The South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition held a training workshop today to introduce participants to programs and funding sources that can support Native homeownership in South Dakota. The workshop, held in Pierre, South Dakota, provided a pre-conference opportunity to the South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s annual conference held Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
The workshop was sponsored by the State of South Dakota, Office of Tribal Government Relations, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Amerind Risk Management Corporation, Federal Home Loan Bank, South Dakota Housing Development Authority, and Northwest Area Foundation.
South Dakota USDA Rural Development supports the efforts of the Coalition and State Director Elsie Meeks welcomed over 50 training participants, “We thank everyone for their attendance at this important training as we strive to advocate and strengthen families and Native communities through homeownership. It isn’t often that Native and non-native housing organizations get to learn from each other.” Native Housing authorities and nonprofit organizations shared their work with the group regarding best practices in individual families attaining homeownership as well as assisting multiple families in achieving homeownership through the development of a subdivision.
“We are here to talk about families owning their own home but we are also here to work towards the creation of assets for Native families and a pathway out of poverty”, states Nick Tilsen, Executive Director Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation.
The training also addressed homebuyer readiness and different ways to prepare families through counseling and education that can help ensure that families can successfully purchase, maintain, and retain their home. At the end of the session, participants had an opportunity to apply their learning through a homeownership case study exercise. A few wishes expressed at the end of the day included the interest for further open conversation and sharing, additional training and increased collaboration between agencies.
Sharon Vogel, Cheyenne River Housing Authority Executive Director, spoke about the importance of the Coalition’s training, “Housing authorities and resource providers shared experiences and learned from each other to increase collaboration and support to put families into homes.”