FHLBank San Francisco Launches $1 Million Tribal Nations Program to Spur Affordable Housing Development for Native American Communities

New voluntary grant program will create necessary infrastructure to propel much needed affordable housing development for Native American Tribes

graphics of Native American Indian mom and daughter smiling with copy that reads, "$1 million Tribal Nations Program for Affordable Housing in Native American communities"

SAN FRANCISCO, January 23, 2024 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) today announced the launch of a new $1 million Tribal Nations Program that provides critically necessary infrastructure funding grants to increase the supply of affordable housing for Native American communities. 

“Native American communities are experiencing an acute housing crisis, much of which is because of a lack of dedicated resources and necessary infrastructure to apply for grants and funding,” said Teresa Bryce Bazemore, president and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco. “Solving the affordable housing crisis in our country is core to our mission and central to everything we do as an organization. Developing an infrastructure for tribal organizations to successfully access available development resources is a critical step for increasing the supply of affordable housing for Native American communities in our district. We are proud to be able to support this collaborative effort to help these communities have a brighter future.”  

For this initiative, the California Coalition for Rural Housing will partner with the Arizona Housing Coalition, the Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority and Pala Housing Resource Center in California, and with the Nevada Housing Coalition to deliver resources to meet the infrastructure development goals of the Tribal Nations Program.

“Tribal Nations face chronic underdevelopment and poor housing conditions, the legacy of hundreds of years of persecution, discrimination, and displacement,” said Dr. Robert Wiener, Executive Director of the California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH). “This grant will enable CCRH and our partners in Arizona, Nevada, and California to build the capacity of Tribes to access and optimize state housing and community development resources to improve the living conditions of Tribal members on Tribal land.”  

Grant dollars from the Tribal Nations Program will be allocated based on the percentage of Native American population across the Bank’s three-state district of Arizona, California, and Nevada. Funding will support capacity building efforts and delivery of technical assistance designed to help tribal organizations submit competitive applications for funding from the Bank’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP), as well as for Low Income Housing Tax Credits and other federal, state, and local housing and community programs. 

“Native Americans have historically been excluded from State funded housing programs and other resources,” said Annalee Trujillo, Executive Director of Pala Housing Resource Center. “Our Tribal people and communities experience a higher rate of homelessness and sub-standard living conditions with limited affordable housing opportunities. The Tribal Nations Program will enable us to provide capacity building, identify new funding sources and other housing related services that will allow our communities to thrive, while honoring our way of life, sovereignty and culture. Together with our partners, we can effectively create a foundation for safer communities and housing opportunities.”

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), approximately 15% of Native populations live with overcrowding, compared with the national average of 2%. Emphasizing the need for more affordable housing, HUD research estimates 68,000 additional units are needed to replace severely inadequate units and eliminate overcrowding on Native American Tribal lands.

This $1 million Tribal Nations Program builds on FHLBank San Francisco’s ongoing support for affordable housing and economic development projects benefiting Native American communities, including, to date, over $20 million in grants from AHP projects that have created more than 1,600 affordable housing units for tribal communities and more than $1.1 million in AHEAD grants awarded to 32 economic development projects.

The Tribal Nations Program is also an important component of an initiative to voluntarily increase FHLBank San Francisco’s annual commitment to community programs. In 2023, the Bank’s board of directors voted to allocate up to an additional 5% of the Bank’s annual net income for funding economic development and housing grant programs that enrich people’s lives and revitalize communities. Additional programs implemented or enhanced in 2023 include a Middle-Income Downpayment Assistance pilot program, the Bank’s annual AHEAD economic development program, and the Empowering Black Homeownership matching grant program, which supports the work of Housing Counseling Agencies in underserved communities of color.

For more information about the Tribal Nations Program and other community programs, visit the Bank’s website at fhlbsf.com.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is a member-driven cooperative helping local lenders in Arizona, California, and Nevada build strong communities, create opportunity, and change lives for the better. The tools and resources we provide to our member financial institutions—commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions—help finance affordable housing projects, propel homeownership, drive economic growth, and revitalize whole neighborhoods. Together with our members and other partners, we are making the communities we serve more vibrant, equitable, and resilient and changing lives for the better.

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