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USDA Partners with Local Groups to Increase Homeownership Opportunities for Native Americans

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small announced today the Department is providing $4 million in loans to expand the Native American Relending Pilot program. Two Native Community Development Financial Institutions (NCDFIs) will use the loan funds to expand homeownership opportunities for Native Americans living on tribal lands in South and North Dakota.

“At USDA, we are committed to strengthening the futures of Native Americans,” Torres Small said. “We are proud to partner with expert organizations that help us continue to drive economic security and prosperity for rural people. This initiative underscores USDA’s commitment to ensuring that traditionally underserved groups have access to the programs and services that every community needs to thrive and prosper. USDA has helped provide homes for rural people since 1949. This partnership with Native Community Development Financial Institutions continues and strengthens that legacy.”

USDA is providing the funding under the Single Family Housing Direct Loan program. Through this program, USDA provides loans to NCDFIs, which relend the funds to eligible homebuyers to purchase homes on Native lands.

The Department will loan $1 million to Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial and $3 million to Four Bands Community Fund. Both organizations have extensive experience working with people in Native American communities. Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial and Four Bands Community Fund will also service the mortgage loans after they are made. Each NCDFI will provide 20% in matching funds.

In 2018, USDA lent $1.6 million to Four Bands Community Fund and Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial. Both NCDFIs have deep ties to the local communities. Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial is located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. It creates homeownership opportunities for the members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Four Bands Community Fund, headquartered in Eagle Butte, S.D., provides home mortgages and other financial products to businesses in South Dakota and North Dakota. Part of its service area includes the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota.

USDA has helped nearly 4 million rural residents purchase homes since the passage of the Housing Act of 1949. Homeownership rates on Native American lands have historically been lower than those for other communities. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit or contact the nearest USDA Rural Development state office.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. 

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