HUD Archives: News Releases

Donna White
(202) 708-0685
For Release
April 25, 2005

Action Increases Homeownership Opportunities For Native Americans

DENVER - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today approved the Southern Ute Tribe's
request to expand its "Indian area." This approval allows the tribe wider use of a HUD guaranteed home loan
program that will help Native Americans throughout Colorado become homeowners.

"This program has already helped thousands of Indian families purchase or rehabilitate their existing homes," said
HUD Assistant Secretary Michael Liu, who signed approval documents today while visiting the Southern Ute leaders
in Ignacio, Colo. "This approval and the revision to the Section 184 program plays a vital role in keeping the President's commitment to create 5.5 million minority homeowners by the end of this decade."

The Southern Ute Tribe is joining a growing number of tribes using HUD's recent expansion of the Section 184 Loan Guarantee program to increase the number of Native American homeowners outside reservation boundaries,
including Ariz., Fla., Mich., Ind., Minn., parts of Ill., and now Colorado. Tribal housing agencies can now designate wider regions as an "Indian area" - meaning tribes can go beyond their reservation borders to assist tribal members and members of other federally recognized tribes obtain loans through the Section 184 program. Allowing the expansion of tribal Indian areas provides greater opportunity for banks and other lenders to make mortgage loans to Native Americans.

"The Section 184 program has increased volume by 240% from 2003 to 2004; from 271 loans and $27.2 million to
$64 million and 622 loans," said Assistant Secretary Liu. "We anticipate to insure more than $100 million in volume
in Fiscal Year 2005 and $200 million in Fiscal Year 2006."

The Southern Ute Tribe may now assist Native Americans to obtain home loans throughout the state of Colorado. Joining Liu for the signing were Tribal Chairperson Clement J. Frost; Tribal Councilpersons Melvin J. Baker, Vida Peabody, Ramona Eagle, Mathew J. Box, Jimmy R. Newton, Jr., Executive Director Southern Ute Tribal Housing Authority Judith Red Tomahawk and Tribal CFO Brian Zinck.

Previously, Native Americans participating in the Section 184 program were limited to the purchase of homes on
land owned by the tribe, usually known as "trust" or "restricted" lands. As a result, Native American homeownership opportunities remained primarily on reservations. The overall volume of the program since its inception is more than overall volume 2,215 loans for $220 million.

Under the new guidelines, tribes and tribal housing entities can provide Section 184 homeownership opportunities beyond their reservations if they submit documentation demonstrating that the tribe has a historical connection to the areas to be served or if tribal members reside in those areas.

HUD's Section 184 Loan Guarantee program, created in 1992, was established to address the lack of mortgage
lending for Native Americans and give Native American families the opportunity to purchase their own homes. Since 1995, when HUD guaranteed its first loan, there have been 2,215 loans guaranteed with a dollar-value of approximately $220 million. The Section 184 program provides a 100 percent guarantee for mortgages on Indian
lands, enabling private sector lenders to make mortgage loans to eligible Native American families, tribes and tribal housing entities. The program can also be used to rehabilitate existing homes, build new homes and refinance higher interest rate loans.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as
well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and


Content Archived: March 15, 2011