HUD No. 07-022
February 27, 2007
HUD SECRETARY HIGHLIGHTS MORE ASSISTANCE FOR NATIVE AMERICAN HOUSING
Jackson addresses National Congress of American Indians and stresses HUD Indian programs that increase homeownership
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today reaffirmed President Bush's "commitment to ensure that American Indians have access to all the opportunities of this great land" in a speech to the National Congress of American Indians. Jackson outlined several programs in the President's Fiscal Year 2008 budget proposal that will help thousands more Indian families share in the dream of homeownership and take advantage of HUD programs that invest in Indian country.
"At HUD, we are committed to partnering with you to create and sustain strong Native American communities through creative and effective housing and community development programs. Homeownership and the ability to build equity in one's home is an important component in the development of strong communities everywhere, including on tribal lands," Jackson said.
To address the lack of mortgage capital in Indian country, Jackson discussed HUD's Section 184 Loan Guarantee program, which addresses the lack of mortgage lending for Native Americans and gives their families the opportunity to purchase their own homes. Created in 1992, 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 that are purchasing homes.
In 2006, the Section 184 Program guaranteed 1,138 single-family loans to Native American homebuyers, which represents a $190 million investment in Indian country. This represents an 80 percent increase in the number of loans guaranteed over 2005.
This program, which will support $367 million in loan guarantee authority in FY2008 - a $251 million increase over the enacted FY 2006 Budget - can also be used to rehabilitate existing homes, build new homes and refinance higher interest rate loans.
"By using homeownership and the development of affordable housing as vehicles to attract other sources of capital, we can contribute to the growth of Native American communities...We encourage tribes to pursue opportunities such as low-income housing tax-credits and other federal and state programs, and to seek partnerships with the private sector. The results will be more homes for your people," Jackson added.
To increase the housing supply further among our country's Native American population, Jackson said the President's Budget request also provides $627 million for the Indian Housing Block Grant Program to develop new housing units, which represents a $3 million increase over the FY 2006 enacted Budget.
If more Native Americans are going to share in the American Dream, it is critical they receive a quality education. HUD's Office of University Partners awards grants to Tribal colleges and universities to equip, renovate, and expand their facilities to provide these needed services to the community, including health programs, job training, and economic development activities.
The FY 2008 proposed budget provides $25 million, a $5 million increase over the FY 2006 enacted Budget, for the University Partnership Grant program to assist minority colleges and universities that engage in a wide range of community development activities.
"This Administration is deeply committed to honoring the principle of government-to-government relations with Indian tribes, and we are working hard to get better results, and to be more understanding of local needs and experiences... Working together, we can continue to prove that the American Dream is something available to everyone in every neighborhood in this country," Jackson conclwuded.
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, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.