The Department of Housing and Urban and Development today announced it will host a National Indian Housing Summit and Trade Show in Reno, Nev., next month that highlights the best practices to create more affordable housing on and off reservations and to gather new approaches to help more Native Americans become homeowners.

The conference, “Sharing Solutions and Innovative Approaches,” will feature tribal councils, tribal members, housing authorities and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (representing tribes), as well as mortgage lenders, housing developers, federal agencies and Indian organizations. The event will be held on Sept. 19-22 at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel.

“This national gathering will build upon the six regional conferences the Department held last year,” said Rodger Boyd, deputy assistant secretary for HUD’s Office of Native American Programs (ONAP). “Our goal is to bring everyone to the table to illustrate that home ownership is a good economic engine that helps to create sustainable economies in tribal communities.”

While the number of Native Americans who own their own homes has increased slightly, Native Americans still lag far behind other groups. The Native American home-ownership rate, estimated to be as low as 33 percent by the Government Accountability Office, is less than half the rate of home ownership for the general U.S. population. The rate also trails other minority groups, which includes a rate of 46 percent for Hispanic households and 48 percent for African American households.

Conference attendees can choose to follow one of the seven workshop tracks that include an array of in-depth sessions:

  • Alternative Financing & Funding

  • Strategic Planning Models of Comprehensive Planning for Tribal Communities

  • Innovations in Housing Development

  • Housing Organization of The Future

  • Building Foundations for Wealth Creation

  • Designing and Building Healthy Communities

  • Performance Planning, Evaluation & Tracking

In addition to workshops, mortgage lenders will have an opportunity to get acquainted with lending in Indian Country at a special Interactive Lender’s Forum on Indian Loan Guarantee Programs. This one-day forum on Sept. 21 will be an in-depth discussion with officials from HUD, the Department of Agriculture Rural Housing and the Bureau of Indian Affairs about loan guarantee programs that encourage affordable housing development and home-ownership opportunities in Indian Country.

In conjunction with the summit, there will be a Trade Show, which will accommodate vendors and exhibitors that will present a broad range of organizations representing the housing and mortgage lending industry, including Wells Fargo Bank, CitiMortgage, Key Bank, Housing Assistance Council, Native American Bank, Boys and Girls Club of America and The Falmouth Institute.

For registration information go to www.hud.gov/codetalk or www.indianhousingsummit.org or call (toll free) 800-774-3774.

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