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RISMEDIA, June 20, 2007-U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson applauded The Native American Home Ownership Opportunity Act of 2007, signed into law Monday by President Bush. This legislation reaffirms the Administration’s commitment to increasing minority homeownership by guaranteeing private mortgage loans made to eligible Natives American families, tribes, and tribal housing entities.

“Native Americans deserve an equal opportunity to share in the dream of homeownership, and this program helps them do just that. Indian tribes around the country have utilized these loans to increase and improve their housing. With the President’s signature, we can help create more homeownership opportunities and greater economic growth for more families in Indian Country,” said Jackson who stood alongside the President as he signed the law.

The Native American Home Ownership Opportunity Act of 2007 reauthorizes HUD’s Section 184 Loan Guarantee Program. Created in 1992, this program addresses the lack of mortgage lending for Native Americans and was designed to give Native American families the opportunity to purchase their own homes. To date, over 4,500 loans have been guaranteed by this program for a total of $573.1 million, including 790 loans in Fiscal Year 2007 for $113.2 million. The Section 184 program provides a 100% guarantee for mortgages on Indian lands, enabling private sector lenders to make mortgage loans to eligible Natives American families, tribes, and tribal housing entities that are purchasing homes. The program can also be used to rehabilitate existing homes, build new homes and refinance higher interest rate loans.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget provides $367 million for the Section 184 Loan Guarantee program, which represents a $251 million increase over the enacted FY 2006 Budget and $116 million over the FY2007 request.

For more information, visit www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.