$4 M Birdtail Addition housing project breaks ground in Oklahoma

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Cherokee Nation’s Housing Authority recently broke ground on a $4 million Birdtail Addition housing project in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Several city officials were present to witness the start of construction on the new rental apartment for low-income citizens.

Arrowhead was selected as the contractor for the project, while TriArch will serve as the architect. They expect the Birdtail Addition housing project to be ready for occupancy by 2023.

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The new Birdtail Addition housing project will feature 16 residences, which will replace the aging property on Ross Street. Therefore, the existing structure, which dates back to 1969 will have to be demolished for the project to move forward.

According to Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, Cherokee Nation made the decision to demolish and rebuild the aging rentals last year. Especially since, new and affordable housing is such a huge need in the region.

Development plans for the Birdtail Addition housing project

The Birdtail Addition  project will feature two four-bedroom stand-alone homes, eight three-bedroom duplexes and six two-bedroom duplexes. However, each of these apartment types will have varying sizes. Residents will choose between 1,600-square-foot four-bedroom floorplans, 1,450-square-foot three-bed plans and 1,150-square-foot two-bedroom layouts.

The executive director of the Housing Authority, Jerri Killer, said the project is the first of many groundbreakings. Besides Birdtail Addition, several pipeline projects will also commence under Hoskin and Warner’s 2019 Housing, Jobs, and Sustainable Communities Act. Some of the housing projects are still in the planning phases, while others are currently underway.

The developments include the six one-bedroom elder housing units in Stilwell and single family housing units in Locust Grove. There are also eight duplexes in Sallisaw as well as four one-bedroom units for seniors in Marble City. That’s in addition to the new home construction projects for citizens with and without land throughout the Cherokee Nation reservation.

Chuck Hoskin, Cherokee Nation’s chief principal said $120 million was invested as part of the Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act. Hoskin said this was intended to create more projects like the Birdtail Addition housing project to replace aging homes. Additionally, he said the funding would enable them create more home ownership and upgrade rental housing across the reservation. Hoskin mentioned that he worked alongside Deputy Chief Warner and the Council of Cherokee Nation to raise the funds.