WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior and Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) today unveiled a multi-year agreement for Enterprise to support affordable housing, community development and homeownership within Tribal communities. Announced today in Washington, D.C. by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland as part of the White House Tribal Nations Summit, the partnership will support Native-led, community-based solutions to the affordable housing crisis that uniquely impacts Indian Country.
“With this partnership, the federal government and Enterprise are taking a step forward in not just supporting Tribal communities but partnering with them to create more affordable homes,” said Tonya Plummer, director of Native American housing programs at Enterprise. “For far too long, a lack of coordination among the constellation of players in Native housing has meant a litany of missed opportunities across Tribal communities. With its unique blend of capital markets and community development, Enterprise is poised to help Native partners and the Interior Department untangle the complex challenges that have historically constrained affordable housing development throughout Indian Country.”
Native American communities face manifold challenges when it comes to building, maintaining and preserving affordable rental and owned homes. In recent years, Native communities themselves have created new pathways to credit, capital and financial services that have often been lacking. Historically there’s been little coordination among federal agencies – that have a trust obligation to Native communities – and financial institutions, nonprofits and the philanthropic sector to more equitably extend resources and investments to Tribal communities.
“At the Department of the Interior we have a solemn duty to honor and strengthen the federal government’s nation-to-nation relationships with Tribes. Today’s announcement reaffirms that commitment and will bring increased and much needed resources to Indigenous communities,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
As part of the agreement announced Wednesday, Enterprise will join with the Department of the Interior Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs to engage with stakeholders to better leverage resources to spur tribally-led community development; develop best practices and tools for sustainable homeownership programs within Tribal communities; provide new resources to Tribes interested in forging Tribal-public-private partnerships; and offer guidance to the philanthropic and private sectors interested in engaging with Tribal Nations.
“Enterprise has long supported affordable and culturally relevant housing on tribal lands and rural communities. Today’s announcement is further evidence that, through deeper coordination with federal agencies, private business and nonprofits, Tribal governments can chart a new course for affordability,” said Jacqueline Waggoner, president of Enterprise’s Solutions division. “We know that the relationship between Tribal Nations and the U.S. government is essential, as is establishing new networks of Tribal-public-private partnerships that create stronger futures for Native communities.”
The agreement between the Department of the Interior and Enterprise, initially slated to run through June 2024, will include an analysis of existing housing, homeownership and community development projects among Tribal Nations; engagements with private capital to increase understanding of Tribal sovereignty and housing disparities across Indian country; and trainings, technical assistance and capacity building activities.
About Enterprise Community Partners
Enterprise is a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. We support community development organizations on the ground, aggregate and invest capital for impact, advance housing policy at every level of government, and build and manage communities ourselves. Since 1982, we have invested $54 billion and created 873,000 homes across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – all to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging. Join us at enterprisecommunity.org.