Something to Build On
David Bland and consulting firm Travois are tackling one of the biggest problems facing Native American communities: a lack of affordable housing.
According to a recent HUD study, about 40 percent of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. For 20 percent of that population, it consumes more than half of their income.
Travois, a 25 Under 25® alumnus, helps these communities use tax credit programs and other tools to raise money for new construction and rehabs.
Families that were living in places with incomplete kitchens or plumbing now have homes they can be proud of. The construction also helps create jobs in areas that badly need them.
“These are the poorest places in America, without any question,” said Bland. “They have all of the accompanying social ills that go along with communities with great poverty.”
But with time and hard work, Travois and its partners are making a difference. Since 1995, Travois’ clients have completed more than $1 billion in affordable housing, community buildings and other economic development projects.