HUD's Northwest Office of Native American Programs is actively recruiting Native American families from throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to become homeowners using the Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Program.
Above, Iris Friday, Northwest Office of Native American Programs, Section 184 Program Coordinator, along with Manny Lee, Special Assistant, Office of the Regional Director, Field Policy and Management, discuss the benefits of homeownership with potential homebuyers at the First Nations Pow Wow and Expo at the University of Washington, in Seattle.
The 184 Program gives Native Americans and Alaska Natives access to sources of private mortgage financing by providing loan guarantees to lenders; and it extends to them the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of homeownership.
The Pow Wow attracted many "urban" Native Americans from throughout Western Washington, and the HUD staff estimated that at least 100 Native Americans visited the Homeownership (184 Program) booth during the daylong activities.
According to Mr. Lee, the "Pow Wow was an excellent venue for promoting homeownership and this loan guarantee program."
Pow Wow dance participants
"The Pow Wow was an occasion to get the word out about homeownership opportunities to Native Americans living off reservation and in the city," Ms. Friday stated. "It was melding an age-old tribal tradition with a time to learn about new opportunities; hopefully this will lead to a new tradition of homeownership for tribal members in the northwest," stated Ms. Friday.
SECTION 184 INDIAN LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM IN INDIAN COUNTRY
Homeownership for Native Americans was nearly non-existent a decade ago when HUD implemented the Section 184 Indian Loan Guarantee Program. Prior to the implementation of this program, Native Americans were not able to obtain mortgage loans in "Indian Country."
Originally, the 184 Indian Loan Guarantee Program was developed to overcome the obstacles to mortgaging land held in trust and to promote the interests of the borrower, the Tribe and the lender. The program, implemented in 1994, provides homeownership opportunities to Native Americans wanting to own a home on tribal or individual trust land.
Young girls dancing during the Pow Wow
The program offers homeownership, property rehabilitation, and new construction opportunities for eligible tribes, Indian Housing Authorities and Native American individuals and families wanting to own a home on their native lands.
During the first ten years of the program, most of the families purchasing homes lived on Indian reservations, Alaska villages, and/or land held in Trust by the US Government. Recently, "Indian Country" has been redefined to include land located in an Indian or Alaska Native area--the areas in which tribal members may be assisted. This brings the ability to purchase homes on fee simple land off reservation or trust lands. It is now possible for Native American families to purchase homes in many cities across the country, including Seattle, Portland, and other cities and towns in the Northwest.
As of March 31, a total of 2,207 Loan Guarantees have been issued, nation-wide.
The total guarantee amount is over $222 million.
Over 2,200 Native American and Alaska Native families have become homeowners through the Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Program.