JAY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Cherokee Nation has reached an agreement with an Oklahoma school district to build affordable homes for tribal citizens.

The Cherokee Nation is partnering with Jay Public Schools to acquire 10 acres of school property to build the homes.

“Homeownership and affordable housing lays a stronger foundation for our Cherokee families to thrive, and we know the families who own these homes have children attending Jay Public Schools, so this agreement is a partnership that helps not only our citizens but the school district as well,” Chief Hoskin said. “Jay Public Schools can also draw federal impact aid dollars and utilize the community center and outdoor recreation space which helps every student in the district.”

The Cherokee Nation expects to build up to 20 homes on the property. The tribe will also build a community center and outdoor recreation space on the property.

“Jay Public Schools and the Board of Education are grateful for this partnership. Chief Hoskin and his team at Cherokee Nation have been outstanding to work with through this process. They truly are making a positive difference in the lives of many Cherokees,” Jay Public Schools Superintendent Leann Barnwell said. “This opportunity is awesome for Jay School District and our Jay community by providing much-needed housing for our Cherokee citizens and our students. By having Cherokee housing in our school district, it enables our district to receive federal dollars for students living in these homes, as well as providing them a safe place to live. The Cherokee Nation is also assisting us with some infrastructure issues, as well as assisting with some enhancements on our campus. Therefore, we believe this is a win for everyone involved. At Jay Public Schools we believe that ‘Together We Can Make a Difference’ and this partnership is going to make a difference and impact many lives.”

Construction will begin in the fall of 2023.