ZenniHome Navajo Nation Announcement

ZenniHome Navajo Nation Announcement


Bob Worsley (00:00):
Welcome everyone for joining us today for our webinar. We're very excited to have Patrick Sandoval with us here, who's the Navajo President's chief of staff. He came down very ill this last couple of days and has spent the holidays in the hospital. He's been so graciously willing to talk with us for a little while while his strength permits to talk about what we're trying to do with housing on the Navajo Nation. I'd like to just start with the announcement that we did sign our lease, and President Nygren gave a beautiful address a week ago at the Navajo Housing Summit at Fire Rock Casino in Gallup, New Mexico with more than 1100 people there.

Patrick was there with us and he wasn't feeling so bad that day and now he's suffered through some lung issues. He announced his 1000 Home Initiative that was part of his campaign, promise to build a 1000 homes on the Navajo Nation during his tenure. And he wants to get that done on his first term. And he also mentioned that he's trying hard to get a joint venture put together with us now that the lease is signed. So just as background information. Patrick, I'm going to start with a general question for you. I wanted you to share with everybody your background and history with the Navajo Nation, given that you've served at the longest time as a chief of staff in the history of the Navajo Nation under three different terms with two different presidents.

Could you just tell us about your background? I think you have some construction industry experience and housing experience in addition to your government experience. If you could just share that.

Patrick J Sandoval (01:59):
Sure, Bob. I returned to government... Well, actually returned. I came back to government and it was to help then candidate president Joe Shirley Jr. in his campaign. But the only reason I forged ahead was because I was on a sabbatical or a scheduled sabbatical during my time as a senior safety project manager for Fluor Daniel. They're one of the world's largest construction companies. We did a lot of industrial, a lot of petrochemical, and I worked on a little bit of commercial, but the majority of my time with 18 years with Fluor was in what they call microelectronics and the science division.

So we built multiple factories in all over the country in different parts of the world for IBM, AT&T and Intel. And we were the primary builder for AT&T and got a number of jobs with... Shoot, I can't remember the name now. Intel. Intel. And so I was serving well there. Things were going well. The microelectronics industry was booming. But in 2001, I came home on the sabbatical and worked with President Shirley's campaign, and we were able to thrust his campaign into a winning mode, passing the primary election and then the general election.

And so upon completion of that, the then newly elected president knew that my outside work was very important to me, but talked about my management skills and obviously the way the world works in the private sector, and asked me if I could help manage stuff at the Navajo Nation. And in what capacity, I asked. And he said he want to be his chief of staff. And I didn't know much about the job, but he picked a couple of mentors who worked me through the first year. And I ended up serving as the youngest and longest running chief of staff in the history of Navajo Nation under one president.

And then he couldn't run anymore because of term limitations. So he got done and he went back to the county as a county supervisor or county commissioner. And he asked me to come back to work for him there. So I served as his chief of staff there and for well over 10 years. And finally when President Nygren decided he was going to run for president, he asked me to help lead his campaign as a senior advisor. So I did, and we were successful. And he asked me to come back to the nation as chief of staff again. So this is where I am now. And President Nygren has quite a big ambition to get a few things done.

And what people are most commonly used to is, if there's going to be any homes built on Navajo, it'll be by the local Navajo Housing Authority, which is our HUD funded source. But that is not what President Nygren wanted. It'll be a component of it, but he really wants the private sector component. And so what we did was we looked at the dollars available from the annual revenue, usual revenue to the nation, and allocated by the tribe's council. And then the additional resources were ARPA, and there was some cares, that money as well. So right now, we have probably about $150 million.

And President Nygren then went to look at ZenniHomes in Page, Arizona. He's very impressed and thinks that with some modifications to the original design, we come up with a Navajonize ZenniHome [inaudible 00:06:45]. Then he thinks it'll be be a very big success building two and four bedroom homes. So our mission is to take those dollars that are available, apply them to the people who have been approved for homes, and get them out of the factory and paid, get them transported to the site, get them set up and let people have homes. So I hope that's enough, Bob.

Bob Worsley (07:19):
Patrick, that's fantastic. I want you to share though that when you were the chief of staff the first time around for those eight years that the government was actually building a lot of homes. You guys did quite a good job of getting homes done.

