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Navajo Officials Support Student Housing

Navajo Officials Support Student Housing
December 26
15:00 2017

Navajo students at the University of New Mexico received a Christmas present from Navajo lawmakers on December 22.

The Navajo Nation Council approved a plan to use $1.5 million from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund to provide dormitory space at the Albuquerque campus.

According to the legislation, the funding would be allocated to the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President to execute a contract with UNM to acquire an existing dormitory facility – known as the Lobo Rainforest Building – to house 118 Navajo students. It further stated that the residence hall would reflect cultural and historical values of the Navajo Nation.

Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty said she worked with the OPVP on the initiative. It will ease the financial burden on students trying to find housing, she said. It may also help with student retention rates, Crotty added.

The tribe is also looking to invest in housing space at other universities and colleges, including Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, according to OPVP legal counsel Karis Begaye.

According to the UNM housing agreement the Navajo student housing would be a pilot project beginning in January, 2018, and ending in July, 2021, totaling approximately three years and seven months.

The residence hall would be fully furnished, and include a full kitchen with a dishwasher, washer and dryer. The bill passed council by a 16-0 vote.

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