Located near the Canadian border of New York, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has over 16,000 members and has not had a permanent source of housing for this population. Saint Regis Mohawk Health Service officials underscore the need for supportive housing for veterans and seniors with special needs on the reservation, and have identified 29 tribe members who would specifically benefit from living in supportive housing.

Move-In Day Arrives for 18 in Need of Supportive Housing

Section 4 funding enabled the tribe to expand its Sunrise Acres Complex, which now includes Sunrise Acres Supportive Housing (SASH) — an additional 18 homes, with a 12 homes for seniors with special needs and six homes for Native American veterans, including four homes designated for homeless veterans.

A group of people cutting a ribbon for a grand opening.

The grand opening of SASH was held in December, and residents began moving in on February 1.

Expanding Support Services to the Community

As a part of the Akwesasne Housing Authority’s (AHA) support services referral programming, initiated in 2016, the AHA also hosts quarterly Support to Elders Program (STEP) meetings with program service providers to discuss the issues and current needs of the community.

“From those meetings, it came to light that there were seniors who needed more supportive services than what we currently offer. The Sunrise Acres’ 41 units mainly housed seniors in an independent living environment with general support services. We wanted to offer more options for supportive services for our elders as they age in place” said Theresa Cole, special projects coordinator.

AHA was able to secure funding for their Supportive Housing Project through the New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Homeless Housing Assistance Program and the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. That said, it was the Section 4 funding that set the process in motion, and has been an invaluable resource, allowing the AHA to continue its journey beyond simply housing a family.

AHA was recently awarded the Indian Housing Block Grant for 2020 to expand their Sunrise Acres complex, which will include an additional 20 independent living homes for seniors.

Learn how Enterprise’s Rural and Native American Program has worked to support safe, decent, and culturally appropriate housing on tribal lands.