Published January 6, 2018
MASHPEE, MASSACHUSETTS – Mashpee Wampanoag tribal leaders are pleased to announce they have secured funding to build the tribe’s first affordable housing development.
Thanks to a $1 million grant from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Economic Development, along with state and federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits expected to be worth upwards of $11 million, the Tribe can now move forward in building the “Mashpee Wampanoag Village” — a 42 unit housing complex on 58 acres of sovereign tribal land in Mashpee.
Of the 42 single-family rental units, 13 will be reserved for the neediest tribal citizens. The rest of the affordable units will not require tribal tenants to pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent.
Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2018.
Once construction is completed, the units will be offered first to tribe members, then to natives of other tribes, before being made available to low-income non-tribal residents.
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Housing Director Michelle Tobey has already submitted a preliminary architectural design and will now spearhead the search for a construction contractor.
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell
“This is a welcomed and happy opportunity to build much needed housing for our people in the heart of our ancestral homelands,” said Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell. “I could not have asked for a more joyous Christmas gift and start to a new year.”
The housing complex will be located not far from the historic Old Indian Meeting House and Burial Grounds.Built in 1684, the Meeting House is the oldest Native American church in the eastern United States and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. “The meetinghouse holds special significance for all Mashpee Wampanoag so it is apropos that the Housing Development will be in such close proximity,” Tobey added.
Chairman Cromwell lauded Mashpee Wampanoag Housing Department Director Michelle Tobey and the Mashpee Wampanoag Housing Commission for their years-long determination to follow the vision of the Tribe’s first housing director, Alice Lopez, who passed away in 2011.
“Now that we have secured the funding, we can deliver on one of our primary goals: providing affordable housing for our Tribal Citizens,” Cromwell said.
Housing Director Michelle Tobey said her efforts were guided by the “hard work and vision of Alice Lopez, our first Housing Director who passed away in January of 2011; our Public Works Director Jason Steiding; the housing staff; and the Housing Commissioners that have made this dream a reality. I am proud to be a part of securing the needed funding that will bring housing to our people.”