ATOKA, Okla. – Choctaw Nation Housing Authority opened ten new homes Thursday, July 26 in Atoka as part of its lease-purchase (LEAP) program.
Tours were conducted and families proudly posed for photos in front of their new homes. As the dedication ceremony got under way, District 10 Choctaw Singers performed two traditional hymns in the Choctaw language and dignitaries were introduced, including Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka. Atoka city officials, Choctaw Nation Tribal Council and members of the Housing Authority of the Choctaw Nation were in attendance.
Chief Gary Batton said, “This Council has appropriated the money to build 10 of these in each District for a total of 120 new homes across the Choctaw Nation,” which brought immediate applause from the audience. Speaking directly to the families moving into the new homes, he said, “I hope you are enjoying your homes… I love to hear your stories. I hear of people who have had to struggle and are now doing well. They are owning cars, owning homes. That’s empowerment. That is the Choctaw spirit.”
Among new homeowners was Misty Nicholson, a former steel worker who had to take medical retirement after an automobile accident. “I’m so glad to be in this house. Owning it and not paying rent. This is a wonderful place,” she said.
“This is a great day for our area,” said District 10 Councilman Anthony Dillard. “There are two more of these events scheduled already. They are building houses and we are super excited about it.”
Located on Lowry Lane, the addition features homes that are more than 1,400 square feet in size. All have two-car garages and sodded lawns. The all-electric residences come equipped with new appliances, central heat-and-air and safety features. All 120 homes of the LEAP program are expected to be completed in 2018.
The stated mission of the new LEAP program is “to build strong families and vibrant neighborhoods through quality affordable housing and strengthened financial stability for those we serve.” Families with credit issues are assisted to become mortgage ready and lender qualified over time by receiving credit counseling services.
Director of the LEAP program is Mandi Young, firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information about LEAP, contact Housing Authority of the Choctaw Nation in Hugo, 800-235-3087 or online www.choctawnation.com/leap-program.