2015 Annual Housing Conference a Success!

Much shared and learned at the Coalition’s events during conference.

The South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition had another successful year at the South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) Annual Housing Conference in Pierre. Highlights of the conference included:

  • A terrific planning session
  • Five workshops through our Native Homeownership Track
  • Special sessions on impact tracking and Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate’s new risk mitigation pool

It was also wonderful to see one of the Coalition’s founders, Elsie Meeks, honored by the SDHDA through the “Friend of Housing Award”! Coalition members are excited about what we can accomplish as we move forward together.


Summary of Native Conference Events

Strategic Planning Check-in

Over seventy Coalition partners attended our one-day “Strategic Planning Check-in” pre-conference session on Monday, October 26th. Partners spent the day discussing the benefits of the Coalition, revisiting the Coalition’s original strategic plan, looking at committee accomplishments and future milestones, learning about baseline data collection efforts, and exploring different key issues, including income-generation strategies to promote the Coalition’s sustainability, how to take communication efforts to the next level, long-term impacts the Coalition is working to achieve, and organizational structure options.

Risk Mitigation Pool – Memorandum of Understanding Signing

On Monday, October 26th, J.C. Crawford, Executive Director of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Housing Authority and Bruce Jones, Interim State Director of USDA/Rural Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding creating a “risk mitigation pool” to offset the risk of foreclosure for loans originated on trust land. Through this initiative, the Sisseton Wahpeton tribe will purchase any loans at risk of foreclosure and re-sell the home to another qualified tribal member. Coalition members interested in learning more about the risk mitigation pool participated in a Coalition discussion Tuesday morning, where the different partners explained the new initiative and its creation in more detail.

Impact Tracking Working Session

On Tuesday, October 27th, homeownership practitioners participated in an impact tracking session, discussing impacts that we will be tracking to document the impact of the Coalition, and providing feedback on a data collection tool developed by Sweet Grass Consulting.

Native Homeownership Track

Coalition members also participated in five workshops through the Native Homeownership Track, focusing on a conversation with funders, navigating the leasehold process, understanding housing needs assessments, working with contractors to increase housing stock on reservations, and leveraging “lump sum” payments to increase Native American homeownership. These workshops were designed by our Coalition committees, and led, in large part, by Coalition members.

Post-Conference Debriefing Session

Coalition members gathered at the conclusion of the conference to reflect on the Coalition’s events over the week and look ahead to what lies on the horizon for 2016. Members committed to completing leasehold and homebuilding process flowcharts currently in progress, reaching out to tribal leaders, conducting an inspector certification training, and sharing the work of the Coalition on a regional and national level.