American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN), like other racial and ethnic minorities and low-and moderate-income households in the United States, historically have been underserved regarding securing mortgages. Originating mortgages in Indian Country includes unique challenges. One hurdle is that Indian land may be held in trust by the federal government and cannot be readily mortgaged, a barrier that has been addressed by the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program. Fractionated landownership (when a trust parcel is owned by more than one owner as undivided interests) and credit issues among potential borrowers present other barriers.
This report, largely based on lender interviews, provides up-to-date information about challenges that remain for lenders when originating mortgages on reservations and other AIAN tribal areas. This is one of four reports presenting the final results of the study, Assessment of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Housing Needs, conducted for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.