Tribal Leaders Handbook on Homeownership
Indian Country connotes an enduring interconnection between land and people. It also is a complex web of historical, legal, and social forces that make it unnecessarily difficult to use trust lands to the benefit of their people. For several generations, housing stock on American Indian reservations has been limited and deficient, adding to the already dire housing crisis throughout Indian Country. Today, the strong demand for homeownership in Indian Country is driving renewed efforts to confront these barriers and unlock the potential of all reservation land. Tribal leaders across the country are at the forefront of this effort.
Thankfully, a good model already existed in "Designing and Operating Homeownership Programs on Tribal Lands", a manual prepared by the New Mexico Tribal Homeownership Coalition and published in 2016 by Enterprise Community Partners’ Native American Initiative. This Handbook expands on the Enterprise blueprint. It provides a comprehensive overview of the mortgage lending process, addresses challenges to homeownership on trust lands, and includes “best practice” case studies that show how tribes overcame those obstacles through innovation and perseverance to create homeownership in their communities.