Patrick J Sandoval (07:36):
As a matter of fact, it wasn't necessarily the Navajo Nation, it was NHA at the time. And NHA since then has run into multiple challenges with the funding from Housing and Urban Development. So the new restrictions and the restrictions as a result of penalties and the return of fees, that's cut way back. But they're part of our initiative. And part of the initiative is to get their funding sources or their funding avenues straightened out and get money flowing again. But otherwise, you're right. We built a number of homes back then, predominantly being NHA.

But President Nygren this time around really wants to... Because the people who are getting those homes now either are on a fixed income or they have to have a income guideline to qualify for a home and they bill one, two, three, four bedroom. But the president wants more flexibility for people who want to come home, want to get a home site lease, want to put a home down, he wants to help those people. And the current system doesn't allow for that. And we think that that number is easily two or 3000 people. But we kept a number at a 1000 because we think that's achievable at the start of everything.

Bob Worsley (09:15):
Exactly, Patrick. He's a rational man, although people think he's crazy trying to build a 1000 homes when, what do you think, since 2015, 16, 17, I've heard numbers as low as one or two homes have been built?

Patrick J Sandoval (09:31):
Yeah. Prior to President Nygren's new leadership, the past two years, they have either lived with the number zero homes built or as low as 10 homes over the last three year period, both for the veterans and for the people who qualify in the chapter home program.

Bob Worsley (09:57):
So almost zero. And what do you think? I hear you say three or 4,000 earlier, but I've heard higher numbers that were short on the Navajo Nation for housing. How short are we?

Patrick J Sandoval (10:12):
We think, but we've not done any statistical information, and we have access to that information from the agencies that are willing to work with us. But it's probably in the neighborhood of around 10,000.

Bob Worsley (10:29):
10,000 homes. Okay.

Patrick J Sandoval (10:31):

Bob Worsley (10:32):
And when I was in your office meeting with some of your agency heads, Patrick, you had a beautiful whiteboard schematic of what's out there and what's available. You had your agency heads there from veterans, from CHID, from HIP, from ARPA money. And so as you look at that, you think that there is somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million, which should build close to a 1000 homes.

Patrick J Sandoval (11:04):
Yeah. That's easily. The numbers that we come up with this year, including NHA's homes and what they have proposed, they're part of our 1000 Home Initiative because just as the enterprises, the other entities that are run by the nation, some local schools, local public schools, and three of them in Arizona we know are going to build 30 homes this year. So how we've helped them move things along or to get the land clearances and environmental clearances so they could move along quicker. And then we've got enterprises like NTUA. I believe they're building 30 or 50 homes. So they're well on their way to getting those done.

And the 1000 Home Initiative, we just got to get started. And maybe we're a little too ambitious, but we'll see once we start going. The biggest challenge on the Navajo Nation to build a home is just securing the home site lease and what it takes to get that. And that's everything from biological surveys, to historical background checks, to fish and wildlife checks. So there's about 10 different agencies that have to be involved. People have to pay to get these lands surveyed. President Nygren has assured that money's going to be available to help people.

There's no doubt in our mind that there are people in three categories, qualified people in all three categories. One's living in Phoenix right now, one's living in Salt Lake City, and one's living on Navajo. Their challenge of trying to get just the first steps done are the biggest problem. Getting all the permits out of the way, getting things met and dealt with. But that's, we've paved the way for that so that we can begin moving on, making sure that some homes get started and some homes get built.

Bob Worsley (13:22):
And when we met there in your office, Bobbie Ann Baldwin, who's over veterans, it sounded like as we went around the room, some of them have pre-qualified and have some shovel ready units or sites ready to go. Also, it seemed like Dwayne Waseta and Patrick that was in there from CHID also said. When we added those up, I got four homes per chapter. There's 110 chapters. The veterans had 280 lots ready to go, shovel ready. So hopefully, we can get after this now and get this moving. And President Nygren asked me to get a couple of homes shipped this month. They're [inaudible 00:14:09] wrapped and ready to go in the yard.

