New Final Rule Aims To Boost Native American Homeownership

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a final rule aimed at boosting homeownership for Native American families.

The final rule “clarifies the rules governing Tribal participation in the program” while establishing underwriting requirements, rules on the closing and endorsement process, stronger and clearer servicing requirements, as well as other updated standards. It is designed to increase lender participation in the Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee program and strengthen regulations to align with its current needs.

HUD says it worked closely with Tribal leaders to create a program that would genuinely boost homeownership in their communities. The new regulations increase borrower protections and “encourage new lender participation.”

“Homeownership is key to building generational wealth. By enhancing the Section 184 program, we are ensuring homeownership and wealth-building opportunities are available to Native American borrowers,” said HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman.

Section 184 loans can be used for new construction, rehabilitation, the purchase of an existing home, or refinancing. They are known for their flexible underwriting requirements, minimal down payments, and reduced fees.

Industry experts responded positively to the rule.

“The Section 184 program is a vital tool for so many Native American homebuyers. The new regulations will bring more clarity and predictability to this important program, and we applaud the Administration for the improvements and their efforts to work closely with Tribal leaders and other stakeholders. There is still more that must be done to modernize the program and we look forward to working collaboratively with HUD on future improvements,” said Miki Adams, president of CBC Mortgage Agency. 

CBC Mortgage is a correspondent investor that is wholly owned by the Cedar Band of Paiutes in Utah.

Native communities have been boxed out of homeownership across the U.S. as the result of discrimination tracing back to treaties negotiated between the Federal Government and sovereign Native nations in the 19th century that stripped them of their land.

Since then, Native people have been systemically blocked out of the homebuying process and were even at one point excluded from FHA lending opportunities.

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