Sokaogon Supportive Residences in Crandon, WI has won a 2017 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Rural Housing category. 

Sokaogon Supportive Residences is located in the wooded hills near Bishop Lake on the Mole Lake Indian Reserve, home to the Sokaogon Chippewa Community for the past 83 years. The remote nature of most Indian reservations is one of several factors that typically cause private developers to find them difficult to develop. 

The Mole Lake Indian reservation has traditionally lacked high-quality affordable housing – particularly affordable housing designed in conjunction with supportive services. Through a partnership with the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Northwoods, residents have access to programs designed to meet their needs for transportation, meals, public programs/services, prescription help, and wellness and safety programs. Adult education services are also provided by the Sokaogon Chippewa Community Education Department. 

Developed by the Sokaogon Chippewa Housing Authority (SCHA) and Travois, Inc., the property provides 24 universally designed units. The project achieved a Wisconsin Green Built Homes certificate for 151 points, which elevated design considerations for the environmental impacts of construction and the completed building’s energy use. 

The unique financing structure of Sokaogon Supportive Residences provides for no hard debt on the project resulting in no debt service payment. RBC Capital Markets provided more than $1.56 million in Housing Credit Equity. 

Sokaogon Supportive Residences received the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s 2017 Community First Award. Additionally, the property was recognized by Affordable Housing Finance magazine commending tribal developers’ creative strategies for overcoming housing shortages on tribal lands. 

Through the Housing Credit program, SCHA leveraged private investment, community support, and strategic supportive service partners to bring high-quality, affordable, energy efficient housing to the Mole Lake Indian Reserve. SCHA designed the project to reduce financial risk throughout construction and operation allowing the lowest income residents to live in homes that meet their housing, financial, cultural, and social needs. There is no doubt Sokaogon Supportive Residences created a stronger, healthier future for the families of the Mole Lake Indian Reserve. 

Read more about the development concept and see “before” photos here.

This property was made possible through equity from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which was provided by RBC Capital Markets.

Travois provided consulting and architectural services for the development and completed monthly inspections of the work in place during the construction period.

See more about this property here.

(Photos are copyrighted by Ryan Siemers, 2016.)