We'll be shipping 14 units this month and we want several of those to come and start letting President Nygren show the nation that we mean business. We're going to build these in the factory and get them out at the job sites. Do you feel that the numbers we were given by those agencies, those were lots, that are pretty much already worked, the work's done, so we can move there? Or do we still have a lot more to do on those home sites?

Patrick J Sandoval (14:39):
We've been working on this long enough that there's enough to get started. And with the expedited process, whoever second and third and fourth from there will know that we got to get going with them and get the appropriate leases and permits done. So we'll get it moving.

Bob Worsley (15:00):
All right. Now, given the remote location of many of the Navajo communities and home site leases, we've thought that being able to have these built every single day in the factory regardless of weather and all that, and getting labor, construction labor, concrete and everything to the job site, that the fact that they come already finished and furnished would help address some of the logistical challenges. Is that how you're seeing it as well, Patrick?

Patrick J Sandoval (15:34):
Yeah, the more finish it's done, the easier it is to move in. So that'll be a plus.

Bob Worsley (15:45):
And I saw a couple hogan homes that were built that were just panels coming out of a factory, but then there had to be all the finish work done later on the job site. I think there was one in Tuba City and one over by Window Rock. And so they looked like they weren't quite ready to move into because of that issue. Just getting all the finishes done takes a lot of time and coordination of getting labor out there on the job sites.

Patrick J Sandoval (16:10):
Yeah. We got to make sure that we've got those logistics down so that we work in our best effort and make sure things get done. Because it's usually, the particular challenge that we're faced with usually drive costs up, the mobility, because they're not all in one location, they're miles apart, they're not right off of main highway. So there's some challenges, but we hope that we can resolve all of those issues and move forward.

Bob Worsley (16:49):
And bring as much of everything done as possible when you do make that remote trip out there.

Patrick J Sandoval (16:57):

Bob Worsley (16:58):
When I've talked to president, I know you've been in the room and you feel the same way, the passion he has once he saw our factory was, when he saw those Navajo workers coming back to work from losing their jobs at the coal plant when they shut that down in 2020, 2019-2020, it just seemed to give his heart a real lift that the 1000 jobs were starting to bring those people back and give them work. So he talks about being built on Navajo, the plant is on Navajoland, on the NGS site where there used to be a coal plant that was controversial to say the least.

Now, there's a business there that's going to build homes there by Navajo workers that were laid off, and now they're going to go out and people are going to live in them from the Navajo Nation. So you kind of get a three trifecta, built by Navajo, on Navajo, for Navajo. How do you feel about that?

Patrick J Sandoval (17:58):
I support the president's feeling on that 110%. And his housing initiative was not sure of the sport mechanism for building homes because we thought we were going to maybe hire 10 or 15 contractors to build stick frame houses and start from the ground up and get it done that way. But when he came to Page, Arizona, he was totally blown off his feet and very satisfied with the facility, the people, and knowing that if we ramp up like we need to do to build a number of homes we're looking at, it would only increase the volume of what we got going out there, the number of people we got going, and then also obviously help feed the need for all these new people.

So he's very excited about it. And he was actually elated that as part of the 1000 Home Initiative, a big component, the building of it lied with ZenniHome. So that's why he was happy to sign the lease and let's continue to grow and work together.

Bob Worsley (19:19):
And then, as you know Patrick, the lease requires that we in good faith, work hard, you and I, to get this joint venture put together. He doesn't want to just be a landlord and allow us to use the area, the buildings from NGS and to hire people that were let go, but he really wanted to get behind it from a business partner perspective. And so he seemed to want more relationship there. And so we're trying to find the right partner. Do you want to make any comments on that and how that's going, Patrick?

Patrick J Sandoval (19:57):
He has a strong desire to assure that we have a partnership. And it's not just a big company coming in, building homes, making a big profit and walking away. He wants to assure that ZenniHomes feels comfortable, they will continue to partner. We hope that ZenniHomes grows to be much bigger than they are now, and we're a part of that growth and we're a part of the potential income wherever that may be.

Bob Worsley (20:34):
Yes. And he talks a lot too about, he likes the steel idea. Everything we do is steel. We don't do wood. And the life expectancy we've been told by NHA of the typical HUD home that's purchased is only 20 or 25 years, and it really is not lasting longer than that historically. Our materials, the galvanized steel studs we use are good for 140 years before there's any rust issues. So we're looking at a much longer life expectancy from an all steel home. Is that still exciting and what you want to see happen there?

