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News Release

Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations

The Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations (SCHHA) and its nonprofit the Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC) have partnered with 1st Tribal Lending to increase access to mortgages on Hawaiian home lands.

“This is truly historic,” said Iwalani Mcbrayer, Homestead Community Development Corporation board chair. “It’s a major step in exercising greater and greater sovereignty on our trust lands.” 

1st Tribal lending is a national mortgage lender that specializes in the HUD 184 home loan programs authorized for Indian Country and Hawaiian Home Lands under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA).  

“Many in our homesteads are aware that Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act provides annual federal appropriations to trust land areas to develop affordable housing for low to moderate income native peoples,” said Robin Puanani Danner, Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations elected chairwoman. “Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act also authorized one of the best mortgage loan products in the country, specific to American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians to purchase homes, to renovate homes, to build homes and to refinance existing mortgages. Through this partnership, native Hawaiians will have yet another option to get mortgage financing on our unique trust lands under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920.”

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United States Department of Housing and Urban Development 184 mortgages only require a 2.25% down payment, has a low interest rate, and has more favorable terms on mortgage insurance premiums than many other types of mortgages.

“We are excited about this major milestone for all of our enrolled members in the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations,” Danner remarked. “Mahalo to the Homestead Community Development Corporation staff, and it’s board leadership for bringing access to mortgage capital to our trust lands, and of course to 1st Tribal Lending for building our capacity to help families on our trust lands to apply for mortgages.” 

Mortgage loan assistance will be available at Homestead Community Development Corporation starting June 1, 2020, staffed by its loan fund team. Homestead Community Development Corporation is a Native Community Development Financial Institution (Native CDFI) with a team of staff and partners that are experts on the Hawaiian home land trust, already making consumer, business, farming and ranching loans on Hawaiian Home Lands. 

“This initiative with Hawaiians is a very important effort for 1st Tribal Lending,” said Juel Burnette, Branch Manager from his offices in South Dakota. “We know that access to capital in Indian Country is paramount to our success as Indian people, and this effort makes sure that Native Hawaiians have more and more options to access capital on their trust lands too.”

For more information, email Founded in 1987, Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations is the oldest and largest Hawaiian Homes Commission Act beneficiary organization serving trust lands in Hawaii. Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations is governed by a council serving 4-year terms, elected by its enrolled members.

Homestead Community Development Corporation is the only Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) exclusively dedicated to Hawaiian home land communities and beneficiaries. Homestead Community Development Corporation received its first award from the U.S. Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund in 2019, and aside from mortgage products with 1 Tribal Lending, Homestead Community Development Corporation originates consumer, transportation and micro enterprise business loans, including to homestead farmers and ranchers.

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