Promote Homeownership in Indian Country
Local initiatives, with the support of federal policies and national nonprofits, address unique barriers to homeownership in Indian Country.
- Infrastructure development and home construction and rehabilitation increase the supply of affordable, quality housing in areas where housing conditions are generally poor.
- Downpayment assistance programs, in tandem with financial literacy or homebuyer education courses, help families achieve and sustain homeownership with low levels of default.
Residents of Indian Country face a diverse set of housing challenges, including overcrowding, high cost burdens, and a lack of affordable, high-quality housing options for both renters and homeowners (see "Obstacles, Solutions, and Self-Determination in Indian Housing Policy"). Tribal governments, tribally designated housing entities, community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and other stakeholders are addressing these challenges by rehabilitating and constructing rental and owner-occupied housing, fostering credit availability, and providing financial education. Along with the development of affordable rental housing, the promotion of homeownership in Indian Country, a goal valued by many Native Americans, promises to alleviate the pressing need for suitable homes. A number of barriers, however, make homeownership unattainable for many residents of Indian Country. The unique legal framework governing land ownership and mortgage transactions in Indian Country restricts credit access and limits the viability of local housing markets. Additional challenges associated with the remoteness of many tribal reservations and trust lands, such as higher construction costs and insufficient infrastructure, further impede development. Finally, high rates of poverty and unemployment, low incomes and savings, and weak credit histories make securing loans difficult for many potential homebuyers.