A new South Dakota statewide coalition will support and promote homeownership in Native communities. Six of the state's nine Indian reservations, including six representatives of housing authorities, gathered at a recent session to provide critical input. Also in attendance was the South Dakota USDA Rural Development, South Dakota Housing Development Authority, and the Great Plains Native Asset Building Coalition.
"This meeting was a historic first step toward collectively working toward increased homeownership opportunities in Indian country," said Elsie Meeks, USDA Rural Development state director. "A coalition could support the partners on the ground, housing authorities, state, federal and tribal governments; all working towards not only homeownership but wealth building within Tribal communities."
An electronic poll revealed the most effective avenues for homeownership are to provide credit counseling and financial/home-buyer education. Many times the local Community Development Foundation Institution (CDFI) is the integral service provider. Lakota Funds Executive Director Tawny Brunsch, also the Great Plains Native Asset Building Coalition leader, supports the coalition: "Asset development and financial literacy are necessary tools on the journey to homeownership."
Read more on the USDA blog.