Front Row (L to R): Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation Executive Director Gary Cooper, Bank2 Sr. Vice President of Residential Construction for Native American Programs Nancy Bainbridge and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. Back Row (L to R): Native American liaison for the Office of Governor Mary Fallin, Jacque Secondine Hensley, and Tribal Council Speaker Tina Glory-Jordan.
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA — The Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation has secured funding for the tribe’s New Home Construction Program through a new arrangement with Bank2 of Oklahoma City. The new funding source allows the tribe to continue building homes through the HUD-Section 184 loan program.
The HACN closed on the first six Section-184 loans with Bank2 officials earlier this month. The Section-184 loan is offered to first-time Native American home buyers and to tribes and housing authorities. The program is also offered directly to Native American home buyers for purchase or refinance of their home loans.
“Financing the new home construction program through Section-184 loans allows our tribe to build more homes without having to rely on federal dollars,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “The Section-184 loan offers our tribe a fixed, low-interest rate, and a way for the tribe to build homes in a way that has never been done at this scale in Indian country.”
The first homes built in the New Home Construction Program were built with HACN construction funds. Obtaining funds through Section-184 loans with Bank2 will replenish the revolving construction fund as more homes are built.
“The HACN has worked hard to get to this point. The joint effort between the Housing Authority, Bank 2 and the HUD Loan Guarantee Office has paid off and we have now closed the first loans,” said Gary Cooper, executive director of the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation. “We are now on track to have many, many more homes constructed, providing much needed housing to Cherokee families. This is truly a wonderful day for the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee families.”
Bank2 is owned by the Chickasaw Nation and is one of the largest section 184 lenders in the country.
“We are very excited to be working with the Cherokee Nation on their initiative to build homes for their citizens throughout the tribe’s jurisdiction,” said Ross Alan Hill, Bank2 president and CEO. “We believe this initiative will set a precedent for all of Indian country with this arrangement.”
Individuals living in a newly constructed home have the option to assume the loan on the Cherokee Nation’s loan terms. If they choose not to assume the loan, title will be transferred to the individuals once the mortgage is paid off and HACN requirements have been met.
“The New Home Construction Program is allowing more Cherokee families to achieve the American dream and build equity,” said Tribal Council Speaker Tina Glory-Jordan. “With tighter and tighter budgets on our federal programs, we’ve got to think outside the box. This program is one way that we can leverage our resources and help Cherokee families achieve the American dream of homeownership. This will be one of our greatest programs and these new funding sources will prove to only expand on our success.”
Thanks to the New Home Construction Program established by Chief Baker in 2012, dozens of Cherokee families are now homeowners. This week, a call for bids was placed for another 50 homes to be built in Craig, Nowata, Rogers, Tulsa, Ottawa and Washington counties. In the coming months, home construction projects will be underway in every county of the Cherokee Nation’s tribal jurisdiction.
For more information on the New Home Construction Program, visit http://www.hacn.org/services/home-construction. Contractors interested in bidding on jobs can visit www.cherokeebids.org. Cherokee and Indian preference are given to TERO certified, Indian owned companies.