Ordinance gives housing priority to tribal Elders

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Shiles, Bob. “Ordinance gives housing priority to tribal Elders.” Robesonian [Lumberton, NC] September 19, 2014.


The Lumbee Tribal Council passed an ordinance that will prioritize applications for housing rehabilitation services, giving preference to Elders and those with housing needs deemed urgent.

The ordinance, which passed by a vote of 11 to 7 with three council members absent, was sent back last month to the council's Finance Committee for review after Ed Brooks, the tribe's attorney, told the council that giving priority to those 62 and older was in his opinion age discrimination and an illegal way of distributing U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds. The ordinance sets guidelines for the acceptance of housing applications and sets a priority order for getting the work done for tribal members in a more timely and fair manner.

After the current Elders list is complete, applications would be processed according to the application date by a ratio of 75 percent by the date of application and 25 percent by Elder designation, according to the ordinance.

The ordinance also provides for the Housing Department to determine if there exists any "Extraordinary circumstances" in any applications that would warrant immediate attention. The council on Thursday also approved ordinances establishing an Institutional Review Board and a Lumbee Health Board.

The new nine-member Lumbee Health Board will consist of council members and community and health professionals.

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