Northern Arapaho Tribe builds new low-cost housing development on Wind River Reservation

The Chief Black Coal housing development features 20 affordable housing units in Arapaho
Published: Oct. 12, 2023 at 5:46 PM CDT
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ARAPAHO, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - This week the Northern Arapaho Housing Authority celebrated the completion of the Chief Black Coal housing project on the Wind River Reservation. Located in the Arapaho area, the Chief Black Coal affordable housing development includes 20 three and four bedroom units. The project cost 10.1 million dollars to complete, and was partially funded by the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development division.

The housing project was named in honor of Chief Black Coal, who played an instrumental role in the establishment of the Wind River Reservation.

W. Patrick Goggles, the executive director of the Northern Arapaho Housing Authority, says, “In his travels to Washington D.C, I believe he met with President Hayes at the time, and was able to get an agreement with President Hayes to permanently place the Arapaho here on the Wind River Indian Reservation… We wanted to honor his legacy and his vision of providing a home for his people. That’s what these 20 homes represent, that vision.”

Officials say there is a major housing shortage on the reservation. The Northern Arapaho Housing Authority estimates that the area requires close to 400 additional homes to meet the needs of the community.

Harvey Spoonhunter is the chairman of the Northern Arapaho Housing Board of Commissioners. He says, “We have our elderly, we have our veterans, we have our homeless that we still need to provide housing for, but through what we accomplished here shows what we are able to be successful at… It’s really something to be proud of, our identity, our sovereignty… We establish our self-sufficiency, our cultural component that we instilled here, it all comes together and we can accomplish it. To see the units up and all ready for occupancy really instills pride.”

Families will be moving into the Chief Black Coal housing development by the end of October.