nation of Lesotho that is completely surrounded by South Africa.

    • sugar magnolia August 22, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      It’s not technically in Inyo County, as I understand it. It is it’s own sovereign nation. It cannot be part of Inyo County since it’s not part of the USA. In theory, as it’s own sovereign nation, it’s people could need passports to cross the border onto/out of the Res, we could have border patrol etc etc.

      Obviously that’s not how things have been worked out. Basically, they obtained sovereign nation status, but operate as part of the US anyway. Regardless, it benefits all to improve the situation on the res as much as possible.

  4. Pedro August 21, 2014 at 10:23 pm #


    Bishop Paiute Tribe reservation is not in Inyo County.

    Hard to get an education without a safe place to sleep. How about we provide opportunity for both. This is land of opportunity, right?

    • Ken Warner August 22, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Pedro: Please explain — “Bishop Paiute Tribe reservation is not in Inyo County”.

  5. Kevin Space August 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    I’m all for helping people in need, but this seems like money wasted that could be used for education to prevent people from ending up in low income housing. This is just one county of 20,000 people. I can’t imagine what other larger populated areas.


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