Dallas FHLB district bank funds 350 units of Indian housing
DALLAS ? The Federal Home Loan Bank here has provided $3 million in gap financing to 17 American Indian housing projects in its district, helping to construct more than 300 homes.
The 17 Indian projects, all but two of them in New Mexico, have received a total of $2.92 million in grants from the district bank's Affordable Housing Program since 1995, said Sonia Brown, a spokesperson for the FHLB. (The other two projects are in Louisiana and Arizona.)
New Mexico is the state in the FHLB district that has the most Indian tribes. The Dallas office of the bank also covers Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana.
Ten of the grants have supported single-family home ownership; five have gone for single-family rentals, and two for multi-family rentals, according to data supplied by Ms. Brown. The projects have funded the construction or financing of 350 units of housing.
Since Affordable Housing money is typically "gap" financing to fill a hole that other funding sources don't reach, the district bank's $3 million has probably supported somewhere around ten times that amount of housing.
Amounts have varied from $40,000 for four single-family units at the Taos pueblo to $400,000 for a 50-unit single-family development on the Isleta pueblo.
Brown, who was the FHLB's community investment officer in the early 1990s, said the District Bank back then began to investigate the barriers and opportunities for Indian housing projects.
Then, with the help of District Bank members like First National Bank of Farmington, N.M. (now a part of Wells Fargo Bank) and its Community Reinvestment Act officer, Cathy Coleman, Affordable Housing awards began to go to projects in the Four Corners area. (Member banks must sponsor local applications for Affordable Housing funding.)
First National sponsored two of the first funded projects, $150,000 for the Shiprock CDC to build 30 single-family units, and $184,000 for Tohatchi Area of Opportunity to build 12 units of multi-family rental housing.
Brown did not know whether the Dallas district bank has supported the most Indian housing since the program was established in 1990. The Federal Home Loan Banks of Seattle, San Francisco and Des Moines are also active in Indian housing, she said. (There are a total of 12 Federal Home Loan Banks around the country.)
Two projects approved for funding in the last round of 2001 were $310,000 for the Tsigo Bugeh village at the San Juan Pueblo in New Mexico, and $50,000 for the Tunica-Biloxi Housing Authority of Marksville, La.
The Tunica-Biloxi grant will assist 15 members of that tribe to become homeowners. It will be used with money loaned by Hibernia National Bank of New Orleans, which sponsored the project to the Dallas FHLB, and will go towards down-payment and closing costs. Hibernia will offer borrowers home-ownership counseling and job training. Total cost of the project is $1,315,000.
At San Juan, Wells Fargo Bank, New Mexico, sponsored the Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority's project to build 40 multi-family rental units on tribal trust land. The money will be used for construction on the first affordable Native American housing project in New Mexico to use HOME funds. Other sources of funding on the $3.8 million project include Low Income Housing Tax Credits, money from the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, and funds from the tribe's NAHASDA (Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act) block grant.
At the Isleta Pueblo, the largest development at 50 units, Affordable Housing money is being used for down-payment and closing cost assistance. That project broke ground last summer. Bank of Albuquerque, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and the federal Rural Housing Service are set to fund the 50 mortgages through the RHS 502 and the Housing and Urban Development section 184 programs.
Total financing on the project, which plans to build about ten scattered-site houses and a subdivision of 40 more, is $4.5 million, said Deborah Webster, state Native American coordinator of the Enterprise Foundation.
Construction financing for the subdivision is coming from the Pueblo itself ($900,000) and its housing authority ($700,000). Added to this is a $145,000 grant from the HUD Rural Housing and Economic Development program, and $500,000 of private funding, 50 percent guaranteed by the NMMFA, according to Webster. Construction money for the ten scattered site homes is coming from the Pueblo, the RHS 502 program, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, according to Webster.
Another notable development to receive project money is White Sands Village on the Pojoaque Pueblo outside of Santa Fe. This project, sponsored by Century Bank, FSB, received $270,000 towards a development of 30 units of single-family rental units.
This project became the first in the country for which federal housing agency Fannie Mae bought a Department of Housing and Urban Development Title VI loan in the amount of $435,000, also extended by Century Bank. The significance is that a "secondary" market (where these loans are bought and sold) was created, helping to increase the amount of funding available for these types of projects.