HUD No. 05-036
March 30, 2005
HUD APPROVES PASCUA YAQUI TRIBE INDIAN AREA EXPANSION
Action increases homeownership opportunities for Native Americans
PHOENIX - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today approved the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona's request to expand its "Indian area." The approval allows the tribe wider use of a HUD guaranteed home loan program that will help Native Americans throughout Arizona become homeowners.
"The Pascua Yaqui Tribe joins tribes in Florida and Wisconsin in using HUD's recent expansion of the Section 184 Loan Guarantee program to increase the number of Native American homeowners outside reservation boundaries. 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 Pascua Yaqui Tribe may now assist Native Americans obtain home loans throughout the state of Arizona - not just Pascua Yaqui tribal trust land. Particularly important to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, in addition to the New Pascua Reservation, they will now be able to provide Section 184 loans to Indians residing within their traditional communities, including Old Pascua, Marana, Barrio Libre, and Guadalupe.
"This program has already helped thousands of Indian families purchase or rehabilitate their existing homes," said HUD Assistant Secretary Michael Liu, who announced the approval today with Pascua Yaqui chairwoman Herminia Frias at the tribal offices in Guadalupe, Arizona. "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."
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.
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 2,159 loans guaranteed with a dollar-value of approximately $216 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 espanol.hud.gov.