Many indigenous people live in overcrowded, substandard housing conditions. This is largely a result of cascading legal decisions that treat reservation land differently from land on the free market. Tangled regulations and programs have made it hard to improve housing, while the land’s title status has made banks and investors hesitant to support these much-needed improvements.

Our work with Indian Country began nearly thirty years ago in New Mexico. With our Pueblo relatives at Ohkay Owingeh, we created a humble program that started out as a small loan fund for home repairs and upgrades. This was the seed that grew into the first Permanent Supportive Housing project and then to the first LIHTC project on tribal lands, paving the way for other investors to enter the market.

19x More Likely
to live without indoor plumbing on Tribal Lands
Highest Poverty Rates
Native American poverty is 2x the national average

In 2002, we hosted a Tribal Mortgage curriculum to support homeownership throughout the community. This guide was enhanced and became the CICD Mortgage Guide, which was updated in 2016. The Center for Indian Development then used our guide as the basis for a national handbook. Meanwhile, we championed TA on all fronts, focusing on homeownership on Trust Lands and promoting the HUD 184 loan. These efforts created a new frontier for fostering partnerships throughout Indian Country.

Our first permanent supporting housing development on a reservation was created in 2003. The project was called Dream Catcher Homes and was on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. In addition to housing, the program offered support and reunification of families experiencing homelessness. The project also demonstrated that Housing Credit projects on Native land were possible. Soon after, other intermediaries followed Enterprises' lead, resulting in more affordable units in Indian country.

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Bart Harvey and Bill Clinton shaking hands
In the late 1990s, we supported on a $100 million program to invest in affordable housing on tribal lands with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I remember being on Air Force One when Clinton went out as the first president to visit all the tribal chiefs. It was absolutely extraordinary to see the progress we had made.
Bart Harvey, Former Chairman of the Board & CEO (1985 -2007)

The Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership, or HEARTH ACT, was created in 2012 to cut through remaining red tape of BIA approval for land leases. Enterprise jumped into action right away, helping tribes navigate the act through trainings across our South Dakota and New Mexico homeownership coalitions.

This October we are launching a Native Advisory Council. This innovative Native-led council will gather a diverse and representational group of voices to help guide our capital, policy and programmatic work in support of Native Tribes. Under the expert guidance of these leaders, we will continue to improve our solutions better and support the needs of the communities we serve.

Since we began working with Native Tribes in 1997, our work has grown to support homeownership, multifamily rental, housing counseling and many other programs for Native American, Alaskan Native, and Hawaiian Native families and tribes. Today our nationwide programs include the Section 184 Loan Program, Indian Housing Block Grant, NAHASDA, Indian Community Development Block Grant, BIA & USDA infrastructure support, NAIHC and NCAI Housing Support and Technical Assistance like ONAP, CICD and NLC.

While we’ve come a long way, we know support for Native Housing is just as important today as it was 26 years ago. In 2013, Congress let authorization of the original NAHASDA bill expire. Since then, we have pushed for reauthorization. We are committed to supporting Native American Housing and self-determination and upward mobility for the next 40 years and beyond.

25+ Years
Working with Native Tribes across America
$990 Million
In grants, loans and equity on tribal lands nationwide
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Native American Homeowner site screenshot

FUNDER SPOTLIGHT

Freddie Mac

In 2020, Freddie Mac collaborated with Enterprise to create the Enhancing and Implementing Homeownership in Native Communities program, a new free curriculum designed to help build the capacity of housing practitioners and provide homeownership opportunities for Native Americans.

The course includes engaging tribal leaders to support homeownership, navigating land issues and other key aspects of making homeownership affordable across tribal lands.