South Dakota congressional delegation urges United States Department of Agriculture to continue home loan program on tribal land

Pictured: Senator John Thune meeting with a group of South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition members at his office in Washington, DC in March 2018.(Photo: South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition)

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USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue pushed to allocate additional funding

News Release

South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition

Three members of the United States Congress – Senator John Thune (R-SD), Senator Michael Rounds (R-SD), and Representative Dusty Johnson (D-SD) – urged United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to allocate additional funding to continue the 502 Relending Home Loan Program on tribal land in South Dakota.

Through this program, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development collaborated with two Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to increase access to Section 502 Direct Home Loans in Indian Country. The program was highly successful, deploying nearly $2 million in mortgage loans on two South Dakota Indian reservations in less than a year – about three times the amount deployed in the previous decade. The two Native community development financial institutionss participating in the program – Four Bands Community Fund on the Cheyenne River Reservation and Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial on the Pine Ridge Reservation – estimate a growing pipeline of more than $3 million for Section 502 Direct Home Loans.

“As demand for homeownership strengthens amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the continuation of the pilot program would help more tribal families escape overcrowded housing situations and achieve their goals of homeownership,” said Sharon Vogel, executive director of the Cheyenne River Housing Authority and co-chair of the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition’s policy committee.

“We really appreciate Senator Thune’s leadership and the ongoing support from our South Dakota congressional delegation,” added J.C. Crawford, Chief Executive Manager of CBJ Producers, LLC and co-chair of the Coalition’s policy committee. “They understand that through this partnership with United States Department of Agriculture, Native community development financial institutionss are in the best place to get affordable 502 mortgage capital into tribal communities. Lakota Vogel at Four Bands, Colleen Steele at Mazaska and their lending teams are doing great work on the frontlines assisting their clients to navigate the homeownership process on trust land.”

A copy of the letter from the South Dakota congressional delegation can be viewed HERE.

About the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition

The South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition was born out of a need to expand homeownership opportunities for Native Americans in the state of South Dakota. Created in 2013, the Coalition is a diverse group of agencies, institutions, and organizations that works to increase homeownership opportunities for South Dakota’s Native people to build strong and healthy communities. Its growing group of members includes representatives of South Dakota’s tribes, federal and state agencies, tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs), nonprofit organizations, housing developers, lenders, and community development financial institutions. The South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition works to increase Native homeownership rates by strategically leveraging knowledge and resources among stakeholders and other key entities. More information about the Coalition can be found at www.sdnativehomeownershipcoalition.org.

South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition, SDNHC logo
(Image: South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition)
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