OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – Nine families were given keys to their new homes built for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Home Ownership Program on June 1.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to officiate the housing edition with Principal Chief David Hill, former Jr. Miss Gabby Noriega, including MCN housing employees and National Council officials on the Friday prior.
The energy-efficient homes are located north of Okmulgee on the east side of Hwy 75 down, Celia Berryhill Rd on North 231 Rd.
The 10-acre plot was divided into nine .75-acre plots for each unit and provided space for a gate.
“We wanted to give it that feel and look as if it were in the Tulsa or Jenks area,” said Housing Development Manager Louis Flores.
According to Flores, the edition includes two homes with four bedrooms and seven homes with two bedrooms.
“The smallest floor plan is 2,000 square feet, and the biggest is 2,600 square feet.”
He claims that the homes were to be filled before construction, which typically happens with the programs’ long list.
Housing applicants can have a long wait due to the ever-growing list prioritized on a needs basis.
“We usually house about 25 families per year,” Flores said.
Not only that, the legislative process can be lengthy as well.
Representative Thomasene Yahola-Osborn sponsored legislation for the Berryhill Acres project and was on the Land, Natural Resources and Cultural Preservation committee when the legislation was passed.
Legislation dating back to September 2020, TR 20-158 can be referred to as one of the first resolutions for the new housing edition. TR 21-010 and TR 21-062 are other “Berryhill Acres” legislation where companies were hired to complete construction work on the project.
The Berryhill project implemented the modernized home building, and the plan allowed for more space between units, which Rep. Yahola-Osborn believes will help cleanliness and sanitary conditions.
“We learned a lot over time,” she said.
With the Berryhill Acres project, she felt emotions talking about it when bringing up an old co-worker who has passed on. Jess Berryhill, who she believes is a descendent of Celia Berryhill, worked for the tribes’ housing division and helped many citizens in her time.
While on the Committee, the Rep. took on most housing legislation due to her extensive background in the field.
“We get federal funding (HUD) only,” Rep. Yahola-Osborn said. “I would like to see the tribe put more funding into the housing to serve more citizens.”
Please visit www.mcnhousing.com for more information regarding services.