Home loan banks contribute $2.6 million to Indian projects

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WASHINGTON - Three of the nation's Federal Home Loan banks last year
granted a total of $2.6 million to help fund American Indian housing
projects.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle contributed the most, $1.7 million,
while the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas awarded $547,000 to Native
projects and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco gave out $466,000.

In addition, the San Francisco bank, whose district includes Arizona, cited
Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., for his efforts to assist Native housing in the
state last year.

The district bank noted that Renzi spearheaded the first-ever Congressional
housing hearing on reservation trust land last year, held on the Navajo
Nation.

It noted that Arizona tribes received more than $100 million in federal
housing assistance last year. However, most of that came from the tribes'
usual annual housing block grants from the Department of Housing and Urban
Development under NAHASDA (the Native American Housing Assistance and Self
Determination Act).

The banks, while part of a national cooperative system of 12 home loan
banks regulated here by the Federal Housing Finance Board, acted
independently of each other. They made the awards through the home loan
bank system's Affordable Housing Program, which mandates that 10 percent of
annual profits go towards funding affordable housing. Each bank makes two
sets of the competitive awards yearly if they have earned a profit.

The awards must be "sponsored" by a member of the district bank in
connection with a local developer's housing project. FHLB members include
banks, savings associations, credit unions and insurance companies. In
addition, they are intended as "gap" financing to support other funding
sources, not to finance the entire project.

In Seattle - typically the district bank that makes the most awards to
support Native housing - funding aided Native projects in Idaho,
Washington, Utah, Alaska and Hawaii. The district bank gives priority to
Native housing projects, and last year it made eight outright awards and
one alternate award.

In Alaska, member First National Bank Alaska received a $180,000 grant "to
assist the Interior Regional Housing Authority to construct six
single-family homes for first-time homebuyers. These homes will provide
housing for members of the tribes in the Doyon Region."

Wells Fargo Bank Northwest in Anchorage received $234,000 to help Cook
Inlet Housing Authority (an Alaska Native corporation) "construct 18
single-family homes for first-time homebuyers. Old units at the site will
be demolished in favor of these new homes."

First National Bank also obtained $323,964 to help Cook Inlet build 40 new
apartments for seniors in a project called Tyonek Terrace. Native people
will be eligible for 36 of the units. This is an "alternate" award.

In Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank secured $390,000 to help Hawaii Habitat for
Humanity build 30 single-family homes for first-time homebuyers. Fifteen of
them have been designated for Native Hawaiians.

The same bank got a separate $70,000 grant "to help Habitat for Humanity
Maui construct 10 single-family homes for first-time homebuyers who are
Native Hawaiian." As with the project above, Native families will
contribute sweat equity and receive homebuyer education.

In Idaho, Washington Mutual Bank of Seattle got $239,976 to assist the Nez
Perce Tribal Housing Authority construct 32 units for tribal members. Half
will be lease-to-own, and the other half will go to first-time buyers.

In Utah, Washington Mutual Bank got two grants last year: $69,990 to help
the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation Housing Authority construct 10
units of rental housing in a project called So-So Goi Meadows, and $19,990
to help the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Indian Reservation
rehabilitate three single-family homes. One of the three will be demolished
and built anew.

In Washington state, Sterling Savings Bank got $174,875 "to help the
Spokane Indian Housing Authority construct 25 lease-to-own single-family
homes" in Ford. The project is called NH Lane-Spokane Homes 1.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas has been active in Indian housing in
New Mexico, which is in its district. Last year, it made five AHP awards
for Native projects in the Land of Enchantment:

In Penasco, it awarded $84,000 for 14 ownership units to member Community
Bank. The project is sponsored by the Northern Pueblos Housing Authority.

In Picuris Pueblo, the same bank was awarded $120,000 for eight ownership
units in a project sponsored again by Northern Pueblos Housing Authority.

Bank of Albuquerque got two grants to aid housing developed by the San
Felipe Pueblo Housing Authority. They were $50,000 for 10 ownership units,
and $125,000 for 25 ownership units.

In Jemez Pueblo, the same bank sponsored the pueblo's housing authority for
$168,000 to help construct 12 single-family houses in the first phase of a
master planned community. The project is called Pueblo Place.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is funding two projects being
developed in Phoenix by Native American Connections, Inc. Both were
sponsored by Johnson Bank Arizona. The Sunrise Town Homes project received
$150,000 for 10 ownership units. The Carefree on North Central project
received $306,000 for 36 rental units.