Coalition Members Learn How to Integrate Coaching into Homebuyer Readiness Programs

In November, 17 practitioners in the Native homeownership field completed a three-day training where they learned about new financial coaching methods to integrate into their programs. The training, hosted by the Coalition and co-facilitated by CNM Ingenuity and Seven Sisters Community Development Group, focused on a coaching model that is designed to empower clients. Different from the traditional case management model where practitioners advise clients, coaching asks powerful questions so that the client can identify their own goals and create their own path to attain those goals.

“This approach reminds me of how our elders talk to us. They allow silence and reflection so you know what you need to do,” says Vickie Oldman John of Seven Sisters who helped facilitate the training.

Training participants learned how to avoid reacting to crises along with several important components of coaching, such as whole body listening and personal self-talk. They also participated in several interactive exercises where they were able to put their new skills to the test.

“Learning the tools to be a financial coach has been an exciting process. It forces you to think outside the box to come up with creative questions,” says Kimberly Claymore from Cheyenne River Housing Authority.

The training also included a segment on how to integrate the coaching model into an organizational culture. This segment allowed participants to brainstorm ideas and develop plans on how to use this new method in their work with clients.

“Financial coaching is something I’ve been interested in since I began my job as an Individual Development Account coach. I plan to put my financial coaching training to immediate use,” said Elaine MatoTama Hece from the Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housing on Pine Ridge.

The financial coaching training was inspired out of a need expressed by the Coalition’s Homebuyer Readiness Committee who established it as a milestone to complete in 2017. All training participants received text book and a financial calculator.

Tribal Leaders Support Coalition’s Policy Recommendations

At its December meeting, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association​ adopted two resolutions in support of the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coaltion’s policy recommendations to federal policymakers.

The first resolution supported legislative amendments to the US Department of Veterans Affairs Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program to improve homeownership opportunities for Native veterans on Indian reservations in South Dakota.

The second resolution supported other broader homeownership recommendations including:

  • Support for the implementation of the USDA Rural Development 502 home loan relending pilot
  • Funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Housing Improvement Program
  • Improvements to the HUD Section 184 loan guarantee program to increase deployment on trust land
  • Exploring new partnerships with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of their Duty to Serve implementation plans

The Coalition appreciates the support of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier, who introduced the resolutions. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association and South Dakota’s tribal leadership and Tribal Veteran Service Officers to promote these policy changes.

Coalition to Launch Round II of Housing Needs Studies

With support from the South Dakota Housing Development Authority, the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition (Coalition) will be facilitating housing needs studies (studies) in two small tribal communities in South Dakota. Under the program guidelines, eligible tribal communities must have a population of 10,000 or less. The size of the community/reservation will determine whether one specific community or the broader reservation is assessed. Work to conduct these studies will start by January 1, 2018, and studies will be completed by June 30, 2018.

These studies will play an important role in effective planning for future housing efforts. The study for each community will include the following data elements: existing housing stock, housing issues, homeownership information, information on housing providers and programs, potential barriers to homeownership, demographics, economics, and recommendations.

In facilitating these housing needs studies, the Coalition will identify two tribal communities to be assessed (through an application – see link below). The Coalition will contract with Big Water Consulting, an experienced firm which has conducted prior studies, to carry out the assessments. Big Water Consulting will work closely with the communities to be assessed, and the sponsoring tribal organization must designate at least one staff member to assist the firm in conducting the assessment. It is critical that the sponsoring community dedicate sufficient time and attention to working with Big Water Consulting.

The total budget for each study will not exceed $20,000 per study. Support from the Coalition (provided by the South Dakota Housing Development Authority) will cover 50% of the cost of each study, for a maximum of $10,000 per study. Each selected community will be required to pay a cash match to cover the other half of the cost of its study (up to $10,000). There are no restrictions on the source of match funds; however, match funds must be provided in cash by January 1, 2018. Applicants will be asked to indicate potential sources of match as part of the application process.

Submitting Applications

To apply to participate in the housing needs study, interested communities should complete the following application. Applicants will be evaluated based on current homeownership efforts, involvement in the Coalition, plans to use information collected through the assessment, and ability to provide matching funds.

The application package should contain:

  • Completed application form (signed)
  • Scanned copy of governing body minutes or resolution authorizing application

Applications should be submitted by November 30, 2017 per the instructions in the application package.

Download Application Package