Navajo Housing Authority Hosts Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New Development

LUKACHUKAI, Ariz., May 2, 2024 — Navajo Housing Authority (NHA) celebrated a significant milestone yesterday with the ribbon-cutting ceremony for its newest development in Lukachukai (AZ) Chapter comprising of 20 homes. The event marked the culmination of years of planning and collaboration to address housing needs within the Navajo Nation.

The ceremony, attended by community members, delegates, and NHA staff, highlighted the extensive efforts and partnerships that made the project possible. Ernest Franklin, Chief Operations Officer at NHA, underscored the importance of infrastructure development, including upgrades to power lines and water mains, to support the new homes and enhance community services.

“When you're building new units out there, you have to address all the supporting infrastructure that goes along with it,” said Franklin. “We had to help upgrade the three-phase line all the way from Round Rock to make this happen. Also, [it will] help to assist in the school development over here across the road. We had to also bring in approximately nine miles of water main, just so that we can increase the water capacity within this area and to also provide the water for the school.”

Heather Duncan-Etsitty, CEO of NHA, expressed her gratitude to the Navajo Housing Management Office for their involvement in the project, emphasizing her personal connection to housing as a cornerstone of community development. She commended the dedication of NHA staff and underscored the organization's commitment to compassionate service and positive community impact.

“This is a beautiful event, and this is what we want to see more of at NHA right now,” said Duncan-Etsitty. “We should be coming together as a Nation to show that we are all partnering together because at the end of the day, this is what we have to show... This is beautiful.”

Tammy Yazzie, Board Chair of NHA, recognized the collective effort of NHA staff and local leadership in overcoming challenges to bring the project to fruition. She emphasized the significance of providing quality housing to Navajo families and highlighted the role of community engagement in identifying suitable land for future developments.

“I know that there's barriers sometimes within a project,” said Yazzie. “Even just getting the land. I'm thankful that you all were diligent to be able to get to this phase. I think the goal is to help our families out there, to be able to have a home.”

Honorable Carl Slater, Council Delegate representing District 11, reflected on the visionary leadership that laid the groundwork for the project and emphasized the importance of housing as a fundamental human right. He praised the collaboration between NHA and local communities and expressed optimism for future partnerships to promote employment opportunities and community growth.

“I'm excited because we have 20 units and I think it's just the beginning of something great,” said Slater. “There's a lot of good momentum that's taking place at NHA from what I can observe. I can't wait to see where that's going to go both in my district and across the Navajo Nation.”

Today the celebration continues in Rock Springs (NM) Chapter for ten (10) homes and again this Wednesday, May 8th, in Tuba City (AZ) for the Former Bennett Freeze Area. The ceremonies symbolize not only the completion of a housing development but also a commitment to improving the quality of life for Navajo families. As families prepare to move into their new homes, NHA remains dedicated to its mission, “Providing a Stable Foundation for Families to Live, Grow, and Walk in Beauty.”