HUD Expands Affordable Housing In Indian and Alaska Native Regions

by Heindrick So
October 13th, 2008

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development launched a new program late last week that would allow Indian tribes and Alaska Native Regional Corporations to issue bonds and secure loans towards more affordable housing opportunities for Native Americans. This announced program would encourage private investment for more affordable financing opportunities in these specific regions.  According to the assistance secretary for the HUD’s Office of Native American Program, “this program will give these communities the financial boost they need to meet their housing development needs”. 

Background Information
HUD and FHA have been making key adjustments to make sure affordable housing is made possible for all individuals; especially minorities and low income Americans.  The office of Public and Indian Housing has been managing programs like these since the U.S. Housing Act of 1937; since then, it has provided over 1.3 million households with affordable housing options. 

This new program will begin making moves before the end of the year as HUD will sponsor workshops for specific tribes, leaders, and financial institutions. Below is an excerpt from what will be covered in these workshops and program developments:

“HUD specialists will discuss the essential tools needed in order to leverage funds and participate in the program, including acquiring needs assessments, critical partnerships, development models, tribal stakeholder approval, tribal bond financing partners, risk evaluation, cash flow, and debt servicing.

Participants will also be introduced to leveraging concepts such as understanding credit ratings; raising capital through municipal bond markets; evaluating benefits of taxable and tax exempt transactions; and structuring projects that layer federal funds with private capital. Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME funds, Affordable Housing Program dollars from the Federal Home Loan Bank system, and low interest loans and grants from State Housing Finance Agencies are some of the equity resources that make the development of affordable housing viable.”

For those of you who may be affected by this program, here are two additional resources that you may find helpful: 

FHA & HUD  – Office of Native American Programs

HUD – Office of Public and Indian Housing Homepage

For the full story, visit HUDs official press release 

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