WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – On June 10 the newly appointed Navajo Housing Authority (NHA) Board of Commissioners held their first official board meeting and the first order of business was the election of officers, among other pending items, including the approval of 90 new homeowners recognized after paying off their homes.
Kris Beecher was honored to take his seat as chairman of the NHA Board of Commissioners. “I am honored and humbled to be elected Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Navajo Housing Authority,” said Chairman Beecher, who will start his second year of law school at Arizona State University this fall. “My promise to the Navajo people is that I will work with the other members of the Board to make the Navajo Housing Authority into a success, and inspire a new way of thinking at the NHA based on our traditional Navajo teachings and philosophy.”
“I offer my sincerest efforts and resolve to make NHA into the organization that we know it can be, and the organization that our people want and deserve,” Beecher added.
Derrith Watchman-Moore, who holds an MBA, was elected as vice chairwoman. “As a former official in HUD and the Environmental Protection Agency, I will be keen on monitoring and reporting,” said Watchman-Moore. “These areas are vital to the operations of NHA in showing results and homes actually built. It is important for trust to be restored and I am honored to serve alongside my colleagues to help the Navajo People.”
Sean McCabe, a certified public accountant, was elected as secretary/treasurer.
“I am humbled and honored,” said Sean McCabe. “On behalf of the Navajo people, this is the third board that I will now serve on. I am excited to serve alongside my colleagues to bring a vision and direction to NHA. My colleagues and I are cognizant that as a Board we are nothing more than an extension of the people we represent and we will do our best to work with all levels of the Navajo Nation in the best interests of the Navajo people. Thank you again for this opportunity.”
The NABI committee has not yet confirmed Frankie Lee, the fourth NHA board member. A fifth member has yet to be named.
With enough members for a quorum, and the tribe’s Indian Housing Plan needing approval, the board met for six hours to get through their three-page agenda. The last official NHA board meeting was held April 28.
The Board acted upon the following resolutions:
- After much discussion, the board approved a resolution for the “Reversal of Insurance Charges for Paid-off Homebuyers on the Tenant Accounts Receivable attributable to insurance coverage in the amount of $763,832.81.”
- Approved the “Transfer of Its Interest in Homes and Recommending to the Navajo Nation President the Assignment of a Leasehold Interest to Six Homebuyers of the Mutual Help Homeownership Program in Ganado, Round Rock, Ariz., Rocksprings, NM, Crystal, Ariz., and Red Mesa, Utah.” Ms. Yazzie explained to the new board that as soon as they get the leasehold interest they would then begin the process to obtain their homesite lease through a streamlined process under the revised homesite leasing regulations. Leases were held by the NHA until homebuyers completed payments of the home.
- Approved “NHA Release of Collateral Assignment of Homesite Lease for Participation in Mutual Help Homeownership Program” for one family in Teesto, Ariz.
- Voted to hold off action on an informal amendment to the FY 2017 Indian Housing Plan after receiving information from the Office of the President and Vice President and other updates. Item will move forward to next board meeting.
- Approved the “NHA Transfer of Its Interest for 84 homes and Recommending to the Navajo Nation President the Assignment of Leasehold Interest to Homebuyers of the Mutual Help Homeownership program in Shonto, Cottonwood, Pinon, Round Rock, Greasewood, Ariz., Twin Lakes, Naschitti, and Rocksprings, NM.” NHA staff announced that under a new system, about 75-100 clients per month would obtain homeownership status upon transfer of NHA’s interest in the homes and conveyance to the new homeowners.
- After considerable background provided by the staff, the board approved a resolution to recommend to the Navajo Nation Council to amend resolution CJA-03-14, “Extension of a Limited Waiver of Sovereign Immunity Allowing the Navajo Nation to be Sued in Federal District Court Regarding Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act in Carrying Out HUD Grants and Authorizing The President of the Navajo Nation to Sign Form 7015.15 Through September 30, 2021.”
The next NHA regular board meeting is scheduled to be held on July 13. The board went into executive session from 3 to 5 pm.
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