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The Yurok Indian Housing Authority’s Executive Director accepts Superhero Award at Annual Conference

Nicole Sager Brings Bold Vision to Tribal Housing Agency


The Yurok Indian Housing Authority’s Executive Director, Nicole Sager, was named the Housing Professional of the Year at the 22nd Annual Indian Country Affordable Housing & Economic Development Conference in San Diego, CA.


“I feel incredibly honored to receive this award. It is a privilege to work on such an important issue within Yurok communities. The work that it takes to secure funding and construct new units is limitless but the ability to provide a student, or a family, or an elder with a place to live is so precious that it’s easy to forget the struggle,” Nicole said.

“Nicole deserves a ton of recognition for the tremendous amount of work she has done and will do for the Yurok community,” said Joseph L. James, the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “In the past two years, Nicole and the Yurok Housing team have constructed numerous new homes for tribal elders and families.”


Travois, a tribal housing and economic development leader, presented the award as well as several others to organizations and individuals who are making measurable positive change in Indian Country.


“Our annual awards ceremony celebrates the important work of Indian Country’s housing and economic development professionals and provides inspiration to all in attendance,” said Elizabeth Glynn, Travois Chief Executive Officer.


Nicole was appointed to serve as YIHA’s Executive Director in 2018. She has spent her entire career in community planning and economic development. Prior to becoming YIHA’s Executive Director, Nicole occupied leadership positions in the City of Eureka’s Planning Department and in the Yurok Planning and Community Development Department.


As YIHA’s Executive Director, Nicole has administered some of the Tribe’s largest housing projects as well as its first two initiatives to help local homeless tribal citizens get back on their feet. Earlier this year, YIHA, in partnership with the City of Arcata, completed an innovative project involving the construction of 36 affordable and environmentally sustainable housing units. Located near the Potawot Health Clinic, Cal Poly Humboldt and many other important amenities, the solar-powered neighborhood boasts ample walkways, a one-mile trail and a cultural community garden as well as a playground and community room for events. To minimize water usage, YIHA and the City of Arcata installed rain gardens and constructed the walkways out of permeable materials. All of the units were expressly designed to be energy efficient. The unique neighborhood was also planned to meet the need of elders and the disables. On the first floor, the complex offers special accommodations for elderly and/or disabled residents. The cutting-edge project received funding from the California Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program.


Nicole also managed the Woo-mehl Project, which includes 10 new homes, a 2,000 square foot community center and a park in the Tulley Creek area. YIHA also renovated seven homes in Tulley Creek. The State of California’s Tax Credit Allocation Committee for the Low-Income Tax Credit Program, along with Hunt Capital Partners, funded the project.


YIHA is currently designing the Tribe’s first housing development in Trinidad. The future housing project will include up to five homes and a forested trail along a bucolic stream. It is within walking distance of the market, transit system and numerous employment opportunities. During the award ceremony, the Travois CEO highlighted many of these important undertakings.


Travois is a Certified B Corporation. B Corporations are certified based on several specific standards, such as accountability, inclusivity and environmental sustainability. Travois is focused on promoting housing and economic development for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities. Since 1995, Travois has brought investor equity to more than 249 developments through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, making an impact of more than $1.7 billion across Indian Country.



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