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HUD No. 02-062
(202) 708-0685
June 11, 2002

Native American Mom and Her Children Become Homeowners Thanks to HUD

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - On the second day of his week-long swing through the western states to commemorate National Homeownership Month, Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Michael Liu today turned over the keys to Pattie Kauakahi for her new home on East Earl Dr., located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Kauakahi, a single mother of three, will soon have her own home with the help of HUD's Indian Housing Block Grant Program (IHBG). IHBG is a mortgage program created specifically by HUD to help Native Americans achieve homeownership.

"The Bush Administration and Secretary Martinez are committed to helping families like the Kauakahis find affordable homes," Liu said. "Homeownership strengthens families, strengthens communities, and is critical to the nation's economic health."

The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) reorganized and simplified the system of Federal housing assistance to Native Americans by eliminating several separate programs and replacing them with a single block grant program that recognizes the right of Indian self-determination and tribal self-governance. Individual Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages determine which low-income families will receive the grants.

The grants must go to affordable housing activities that develop or support rental or ownership housing, or that provide housing services to low-income Indian families on Indian reservations and other Indian areas. Affordable housing must cost no more than 30 percent of the family's adjusted income.

Eligible activities include modernization or operating assistance for housing previously developed using HUD resources; acquisition, new construction or rehabilitation of additional units; housing-related services such as housing counseling, self-sufficiency services, energy auditing, and establishment of resident organizations; housing management services; crime prevention and safety activities; rental assistance; model activities; and administrative expenses.

The President's proposed fiscal year 2003 budget seeks $646.6 million for Indian Housing Block Grants, the largest such request in history.

Native American communities are increasingly leveraging their NAHASDA dollars with private market capital, state low-income housing tax credit funds, and other federal agency programs, thus expanding their entrepreneurial vision and providing homeownership opportunities at an unprecedented rate. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is at the forefront of these creative initiatives.

The Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act is now in its 5th year, and there are three separate bills in Congress seeking reauthorization for continued appropriations.

Homeownership rates hit an all-time record high of 68 percent earlier this year. But homeownership remains elusive for too many minority families, such as Hispanics and African-Americans, whose homeownership rate is about 47 and 48 percent, respectively.

The Bush Administration is actively working to increase affordable housing through programs that include:

  • The American Dream Downpayment Fund, funded at $200 million in fiscal year 2003, to help Americans overcome high down payments;
  • Modernizing and simplifying the homebuying process;
  • Promoting financial education through housing counseling and other related efforts (a $35 million federal investment for fiscal year 2003);
  • The Single-Family Affordable Housing Tax Credit;
  • The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity (SHOP) Program, funded at $65 million in fiscal year 2003, helping community-based social service providers;
  • Allowing Section 8 housing vouchers to be used for downpayments;
  • Rigorous enforcement of the nation's fair housing laws.

HUD is committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, 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.


Content Archived: April 9, 2010

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