HUD No. 05-061
April 27, 2005
HUD APPROVES INDIAN AREA EXPANSION FOR FIVE TRIBES
Homeownership opportunities increase for Penobscot Indian Nation, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Pala Band of Mission Indians and Yerington Paute Tribe
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today approved the request of two Northeastern, one Southern Plains and two Southwestern tribes to expand their "Indian areas" solely for the purpose of HUD's Section 184 lending. The approval allows these tribes wider use of a HUD guaranteed home loan program that will help Native Americans throughout Maine, Mass., Kan., Calif. and Nev. to 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 at HUD's Headquarters in Washington. "These approvals 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 Penobscot Indian Nation and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) Indians will expand their respective Indian areas to include the entire state of Maine and Massachusetts. The Citizen Potawatomi Nation will expand its Indian area to include the entire state of Kansas. The Pala Band of Mission Indians will expand their service area to include the entire state of California and the Yerington Paute Tribe's Indian area will now include the entire state of Nevada.
These tribes join tribes in Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, and Colorado that are 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.
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 2,254 loans guaranteed with a dollar-value of approximately $227 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.