Woo-Mehl LIHTC Homes in Weitchpec, CA won a 2022 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Housing for Native Americans or Tribal Populations category.

Woo-Mehl LIHTC Homes, developed by Yurok Indian Housing Authority, provides 17 affordable, culturally significant homes in Weitchpec, California for people of the Yurok Tribe, a federally recognized Indian tribe and a sovereign tribal entity in the State of California. The property is located on land of the Yurok Indian Tribe Reservation. The 9 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) was used to finance development of the property, with financing facilitated by Hunt Capital Partners. Travois provided consulting and architectural services for the development.

The property was designed with the physical and mental health of its residents in mind. In order to preserve the sense of community that serves as a core pillar of tribal populations, the property’s features promote engagement and collaboration among residents. Multifamily and single-family homes are interspersed throughout the property, encouraging residential interactions at various intersections of the property, and the homes are connected by sidewalks to make visiting neighbors accessible. Residents also benefit from onsite services such as financial literacy programs, domestic violence and sexual assault support, and a Homebuyer Counseling/Education program to assist residents when they are ready to pursue homeownership. Due to Woo-Mehl LIHTC Homes’ location in an extremely rural, remote area, the property’s onsite facilities and services are critical to maximize resident support and assistance.

In addition to providing safe, stable, and affordable housing for tribe members, the property includes a 2,000 square feet community building, which features designs such as a circle door and unique roofline inspired by the traditional Yurok homes, and includes a kitchen, multi-purpose room, laundry facilities, and an office space and business center for residents to use. Notably, the property’s design also includes three fish smokehouses, a unique feature intended to honor the Yurok Tribe’s centuries-old tradition of fishing for salmon on California’s Klamath River. The smokehouses provide residents not only with a central location to clean, prepare, and cook the fish they catch, but also with a sacred space to honor their traditions and heritage.

The importance of safe, decent, and affordable housing is so often overlooked for Native Americans and tribal communities on reservations and tribal land. The unique design, culturally competent services, and community-minded features of Woo-Mehl LIHTC Homes provide a shining example of a property that meets the unique housing needs of Native American communities.

Learn more about how the Housing Credit serves Native Americans here.

Read more about Woo-Mehl LIHTC Homes on Travois’ blog.

Congressional Recognition

Statement from U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA)

“Congratulations to the California recipients of the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards – Crestview Terrace in San Bernardino and Woo-Mehl LIHTC Homes in Weithpec – for their exemplary use of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to provide more affordable housing to our communities. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit is a powerful and effective tool for addressing our state’s and nation’s affordable housing crisis and ensuring that everyone, including tribal communities, has access to housing.”

Remarks from U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA-02)

Representative Huffman shared in a congratulatory video, “Native Americans and tribal communities have some of the most urgent housing needs nationwide, and it’s great to see this group stepping up as leaders to solve this problem. So I am incredibly grateful to Yurok Indian Housing Authority, Hunt Capital Partners, and Travois for their commitment to providing such an important service for Native Americans and tribal communities.”

Hear more from Representative Huffman in his congratulatory video:

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