$75 Million for Native American Housing: Here’s Why It Matters
In a recent article published by the Chickasaw Times, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has reportedly allocated over $75 million as Indian housing fund for 2018. The Five Civilized Tribes namely, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Muscogee Creek nations will utilize the housing allocation.
The approval of this federal budget brings good news to the tribes as it will soon be available according to the HUD Administrator of Native American Programs.
Considering there are more than 750,000 Native Americans in the country today, this fund is expected to reach those who needed it most. Moreover, an additional pool of $100 million is also available for housing budget augmentation.
A resolution seeks to expand the Sec 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee, a home mortgage program established in 1992 for all tribal citizens.
Hence, the $75 million fund comes as a long needed answer to the plight of other Native Americans who are currently not eligible for such home loans, because the program is not yet available in their areas. A low interest mortgage loan will help many Indian homebuyers to afford their first home.
Texas counties such as Dallas, Lamar, Collin, Fannin, and Grayson, do not have this mortgage product as of the moment. These counties on the Oklahoma border are experiencing economic growth, and government support for its Native American homebuyers will further propel the local housing industry.
The same goes for Arkansas. The tourist communities of Benton and Sebastian, as well as Washington and Crawford counties are yet to benefit from the Indian Home Loan Guarantee program.
If $75 million seemed like a huge amount, it is fair to say that the Native American communities very much deserve it. In fact, the Five Civilized Tribes are pushing for a comprehensive report so that through statistics, the public can see how much the tribes have helped in terms of economic growth. Oklahoma City University has already done a similar study in 2011, which proved that the tribes are “contributing billions of dollars to Oklahoma’s economy annually.”
Several months ago, it was reported on a separate article that the Inter-tribal Council (ITC) has passed resolutions to uphold its tribal sovereignty over the federal government.
Among such calls include retaining of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Housing Improvement Program. This is one of the most important allocations of the Indian Housing funds. Since 1962, this BIA program “serves the neediest of the needy who have substandard housing or no housing at all.” It provides Native Americans with funds for repairs, renovations, or replacement of substandard homes.
Amidst the concerns surrounding the Indian nations and the US government, one thing remains certain. The leaders of the tribal council will always seek to protect the rights of the Native American communities, and support all of its members.