CASS LAKE (AP) -- Band members were waiting at the door Monday morning to apply for a housing program that the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe calls the first of its kind in Indian country.
The "Shingobee Homes Program" is expected to create 100 homes on the north-central Minnesota reservation by using gaming revenues from the planned Shingobee on the Bay Marina on Leech Lake.
Leech Lake has hired a private contractor to build the homes. In turn, the band will sell the homes to its members with a 30-year mortgage offered at a 0 percent interest rate.
More than 400 people are on Leech Lake's housing list, said Deana McDaniel of the Leech Lake Business Corp.
To qualify for the Shingobee program, applicants must be members of Leech Lake, show two years of steady income and prove an ability to pay the mortgage, which will average around $250 to $300 a month, McDaniel said.
The band members also must go through home ownership classes.
"It's a way that we are able to empower band members and families by providing them quality housing at an affordable price," McDaniel said.
Monday was the first day applications were accepted for the 2-acre-lot homes.
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