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Native Americans to Receive More Financing Options for Affordable Housing

Freddie Mac, in partnership with U.S. Native American communities, has announced the launch of a new mortgage product, HeritageOne, which aims to provide affordable financing options for single-family homes on Tribal lands in addition to rural areas in surrounding communities. 

In addition, this expanded financing will be accompanied by financial counseling and other resources for tribes, with an emphasis placed on first-time homebuyers. 

“With HeritageOne, we are again breaking new ground in our efforts to safely and responsibly expand opportunities in traditionally underserved communities,” said Sonu Mittal, Single-Family Senior Vice President of Acquisitions at Freddie Mac. “Our commitment to make home possible for Native American families not only requires long-term planning and prudent execution, but strong partnerships with industry members and tribal leaders. Through this collaboration, we can help create more affordable mortgage options in tribal lands and rural areas.” 

This call to action was dictated by Freddie Mac’s 2022-2024 Duty To Serve Plan, which details the company’s commitment to provide housing support for tribal members in rural tracts within Indian Country. 

“The limited access to affordable mortgage financing options has affected our communities for far too long and it has impacted the ability of our members to build generational wealth through homeownership,” said Tawney Brunsch, Executive Director of Lakota Funds, the first-ever Native community development financial institution on tribal lands. “HeritageOne can help break down these walls, providing greater access to responsible homeownership and broader economic opportunities through financial counseling for our historically underserved communities. We look forward to making HeritageOne widespread in tribal lands.” 

Qualifications to use HeritageOne include: 

  • At least one borrower must be an enrolled member of a federally recognized Native American tribe who will occupy the property as their primary residence. 
  • Regarding tribal eligibility, a federally recognized Native American tribe that has either entered into a memorandum of understanding with Freddie Mac or is listed in HUD’s most recent Section 184 Participating Tribes List is considered eligible. (Note: The mortgaged premises must be located in the tribal area of an eligible Native American tribe.) 
  • For purchase transaction mortgages where all occupying borrowers are first-time homebuyers, at least one occupying borrower must complete a homeownership education program before the mortgage’s note date. 

Click here for more information on HeritageOne, which includes tips for borrowers and lenders alike. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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