Left-to-Right – Navajo-Hopi Land Commission’s Executive Director Wenona Benally, NHA COO Priscilla Tsinigine, Council Delegate Walter Phelps, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, NHA CEO Roberta Roberts, NHA Housing Management Division Director Priscilla Cadman, NHA Senior Development Coordinator Ernest Franklin, and NHA Construction Services Division Director Dwayne Waseta.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Yesterday, the Navajo Nation gave a $3 million check to Navajo Housing Authority (NHA) to build homes in the former Bennett Freeze area (FBFA) at a special check presentation held at the Navajo Nation Office of the President/Vice President.

NHA Interim CEO Roberta Roberts accepted the check and thanked the Nation for the partnership opportunity, “It’s only through strong partnerships with the Navajo Nation that we are able to focus our attention on the FBFA,” said Roberts. “We thank the Navajo Nation for having the confidence in the NHA as a steward of these funds and to give us the opportunity to advance our nation in a true partnership.”

On July 27, a collaborative agreement was signed between President Begaye, NHA, and Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Executive Director Wenona Benally.

According to the agreement, the funding will be used to construct 36 new homes, renovate 45 existing homes, and assist with processing 54 home site leases for residents still living within the former boundaries of the Bennett Freeze. Applicants will be required to qualify under existing NHA and HUD guidelines.

The FBFA has been in land lock since 1966 when the Bureau of Indian Affairs Commissioner Robert Bennett restricted construction of any kind within the area. The restrictions were due to land disputes between the Navajo and Hopi tribe. In 2009 President Barrack Obama lifted the freeze.

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