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Leech Lake, White Earth get tax credits with assistance from Travois

The Leech Lake Reservation Housing Authority and the White Earth Reservation Housing Authority will build a total of 55 units of affordable housing, with awards of Low Income Housing Tax Credits recently announced by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. Of the 42 applications submitted to MHFA in the second round this year, 10 received awards.

Travois Inc., a housing and economic development consulting firm, provided consulting services.

"These tax credits will allow Leech Lake to begin its seventh LIHTC project, and it will be the fourth for White Earth," said Lorna Fogg, president of Travois. "Both reservations, like many reservations across the United States, are suffering a housing crisis. Families with children and previously homeless families will benefit, and these residents will have an opportunity to become homeowners and build wealth in the years ahead through the LIHTC program."

The Leech Lake Reservation Housing Authority of Cass Lake was awarded $643,942 in tax credits. Of the 25 new homes that will be built, four homes will be reserved to provide shelter for homeless tribal members, and the remaining homes will target single parents with children. Eight units will be affordable to households at 30 percent of the area median income, and 17 units will be affordable to households at 50 percent of the area median income. Energy-Star appliances, ceiling fans, garages and high speed internet access are additional amenities offered.

Leech Lake has six previous LIHTC projects, it has received tax credits awards to build or rehabilitate 170 homes. Its waiting list currently includes 180 families in need of housing.

The White Earth Reservation Housing Authority of Waubun, Minn., received an award of $846,302 in tax credits for its fourth LIHTC project, the construction of 30 new single-family homes.

Since 1995, Travois has brought $350 million in private equity capital to American Indian communities, which has helped build or rehabilitate more than 3,500 homes through the tax credit program, and has raised more than $40 million to support tribal commercial ventures through the New Markets Tax Credit program. In 2009, Travois New Markets received an $80 million allocation of New Markets Tax Credits that it is working to invest in qualified projects. Travois provides housing and economic development assistance, compliance support, design services and comprehensive training to U.S. American Indians.

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