PEMBROKE — The Lumbee Tribal Council decided not to shut down the tribe’s U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs and services at its meeting on Thursday.
In at 16-4 vote, the tribe rejected a motion made by Councilman Terry Collins, who said he made the motion because he was frustrated by the lack of respect the council and tribal members have gotten from the administration, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
According to the paper, three Scotland County women pleaded their case before the council for its help to get their homes rehabilitated or replaced. The council told the women it has repeatedly asked the administration to give preference to elders, the paper said.
The tribe voted to ask the administration again to provide a list of elders who have been waiting on housing funds the longest and to give them priority in receiving funding.
Council Speaker Pearlean Revels said the council is currently working on a more efficient method of distributing housing fund. The council is trying to establish a Tribally Designated Housing Entity that would give an independent board oversight of the distribution of housing funds, taking that power away from the tribal administration.
The council plans to discuss it further on its Jan. 3 meeting.
Tribal Chairman Paul Brooks has said that creating an entity to administer the housing money would violate the tribe’s constitution. He has petitioned the tribe’s Supreme Court to rule on the matter.