Patrick J Sandoval (21:17):
Yeah. And I think that a big driver was that when he heard that it was a steel home, we were thinking of the container homes or container buildings. We thought that there was a bunch of containers being shipped to Page and retrofitted and steel cut out and jig puzzled together, and that's what we thought it was. But when he actually got out to the factory and saw that you were actually buying your own steel, you were molding it, you were molding the frames, the studs, the walls, the siding, the floor, he was very excited about that. So just makes it a part of... And all of that is done by Navajo hands. So he's very excited about it.

Bob Worsley (22:09):
And Patrick, you know, everybody knows that... As in the business, I have a power plant myself in another company. Everybody knows that the Navajos have probably the best skills in the country for outages and code welding and getting in tight spaces with mirrors and able to put a feet down that's perfect. But we're just thrilled to have those welders. The talent is unbelievable that has been developed over many, many years by the craftsmen that can work with steel. So it's just been a marriage made in heaven in terms of where we put the factory and the workforce that's been trained already to do that work. You must be proud of the steel and welding skills of the Navajo Nation.

Patrick J Sandoval (22:57):
Oh yeah. I think we are aware of the amount of talent on Navajo after the closure of a number of coal mines and power plants and so on, but nobody's had any kind of relief for them. So they either are just out in retirement land or they're part of that crew that we can put to work in Page, Arizona.

Bob Worsley (23:28):
Yeah. And some of them, Patrick, were saying they were just on traveling crews all over the country and they were never home. And this allows them to come home and be with their family and work a normal job again.

Patrick J Sandoval (23:40):
Yeah. Absolutely. And that's something that we are looking forward to accomplishing. And we may not have been able to replace work for workers at the Kayenta mine or workers at the Chevron mine, and we'll have mines closing in New Mexico. But if this works well, may give people a new reason to move to Page or to Kaibeto or to LeChee, somewhere in that neighborhood.

Bob Worsley (24:15):
Yup. We bought vans, Patrick, full passenger vans and let the guys drive them home, and they bring a load in and a load out every day from an hour away. And these workers are very high skilled craftsmen that just are the best in their field. And there seems to be a lot more. We've got 120 in the factory today. And there's about 300 resumes of people that want to come to work. So it looks like we have a large supply of eager and willing workers that want to come back to work.

Patrick J Sandoval (24:52):
If not the retired workers, there'll be new people. That particular part of work is a widely used one. When the Kayenta mine was up and running, every day, a 15 passenger plane went back between the coal mine and Flagstaff and flew 45 people a day to help be the administration part of the mine operation. And then they did the same thing that you're talking about where people took vans home and brought in 10 or 12 people a day. So it's not new, but this particular component, it's a great idea.

Bob Worsley (25:41):
Great. Thank you, Patrick. Now as you know, because we're doing steel, we can stack these extraordinarily high containers that ship over the ocean or 13 containers high on the ship. We don't build and retrofit containers, but our units can be ISO certified to ship with containers on a ship. So we've decided that a really key part of our growth is to stack these. And there's not a lot of multi-story housing apartments on the Navajo Nation, but is there an opportunity, do you think, to do in maybe some of the bigger cities, Tuba City, Farmington, Window Rock, maybe close to Flagstaff? Maybe there's an opportunity to do some five, six story stacked apartments because that's what we're really designed to do in addition to just being on the ground?

Patrick J Sandoval (26:40):
Yeah, absolutely. And the only community that practices that right now is Shiprock, New Mexico. And I think they have some four story units out there. But outside of there, it's simple two-story around the rest of the nation. And that's, I think, just closed-minded thinking. These apartment complexes, they still have above ground utilities and they don't landscape when they bill. So all of these ideas that you guys have and the concepts you have are going to be very welcome. And Navajo people will, I think, think and see it as new and refreshing.

And there's a lot of people who are living off the Navajo Nation who would love to return home, but housing just isn't available. And if they have an apartment and it's affordable, that's going to be a plus for all that.

