History of Housing
Brief Historical Overview of the
Sault Tribe Housing Authority
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Housing Authority efforts to provide safe and affordable housing to members of the tribe began back in 1974. Then known as the Original Bands of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the bylaws of the Housing Authority were adopted. The original plan was to build housing on reservation land that was held on Sugar Island. Because of the location, lack of utility services and fire protection, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would not fund construction on this site. The search for property with the proper facilities began.
In 1975, an application was submitted to HUD for 20 units of Housing and later in the year an additional 45 units were requested to expand the first housing project. However, land was still not secured at that time.
In 1976, an amendment to Tribal Ordinance changed the name to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Housing Authority. Also, that year the Shunk land was purchased for the housing development.
In 1977, the land was taken into trust by the federal government and the city of Sault Ste. Marie immediately filed an appeal to stop the government from taking the land into trust. Additionally, the city refused to allow hook up to the existing sanitation facilities to the Housing Authority and would not sign a Cooperative Agreement with the Housing Authority. A letter was received from HUD stating that no money could be spent from the award until a Cooperation Agreement with the city was executed.
In 1978, the Justice Department filed suit against the city of Sault Ste. Marie under the Fair Housing Act stating discrimination against Indian people because they refused to sign a Cooperation Agreement for the Indian low rent housing facilities.
In 1979, the city of Sault Ste. Marie settled the suit with the Justice Department and a Cooperation Agreement was signed with the Housing Authority.
In 1980, a decision in favor of the Tribe was made in the Federal District Court which upheld the land being placed into trust for the Tribe.
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Housing Authority has a long history of providing safe and affordable housing to tribal members. Although at times there were obstacles, a bountiful amount of housing and programs service the housing needs of many members of the tribe.
History of Our People