June marks National Homeownership Month, a time to celebrate the opportunities homeownership provides and to educate prospective borrowers.

We know that where someone lives impacts every aspect of their — from health, to employment, to the ability to make ends meet and, hopefully, move themselves and their families up the economic ladder. This is acutely true among Native Americans, whose housing opportunities have been systemically limited.

Data released in the Opportunity Atlas shows that, among all races, Native American children have the lowest rates of upward economic mobility, and even when they are born into higher-income families, there is a greater likelihood of downward mobility.

However, the same data showed the opposite when these children are raised on tribal lands. This reinforces what we've learned through decades of work with tribes across the country: The values and cultural ties on tribal lands are critical assets that strengthen communities and families.

Our Rural and Native American Program team has created a template for Native housing organizations to use in their education efforts of Tribal Leadership on housing and homeownership in their communities. This is just an extension of the continued work our team has been doing to lift up homeownership as a tool for building assets and improving housing conditions in Native communities.

In 2018, we developed the Enhancing and Implementing Homeownership Programs in Native Communities as a companion piece to the Tribal Leaders Handbook on Homeownership. A joint publication with the Center for Indian Country Development of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the comprehensive curriculum combines a range of participatory activities and exercises to facilitate shared learning and encourage participants to develop strategies for implementing high-quality homeownership programs in their communities.

We launched the Native Homeownership Learning Communities Cohort in 2020, engaging representatives from Tribally Designated Housing Entities, Tribal Housing Authorities and Native Community Development Finance Institutions from across the country in a 14-month intensive training and technical assistance program to increase homeownership in native communities.

Read the full article about homeownership in Native communities by Lindsay Ponta at Enterprise.