A Red Cliff Renewal
Too often, the demand for affordable housing far outweighs the supply, meaning that for many low-income families, there is simply nowhere to live. Waiting lists form for these families, but it can be months before affordable units become available. In 2007, the list for the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Red Cliff) tribe in the town of Russell, grew to a peak of 32 families.
Due to rising housing prices and the lack of affordable options in the community, many residents were in danger of being displaced. Maintaining this community was vital for its already vulnerable members, but hope for a solution quickly faded.
However, due to the vision of the newly created Red Cliff Housing Development, LLC., hope within the resilient community was soon restored when plans were approved for 24 affordable single-family homes in the newly constructed Bradum Subdivision. The Bradum Subdivision is located on traditional Tribal Trust Land in Bayfield County, home to the Red Cliff tribe. By giving priority housing to Red Cliff members, project leaders sought to solidify the bonds within a community that would otherwise have been severed.
The development of two dozen homes was a costly venture, and Red Cliff looked to WHEDA for assistance. With $2.8 million in funds from the Construction Plus program dedicated to the project, the massive undertaking began in 2007. This program was created to keep pace with the demand for affordable housing by providing high-capital short-term loans that propelled the production of housing developments. For many communities, this meant that a significant number of housing units could be constructed quickly, which would help to reduce long waiting lists.
Upon completion of the Red Cliff Housing Development Phase I in 2008, the wait list in the Town of Russell fell dramatically. In the face of overwhelming odds, WHEDA and the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa provided a space for families to permanently call “home.”