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Federal Housing Programs and Issues

Public policies shape the path to homeownership. Here are some general policy recommendations that may improve homeownership opportunities across Indian Country.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Trust and Realty Services

Leasing and title issues pose significant challenges to homeownership and business development on tribal trust land for lenders, Native homebuyers, and businesses. Several of the most important elements of mortgage lending on trust lands requires Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) involvement.

BIA Contact Guide for Mortgage Lending (2016)

Office of Trust Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Comments from the National Native Homeownership Coalition / Center for Indian Country Development to the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the BIA Contact Guide to Expedite Processing of Mortgage Lending Documents (March 23, 2017)

Center for Indian Country Development

Letter from Center for Indian Country Development to Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney on the need to streamline leasing and titling processes to increase mortgage lending in Indian Country (September 26, 2018)

Center for Indian Country Development

Letter from U.S. Senator Thune, U.S. Senator Rounds, and Congressman Johnson on the Need to Expedite the BIA Title Status Report Certification Process to ensure compliance with Ginnie Mae requirements for HUD 184 Lenders  (March 6, 2019)

U.S. Congress

HUD 184 Loan Program

About 93% of HUD 184 mortgages are made to Native Americans living on fee lands (2018 data), bypassing most reservations with trust lands, which include a significant Native population. HUD’s Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Office is developing new regulations to meet the lending needs of Native homebuyers across Indian County, including ways to make the program more effective on trust lands.

Ginnie Mae Memorandum (APM 18-01) on the Mandatory Buyout of Loans Missing the Required Federal Agency or Guarantee from HUD 184 Loan Program (January 5, 2018)

Ginnie Mae

Comments from the National Native Homeownership Coalition / Center for Indian Country Development to the Housing and Urban Development Department Office of Native American Programs on increasing the effectiveness of the HUD 184 Loan Guarantee Program (April 29, 2018)

Center for Indian Country Development

Letter from U.S. Senator Thune, U.S. Senator Rounds, and Congressman Johnson on the Need to Expedite the BIA Title Status Report Certification Process to ensure compliance with Ginnie Mae requirements for HUD 184 Lenders  (March 6, 2019)

U.S. Congress

Duty to Serve

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank system. It also oversees the implementation of the Duty to Serve rule, a congressional mandate requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to facilitate a secondary market for mortgages of very low- and moderate-income families. In 2016, FHFA issued the Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan to improve the availability of home loans in three underserved markets:

  • Manufactured housing
  • Affordable housing
  • Rural housing

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s plans include a focus on securing a secondary market for Indian Country mortgages, a necessity for lenders to secure long-term and conventional financing for home loans on trust lands.

Fannie Mae Duty to Serve 2018-2020 Underserved Markets Plan

Freddie Mac Duty to Serve 2018-2020 Underserved Markets Plan

Duty to Serve Workshop Presentation National American Indian Housing Council Legal Symposium 2017 (2017)

Center for Indian Country Development

Letter from the Center for Indian Country Development on Recommendations to the Federal Housing Finance Agency on its proposed Duty To Serve Plans (2017)

Letter from the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition on Recommendations to the Federal Housing Finance Agency on its proposed Duty To Serve Plans (2017)

Community Reinvestment Act Modernization

Federal bank regulators are modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to encourage financial institutions to greater serve the credit needs of their communities, including mortgage lending.

U.S. Department of the Treasury Memorandum on Community Reinvestment Act Findings and Recommendations (April 3, 2018)

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Broadcast: OCC Issues ANPR on Modernizing CRA Regulations (August 29, 2018)

Native American Financial Officers Association

NAFOA (Native American Financial Officers Association) Proposal to Improve CRA’s Impact in Indian Country (November 6, 2018)

Native American Financial Officers Association

The Community Reinvestment Act: How Can We Preserve What Works and Make it Better? (March 29, 2019)

Governor Lael Brainard, Federal Reserve System, National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s Just Economy Conference