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Tribe moves forward with new housing

New housing will soon pepper the Brighton, Immokalee and Hollywood Reservations to help meet the demand for on-reservation living, said Adam Nelson, Tribal Community Development acting executive director.

Tribal Council approved guaranteed maximum price contracts between the Tribe and Seminole/Stiles joint venture during the April 11 Council meeting for the multi-reservation construction.

The Brighton project, already underway, will consist of three residential buildings; two of the structures will be two stories with three units each, and the third building will be a one-story, two-unit dwelling built to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

Nelson said 22 people are already on the waiting list for one of the eight townhomes to be built in the Knots Landing area. The anticipated completion date is December 2014.

The Immokalee townhome project will follow the same floor plans as Brighton to “fast track the progress and save money,” Nelson said. Like the Brighton dwellings, the ADA units will be two-bedroom, two-bathroom units, and the other six townhomes will be three-bedroom, two-bathroom units.

Twenty-one people are on the waiting list for the homes to be built across from the Administration Building on Lena Frank Drive. The anticipated completion date is also slated for December 2014.

“There’s a high demand in the whole Tribe for housing. A majority of our members live off the reservation. There are a lot of advantages (to living on the reservation),” Nelson said, citing access to clinics, Police and Fire Rescue, and after-school programs like 4-H and Boys & Girls Club among the perks. “It’s pretty critical.”

The rental units will also help satisfy housing demands for younger Tribal members who may not have established credit or others who may not want to take on mortgages, Nelson said.

The Housing Department will maintain the grounds, as well as the buildings’ interiors and exteriors.

Hollywood Reservation will see a two-pronged project. Starting in June, eight homes will be erected across the new Howard Tiger Recreation Center site for those families displaced by the gym’s construction. The rent-to-own homes will be completed in October.

Additionally, two townhome dwellings meeting ADA requirements with two units each and three townhome dwellings with three units each will also be constructed off NW 66th Avenue, behind the clinic. Nelson said they plan to start construction by the end of summer with completion in spring 2015.

Nearly 70 people have requested rental housing on the Hollywood Reservation.

“This is step one to get Tribal members in homes,” Nelson said. He said more housing in two additional phases will be added, pending Council approval.

The eight Big Cypress townhomes, which broke ground Nov. 20 at Eloise Osceola Street and Cypress Lane, are on track for completion this August.