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The Housing and Urban Development offers Native American Home loans exclusively  to American Indians, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians and Federally Recognized Tribes. These loans are similar to other FHA programs, offering low down payment and allows for easier financing. The loan in limited to single-family housing (1-4 units), and fixed-rate loans for 30 years of less. Neither adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) nor commercial buildings are eligible for Section 184 loans. Maximum loan limits vary by county, so as to reflect regional price differences.

The Native American Home Loan is Extended to Native Americans, not the Land

There is no native land requirement on the loans. There are caps, based on the median price of housing in the region. The program HUD 184 was designed to encourage the purchase and home development on native trust lands, but have special requirements before qualification. In particular, HUD requires very specific information about the status of the land and the tribal lease agreement before approving any loans. All loans on trust land require the borrower to acquire a Trust Status Report, or TSR, from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This report determines the ownership status of the property and also identifies any liens against the property.

Limitations on Buying Trust Land

The Office of Loan Guarantee within HUD’s Office of Native American Programs’ guarantee assures the lender that its investment will be repaid in full in the event of foreclosure. On Native American trust land, property ownership records are kept by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In order to get a proper title to the property, you must work through the BIA rather than a regular title company. Obtaining the title report generally takes 30 to 45 days. Depending on the regional BIA office, obtaining the TSR report can take much longer.  The borrower applies for the Section 184 loan with a participating lender, and works with the tribe and Bureau of Indian Affairs if leasing tribal land. The lender then evaluates the necessary loan documentation and submits the loan for approval to HUD’s Office of Loan Guarantee.