Development of hogan-style dwelling prototype proceeds to assist tackle housing challenges | Navajo-Hopi Observer

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Originally published: July 27, 2021 3:15 pm

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona – July 24th, Tse Bonito, New Mexico celebrated the construction of the first Hogan-style house prototype. The prototype will serve as a model for potential Navajo homeowners.

Under the direction of James Zwierlein, director of the Navajo Veterans Administration, the nation has developed partnerships with organizations specializing in housing construction. The aim is to establish housing production facilities in various regions of the Navajo Nation to build homes for the Navajo people, including veterans.

“We know the conditions some of our Navajo elders, veterans, and others live in, and we need to come together to support them and volunteer to build houses. The development of Navajo-owned home manufacturing facilities would reduce the expense and cost of building Hogan-style homes. We know that the cost of building materials and transportation is at all-time highs due to the pandemic and other factors. By regionalizing housing construction that uses our resources and keeping our Navajo people busy in the construction process, we can reduce these costs and build more homes, ”said Jonathan Nez, President of the Navajo Nation.

The Hogan-style house prototype is approximately 1,200 square feet and consists of two bedrooms, a bathroom, a laundry room, and an open floor plan for the kitchen and living room. Other floor plans also include three, four, and five bedrooms.

“The lack of suitable and safe housing in the Navajo Nation is a serious problem. We hope that the housing production facilities will help improve our ability to quickly produce safe and affordable housing. The nation has many talented carpenters and compassionate people capable of building these homes, ”said Nez. “If we support not only the award of construction contracts, but other construction contracts to union signers, priority 1 contractors, then our Navajo employees who are employed by these contractors will earn living wages to take them home to their families, making it more affordable for them to buy Navajo, Buy Local. These ARPA dollars must be fully invested in our local communities in order to keep as much money as possible on the Navajo nation. Together we can turn it into a successful program. “

Also present to aid the Hogan construction were Garret Silversmith, executive director of the Navajo Division of Transportation, JT Willie, executive director of the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development, and George Tolth, chairman of the Navajo Veterans Advisory Council Nation.

On July 23, the 24th Navajo Nation Council unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Delegate Smith that would amend the Navajo Nation Veterans Trust Fund to increase the Navajo Veterans Administration’s capacity to implement the housing program.

“We need to move this initiative forward, and we need support to raise funds through the American Rescue Plan Act to develop these housing manufacturing facilities. We also call on our Navajo citizens to help such an important cause that affects each of our communities, ”said Nez.

Information from the Office of the President and Vice President of Navajo