Coalition Continues Growing and Developing

On September 11-13, 2017, over 60 members of the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition gathered for our annual planning session and other activities held in conjunction with the South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s Annual Housing Conference in Pierre, South Dakota. The series of events provided a platform for our continued growth and development, as well as peer sharing and networking opportunities.

Coalition Planning Day – September 11, 2017

Attendees of our fourth annual planning day represented our diverse membership, and included Native and non-Native nonprofit organizations, Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs), tribal departments, federal agencies, state agencies, lenders, and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

The day’s full agenda included:

Preview of the Coalition’s “Native Homeownership is Possible”  video series

Coalition members had the opportunity to view and provide their feedback on the first two of a series of videos that the Coalition is developing to promote the message that “Native Homeownersip is Possible.”   Members’ feedback was very positive about the videos, which are being produced by David Cournoyer of Plain Depth Consulting and Jay Fishback of Northern Voyage Productions.   After watching the videos, Coalition members also shared suggestions bout how to launch the videos and what additional materials should accompany them.

Exploration of strategies to promote the Coalition’s long-term sustainability

Recognizing the importance of going beyond foundation support and diversify funding sources, Coalition members explored different  potential income generating strategies, including:

  • Membership dues
  • Registration fees
  • Holding a homeownership development summit
  • Producing a post-purchase curriculum
  • Reaching out to tribes for support
  • Creating a development corporation

Information sharing on the appraiser apprenticeship process

Brian Gatzke, an appraiser out of Brookings, SD, shared information about the appraiser apprenticeship process and requirements for certification.  Coalition members are excited to work with Brian and other partners to support appraiser candidates, and have formed a special subcommittee of the Physical Issues Committee to focus on this issue.  Next steps for this subcommittee include working to identify potential appraisal apprentice candidates and supervisors.

Information sharing on Enterprise Community Partners’ VISTA Program

Enterprise Program Director Vince Gallagher shared information about this program, which can place VISTA volunteers at Coalition member organizations.  Please stay tuned for a webinar with more information on program guidelines, what VISTA volunteers can do, and how to request a VISTA volunteer at your organization.

In-person Coalition committee meetings

During the planning session, Coalition members had a chance to hold in-person committee meetings to review progress over the past year, and set 2018 milestones. Select milestones that committees will be focusing on include:

Committee Select Milestones
Homebuyer Readiness
  • Coordinate wills clinics for homeowners
  • Conduct “how to implement” session
Funding and Finance
  • Use youtube and podcasts to share samples of successful funding applications and “how to” guidelines
  • Encourage more lenders to participate in the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Native American Homeownership Initiative (NAHI)
Physical Issues
  • Launch new appraiser apprenticeship subcommittee
  • Get one certified inspector on each reservation
  • Complete Homeownership Guide for each reservation with tribal and federal information
  • Provide training for TVSOs, practitioners, lenders, TA providers
  • Conduct annual briefing with SD Congressional staff
  • Research cap on 184 program equity for refinancing

Native Homeownership Conference Track – September 12-13, 2017

This year, the Coalition planned and provided the conference’s Native Homeownership Track, with the following workshops:

  • Paths to Homeownership for Native Veterans
  • Estate Planning for Homeowners
  • Sustainable Homeownership Development on Crow Creek
  • Beyond Housing: Building Neighborhood Communities
  • Preparing a Construction Workforce: the Coalition’s Construction Internship

Featuring topics that are relevant to Coalition members and providing a valuable opportunity to share the work of the Coalition, the workshops were well-attended, generating productive discussions and positive feedback.

Additional Gatherings

This year, the Coalition also facilitated a number of additional gatherings in conjunction with the SDHDA conference:

  • Breakfast to explore increased lender participation in the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Native American Homeownership Initiative (NAHI)
  • Homebuyer practitioner gathering focused on data collection
  • Post-conference debriefing session

At the post-conference debriefing session, participants shared what they were most excited about the conference and the coming year.  Responses included:

  • Starting to focus on estate planning, wills and successorship
  • Veterans’ programming and the CDFI/NADL model
  • Appraiser initiative
  • Looking at community engagement
  • Focusing on the 502 re-lending pilot program