NPH arranges 44 home financings on Navajo

Mark Fogarty
3/23/05

ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. - Last year was a busy one for the Navajo Partnership
for Housing. According to its annual report, the non-profit arranged 44
home financings and did 1,288 homebuyer education orientations for Navajo
families hoping to become homeowners.

Its annual production included 238 individual counseling sessions, 283
homebuyer class graduates and 57 families referred to lenders. The
homebuyer education includes both pre-purchase and post-purchase
counseling.

In 2004, "NPH launched a new line of home renovation loans for families who
have major renovation needs, funded by the Rural Housing and Economic
Development program within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development," according to the report.

The nonprofit works with the HUD 184 guaranteed American Indian mortgage
loan, "conventional" loans eligible for purchase by mortgage agency Fannie
Mae, USDA Rural Development 502 Direct and Guaranteed loans and loans to
veterans.

NPH may also make or arrange down payments, closing cost assistance or
principal reduction for Navajo families, ranging from $5,000 to $12,000.

In addition, NPH last year graduated its first financial literacy class.
This was a class of six Navajo women who attended classes held for seven
weeks by Lanalle Smith, education and training specialist, and James Perry,
training associate.

Graduates learn personal financial management skills and can start
Individual Development Accounts. Each dollar they deposit in an IDA will be
matched by $3 through HUD's RHED program to a maximum of $4,000 towards
homeownership. RHED provides a total of $400,000 for this effort.

NPH also has a program to develop a real estate market on the Navajo
through buying, rehabbing and selling properties.

Besides the headquarters in St. Michaels, NPH maintains a subsite in
Shiprock, N.M.

The firm has arranged more than $7.6 million in financing in more than 200
separate transactions to date.

NPH treasurer Jeff Howle, president of Citizens Bank of Farmington, N.M.,
reported that for 2004 NPH had assets of $1.19 million and liabilities and
fund balance of the same amount. That's down a little from 2003, when
assets were $1.32 million.

Revenues came in below expenses for 2004 by $93,388, as revenues of $1.2
million were offset by expenses of $1.29 million. Revenues were flat to
2003 but expenses were higher. These included about $60,000 more in
salaries and about $175,000 in program and operating expenses.
Administrative expenses, though, were down by $88,000.

NPH has been nationally recognized as one of two "one-stop mortgage
centers" in Indian country. (The other is located on the Pine Ridge, S.D.
reservation of the Oglala Lakota tribe.) Its mission statement is to
"provide innovative and flexible financing opportunities on or near the
Navajo Nation and empower Navajo families with new knowledge, skills and
understanding which will enable them to build, buy or renovate a home."

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