Bob Worsley (27:39):
So the other thing we're thinking about is if it's too difficult to get site by site approvals and we're producing faster than you can set the homes on the scattered sites. The thought was if we could just find... We're doing this project in Mesa, Patrick, if you know about. It's 90 homes on a half an acre with a grocery store underneath it on downtown Mesa. It's at the center in Mesa. So we were thinking if we could find just an acre that would be acceptable in these [inaudible 00:28:17] get 100 units per project moving to those just four sites.

Patrick J Sandoval (28:27):

Bob Worsley (28:28):
So we'll look at that.

Patrick J Sandoval (28:30):
And President Nygren is just, he wants to take the challenge that are necessary. He's tired of people saying no, he's tired of people not doing anything for the last 25 years because simple barriers, stupid barriers. And he wants to be the president to, let's take it on, let's show them that they should have done it a long time ago.

Bob Worsley (28:54):
Patrick, I took the assignment from President Nygren last week and I called his old college friend Tamara Begay, who runs the firm in Albuquerque, that's all Navajo. I just wanted to take a second here and go over a couple of things that she told me as I interviewed her this week and get your reaction. Tamara said that indigenously designed is not ever done very well and her firm is committed to that. And her friend Buu Nygren from college is wanting us to work with her to do an indigenously designed version of our modules.

And she said just painting on architecture doesn't work, that there has to be some storytelling and working from the inside out the homes, the homes how they live. She said that architecture in the past was done by women, and women directed the men to build the homes that they wanted so that it was good for family and home. She said that it was kind of an insult and inappropriate to just say, "We're going to make a teepee or we're going to build a hogan home." That that wasn't culturally relevant. The boxes are fine as long as we're listening to what the inside out is telling you about how it should be indigenized.

So I'm really excited. She said they want homes to blend in, that they're modest, they don't have to be big homes, they have to be functional. She said it's just dishonest to say we're building a hogan or a teepee home because that's really an insult to what hogans were. They were sacred for rituals, they weren't lived in, they're really for very special spiritual Native American uses, births and deaths and illnesses, et cetera. What's your initial reaction to what she's telling me?

Patrick J Sandoval (31:12):
Well, when I first seen ZenniHomes... And I totally understand the concept for off Navajo, off Native American, all the designs that were there, totally acceptable, understandable. But when you join with somebody like Tamara and allow her to, remember my word, Navajonize, or for her to do her best at doing what she's got to do, it'll make these homes a 1000% more attractive to the Navajo people.

Bob Worsley (31:50):
Yes. And she was very excited. She had done her homework. She said, "This is all about harmony and balance and what's going on with the family inside." She said, "For example, new couples, Navajo couples don't have a separate crib and room for newly born baby. The baby sleeps with them and it's very important because of the umbilical connection of a mother and a baby that the baby stay with the mom." And so it's maybe looked down on and off reservation or off Navajoland, but this is the kind of thinking that we need to listen to and make sure that the culture, she called it seven generation thinking, the three generations before you, your generation and what the three generations before you did, and then the three generations after you, and the importance of the home, and that it lasts a long time, but it's also built sensitive to how they live and how they want to live.

Patrick J Sandoval (32:57):
Yeah. So I'm excited to see what the collaboration looks like and what the end work looks like because I've seen a lot of Tamara's work in buildings and homes and multi-story buildings, and very amazing.

Bob Worsley (33:15):
Yeah. And she said glass is good as long as there's winter exposure for the grandparents there to get heated up by the sun. They said, "Don't put doors with prevailing wind." There's an eastern facing, if possible, on the home that's religiously significant. So there's just lots of things we're going to learn. And just don't paint on a western building and think you've indigenized the space. We've got to think deeper about it. So we're excited to do that with Tamara. Very, very smart lady. And I can see why President Nygren wanted her to work with us to help either Navajonize or indigenize our homes for you.

Patrick J Sandoval (34:05):
Yeah. Whatever term she comes up with, trust me, will be the most politically correct term.

Bob Worsley (34:12):
Okay, great. Okay. So let's see. We've kept you, you're in the hospital there trying to recuperate from pneumonia. Patrick, is there anything else on your mind you'd like to talk about today about this exciting housing initiative, a 1000 homes?

