Buying or building a home can be a frustrating and difficult time, especially on Tribal trust lands. Although becoming a homeowner rests on the family or the person planning on buying a home, there are ways that the tribe can also help tribal members become home owners. Listed below are some ways that tribes can help support their members, either through education, incentives, or development.
A great way to make areas look better for inspections as well as improving quality of life, tribes can assist with infrastructure development on their tribal lands or working with the federal government to improve structures. This could include providing electricity, water and sewer, roads, and even sometimes gift money so members can get this covered towards these projects.
Home Buyer Counseling
One of the best ways that a tribe can help members become home owners is to educate them. Previously discussed in our post Native American Homebuyer Resources, we discussed the different programs out there to help Native families become educated about the process of the and ins and outs of buying a home. Counseling is one of the best ways that tribes can assist their members to become home owners. Also, tribes are able to give a more unique class, program, and grant for the members that are relevant to their circumstances.
Green Building Incentives
Offering financial incentives to tribal members in order to go ‘green’ would be a great way to help not only the tribe and members, but the environment as well. Providing green building incentives will help alleviate some of the costs of renovating or building a home on tribal members. These incentives can also have a huge impact on how much home owners pay in utility bills, as well as their effect on the tribe as a whole.
In order to qualify for HUD 184 on tribal lands, members must establish a leasehold interest on the land they wish their home to be located. HUD 184 will require a copy of the lease agreement, which states that the tribe retains the ownership of the land but will provide a long term agreement to allow members to mortgage the property. Typically, this lease will last anywhere from 25-50 years and approved by the BIA. Keeping detail records of leases and having an efficient and quick way to create and execute the leases will help members become home owners.