Insuror to build home on Cheyenne River

Mark Fogarty
4/25/01

EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. - PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. plans to build a home for a tribal family on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservation this summer - in a week from start to finish.

PMI, based in San Francisco, is set to do the project between June 16 and 23, in six days of building and dedicating the home on the final day.

The mortgage insurance company is working in conjunction with the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity.

In returning to Eagle Butte, PMI chief executive Roger Haughton and his crew of PMI employees will be completing a circle he started six years ago with the "Jimmy Carter Work Project." Former President Carter and Habitat put up two dozen homes on the reservation in the summer of 1995.

Haughton and PMI employees built one of those houses, and he said the process started him on the road to becoming an advocate for mortgage lending in Indian country. Although his firm is not a mortgage lender, its services in insuring loans for those who cannot afford a 20 percent down payment have facilitated millions of home loans.

Haughton said PMI has made commitments to insure $100 million of mortgages in Indian country, to 13 tribes under the firm's emerging markets initiative, headed by Taia Lockhart.

Included are five tribes in Oklahoma where there are no reservations though in the past year, the firm committed to facilitating housing on tribal homelands, including those of the Navajo and the Ute.

Haughton accompanied former President Bill Clinton on his trip to the Pine Ridge reservation of the Oglala Lakota in 1999. Haughton said he wants to build a house on Pine Ridge, as well.

He also would like to do something on the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico.

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