Patrick J Sandoval (34:32):
No, I just can't wait for it to begin and see the first one out of the ground, and homeowners excited about it. And then the second one, homeowners excited about it. And third one, homeowners excited about it. And then obviously after that, NHA, they're building an apartment complexes, so it'd be excited to bring them to the table and let them be your building partner for those sets of new homes that we decide we're moving forward with. I know Window Rock is one of their next areas. And they've got a set going up here real soon, but I believe everybody's been chosen for that construction. So that'll be the common what they build now.

Bob Worsley (35:26):
Well, Patrick, let's take a couple questions and just relax for a minute. Don't feel like you need to go past your endurance here. Is there any questions here from the audience? We have a lot of people listening in here, Patrick. Let me just see if I can see. Felita says, "Awesome plan. Music to my ears. I hope exposure to the rest of the world will bring subtle and dramatic changes to our homes." Jerry is saying, "If I remember correctly..." I think this is Jerry who used to work in politics there in the western agency. He said, "If I remember correctly, ZenniHome in the surrounding communities met and a lot of ideas were presented on the ZenniHome, on the Navajo traditional housing." I have all of those notes, Jerry. And I started [inaudible 00:36:28].

Patrick J Sandoval (36:28):
Hey Bob, we certainly want to acknowledge Jerry because we know he was critical and an instrumental part of the starting of this project. And we think that by honoring him, we're continuing to move it forward. So thank you, Jerry.

Bob Worsley (36:47):
And Jerry was, he was a big fan and was there for the very first tour when we got access to the building. And so Jerry, thank you for that work. There's a question here by Steel. "Is there a timeline on the project or anywhere we can find out more information?" Patrick, you and I, it's our job. President Nygren gave you and I the job to get together and get this going. I committed to get a couple homes shipped in July just to get started and we'll have some good photo ops together of these units leaving our factory and doing the work on the site to get them set and moved into. But do you have any timeline in your head, Patrick, in terms of when we really get this thing going?

Patrick J Sandoval (37:35):
All I know is that with quality and safety in mind, we need to just get started. So that means that Tamara's company and you guys need to get busy with this concept that she's going to help us deliver and we got to put it on prints that are final and we got to get busy, Bob. Which means we are probably going to have to do a lot of ordering ahead of time for steel and whatever it is that we need and make sure that there's extra parts for the machines that do the compression and make sure that we have backup everything so that we are not impacted by shutdown because we're working so hard.

Bob Worsley (38:28):
And Patrick, you're 18 years with Fluor on big jobs. You understand the manufacturing process and the factories you guys built for the semiconductor industry. That's why I think it's so ideal. And here's Buu Nygren who came from a project manager for core construction and other companies for 10 years. He was out building big projects too. How lucky are we to have a president that's 36 years old with a PhD, USC and MBA from ASU, Construction Management. And then to have you with your experience as the chief to execute this stuff, chief of staff.

So I think this is the first administration where we can really get traction, and we're going to do all that we can. Patrick, we think we can build a 1000 units a year out of our factory in the current configuration. And then as you know, we're looking at an addition to that that would get us up to 50 homes per day, which would give us six, 7,000 homes per year capacity, putting us in a world-class production of anywhere in the world. So we got a lot to do, but I think we can get these 1000 homes in there.

Patrick J Sandoval (39:50):
A lot of people are surprised by the fact that President Nygren, we may call people in to talk about a small project, could be a million dollar project. And this is where we're behind, this is what we got to do. And he just goes right to the drawing board and says, "It's what you got to do. It's what we got to make changes to." So it's not a big issue for him. And then your reference to my work on clean rooms. I don't know if I described that, but everything in a clean room, which we built for IBM, AT&T, Intel, all of that was steel frame studs, steel frame floors. Because in a clean room, you can't have any kind of contaminants. You got to have a 1000% clean construction. You'd have to have vacuum cleaners there, HEPA vacs, to make sure things are cleaned up.

So steel construction is nice. I know we won't have to go to that extent, but steel construction is sturdy, durable, and nice. And Navajos will probably begin freaking out after 10 years realizing there's no maintenance here hardly, house isn't falling apart.

