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Preface & Acknowledgments

Freddie Mac

Enterprise Community Partners would like to thank Freddie Mac for their support and role in making this curriculum possible.

Freddie Mac makes home possible for millions of families and individuals by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Since our creation by Congress in 1970, we’ve made housing more accessible and affordable for homebuyers and renters in communities nationwide. We are building a better housing finance system for homebuyers, renters, lenders, investors and taxpayers.

About the Curriculum

About the Enhancing and Implementing: Homeownership Programs in Native Communities Curriculum

Enterprise Community Partners has an ambitious vision: that one day, every person will have an affordable home in a vibrant community, filled with promise and the opportunity for a good life. Since 1982, our work in communities has been grounded by the belief in the transformative power of a safe, affordable home. We know that where someone lives impacts every aspect of a person’s life — 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. 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 that this trend reverses when these children are raised on tribal lands. This serves to reinforce what Enterprise has learned through decades of work with tribes across the country: that the values and cultural ties on tribal lands are critical assets that strengthen communities and the families in them.

We know that increasing opportunities for homeownership in Native communities can have multiple impacts. Scarce housing resources can be leveraged to create additional housing, and homeownership can provide opportunities for members to return to their community who in the past had left due to lack of housing. Ultimately, homeownership can create more opportunity for children to benefit from deep ties to their family and culture in childhood and shape a solid foundation for their future. In the United States, homeownership is the primary means by which middle- and low-income households can build wealth and then pass that asset on to future generations. However, it is not a path that is easily accessed by all, as many Native communities face persistent barriers in implementing programs that work for their members.

Enterprise developed the Enhancing and Implementing Homeownership Programs in Native Communities curriculum in partnership with Seven Sisters Community Development Group with support from Freddie Mac. It is designed to be a companion piece to the Tribal Leaders Handbook on Homeownership, a joint publication by Enterprise and the Center for Indian Country Development of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. This curriculum was developed to support tribes, Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) and Tribal Housing Authorities (THAs) build their capacity to deliver homeownership opportunities to the communities they serve. It focuses on the overall needs of an organization to sustain a successful homeownership program, from fostering support from tribal government leaders to conducting housing needs assessments to thoughtful community-based cultural design.

It is our hope that this curriculum is a widely used tool to support homeownership opportunities for Native communities and that participants find it useful throughout their journey to implement and enhance their homeownership program.

About Enterprise Community Partner

About Enterprise Community Partners

Enterprise’s mission is to create opportunity for low- and moderate-income people through affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities. Our story began more than 35 years ago and since 1982, Enterprise has worked with partners in communities nationwide. We may have the same goals in life, but not the same opportunities—and where you live affects the life you can have. By bringing together the right expertise and know-how to make well-designed homes affordable, we make a difference. 

​Within Enterprise are entities that lend funds, finance development, and manage and build affordable housing. We deliver the capital, develop the programs, and advocate for the policies needed to create and preserve well-designed homes that people can afford in inclusive and connected communities.

  • Capital: We are a leader in socially driven, performance-based capital investment. We pioneer new financial tools – from targeted investment funds to social impact bonds – to bring private capital to underinvested neighborhoods. We match socially conscious investors with opportunities that yield economic returns alongside measurable impact for communities.

  • Solutions: We work in the field with partners to solve critical issues facing low-income communities across the United States. Whether preserving affordable housing near transit or ensuring families have access to jobs, health care, and other services, we foster community improvement from the ground up to connect families to opportunity.

  • Policy: Our track record of developing sound, bipartisan policies makes us a crucial voice for families on Capitol Hill and in statehouses nationwide. We work with government leaders by offering nonpartisan advice and support – and we remain at the forefront of all critical housing and community development policies.

Enterprise’s Rural and Native American Initiative provides capacity building support to rural and tribal housing organizations, such as TDHEs and THAs. Since 2000, our work has supported the construction and purchase of more than 2,100 homes. 

About Seven Sisters Community Development Group, LLC

About Seven Sisters Community Development Group, LLC

Seven Sisters Community Development Group, LLC is a national consulting firm that offers culturally relevant and innovative strategies, services, and products that create systemic change. We assist low-wealth and diverse communities across the country to plan, develop, and implement community- based economic development strategies. We work with national and local nonprofits and corporate organizations, as well as local, state, tribal, and federal governmental entities.

Seven Sisters is committed to increasing homeownership opportunities in Native communities and has considerable experience in the Native homeownership field. We have worked to support the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition since its creation in 2013, as well as the Center for Indian Country Development’s National Native Homeownership Coalition. In addition to Coalition support, our team’s experience includes homeownership program development, homeownership and financial education instructor training, self-help housing construction, and advocacy efforts to address the barriers to homeownership.



Gratitude goes out to the many individuals and organizations that provided their expertise and knowledge in the creation of these materials. It is their insights and experiences that ground this tool and raise it up.

  • Steve Barbier, NeighborWorks
  • Thanay Binford, Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority
  • Cindy Butterfield, Red Cliff Chippewa Housing Authority
  • Cheryl Cloud, Red Cliff Chippewa Housing Authority
  • Laurie Ann Cloud, Nez Perce Housing Authority
  • Theresa Cole, Akwesasne Housing Authority
  • Nathaniel Corum, Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative
  • Robin Danner, Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations
  • Christine De Los Santos, Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority
  • Tomasita Duran, Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority
  • Colleen Dushkin, Association of Alaskan Housing Authorities
  • Susan Hammond, Four Directions Development Corporation
  • Patrice Kunesh, Center for Indian Country Development
  • Joseph Kunkel, Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative
  • Anna Lawrence, Nez Perce Tribal Housing Authority
  • Danna Novoa, Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority
  • Nikki Pieratos, Center for Indian Country Development
  • LindaLee Retka, National American Indian Housing Council
  • Sonya Samuels-Allen, Nez Perce Tribal Housing Authority
  • Jeff Tickle, Cook Inlet Housing Authority
  • Charlene Virgilio, Four Directions Development Corporation
  • Sharon Vogel, Cheyenne River Housing Authority
  • Lahela Williams, Hawaiian Community Assets
Thank you to NeighborWorks for supporting the convening of this group, making for a more robust curriculum.
Additional thanks to the following organizations for sharing their work to provide real-world examples.
  • Big Water Consulting
  • Cheyenne River Housing Authority
  • Salish & Kootenai Housing Authority
  • South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition
  • Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative
  • Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation
  • Yankton Sioux Tribe

We’d like to recognize the creative contributions of Marlena Myles and Lori Korte, who established a visually appealing foundation in the Tribal Leaders Handbook on Homeownership. Heidi Cuny of Cuny Communications built upon that foundation to develop the visual design for this curriculum. Vickie Oldman-John also provided insight and ideas for some of the new illustrations found in this curriculum.

This interactive workbook was developed to help individuals and leaders in native communities build their capacity to deliver homeownership opportunities to those they serve.
This workbook can be filled out online individually or as part of a group. How would you like to start?
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