Bob Worsley (41:09):
And just imagine, Patrick, you see so many people throwing tires on top of their roof to keep their shingles on. I say, let's put solar panels up there. Those shingles won't come off if they have solar panels up there. And so there's just a whole new way of thinking to give, as President Nygren said, the elders of our community a home that will last not just 20 years, but 50 years, 75 years, maybe a 100 years. And that's a whole new paradigm for the Navajo people to have this kind of durable home to live in.

Patrick J Sandoval (41:42):

Bob Worsley (41:44):
Great. Okay. I think there's Blaine that's saying, "Can you clarify your plan to build four homes in each chapter?" Who was it that was in our meeting? I think it was Patrick that was saying that all chapters have four homes ready to go.

Patrick J Sandoval (42:03):
Yeah, there's an allocation by the Navajo Nation Council to build four homes per chapter. And they go through the chapter, the chapter selects the families or individuals that'll qualify. And once they qualify, then you'll know who the recipient of the home is. And what's unique about this is they're not going to start construction and it takes a year just to mobilize and start getting the work, and they have their shrinkage of materials, they've got to replace this, replace that, they've got to have people out on site because they're trying to finish up. And this is a totally different process where once it's awarded, it'll be very little time when the home is actually up.

Bob Worsley (42:57):
Now, there's 110 chapters on the nation. So that's 440 homes right there, just to do the chapter four home program.

Patrick J Sandoval (43:07):

Bob Worsley (43:08):
And where did that money come from, Patrick?

Patrick J Sandoval (43:10):
The money comes through the federal government. Most of it is ARPA, into the Community Health, Community Housing Improvement Development Plan. And they've maintained the list for years. And the list is way greater than 440. We probably have thousands of people that are on a list and probably 800 of them are actually fully qualified. So we still won't be meeting the need of every person wanting a home. But we'll start to put a dent in it.

And as we move forward, we will work with our funding partners at the federal level, figure out how we use some NAHASDA funding to work together with community improvement with CHID and see how we can get more homes to the chapter. And then if we get NHA, or when we get NHA into bought in with us, they may start building homes as well.

Bob Worsley (44:18):
And they have about 75 to a 100 million a year from HUD that comes into the nation through the NAHASDA grants.

Patrick J Sandoval (44:26):
Yeah. They're under some restrictions currently after a couple of years of bad reporting and stuff. But as part of this initiative, we're helping them get out of that.

Bob Worsley (44:44):
Yes. And I think the veterans, Bobbie Ann Baldwin said they have 50 million for housing for just veterans.

Patrick J Sandoval (44:52):
Yeah. And that's going to be a one-time deal. Never have they been given this kind of money, but with the influx of dollars from ARPA, it'll be a one-time funding for them. Otherwise, money comes from the council, which allows for probably the building of maybe 20 to 30 homes a year for them.

Bob Worsley (45:14):
The other thing I just wanted to maybe end the conversation around is COVID kind of exposed this huge problem. The Navajo Nation was hit so dramatically by COVID because there was a housing shortage. You have multi-generations of family living in a small home. And so it was very difficult to go quarantine yourself in a very small space with a lot of people. And therefore, the Navajos got hit extremely hard with deaths and casualties as a result of COVID.

Patrick J Sandoval (45:57):
Okay. And we aim to bring resolution to much of that and see house building to fruition. And I think once the homes are initially started and people move in, they're going to be very happy. They're going to be okay with them.

Bob Worsley (46:17):
Great. Thanks Patrick. Appreciate it. And then I'll just share with the group here as we sign off, we have a Wefunder campaign going. So if you go to Wefunder and look at ZenniHome there, we have opportunities for those who might want to participate at $250 investment to get behind us, and we want to do some great things out there. So on the chat, there's a link there for Wefunder for those of you that are listening in.

Thank you so much for joining us today, and we're excited about helping this great nation, the largest Native American nation in America and in Canada, becoming our partner at ZenniHome. We will build on Navajo, the Navajos will do the building. They're great craftsmen. And they want to take some of these homes from our factory and have Navajos live in them. So it's quite the trifecta. Thank you so much for joining us today. We'll talk to you next week. Thank you.

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