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Petitioning HUD, Secretary Shaun Donovan and 33 others

Department of House and Urban Development (HUD): Help save housing for American Indians - Section 184

Section 184 - Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program has been put on hold due to the sequester...

Update - 3/28/13 President Obama signed a budget containing section 184 funding on March 26th, entitled H.R. 933. This is providing funding through September, 2013. On March 27th, HUD announced they have resumed accepting new loan applications. Please keep signing and encouraging your friends and family to do so as well. We may try to get some news organizations to do follow-up on this to keep it on the radar as an important program. If you are going to be buying a home due to these changes, please try to contact your local news and share your story and talk about how this has affected you.

Update - 3/26/13 We have been informed that the section 184 budget is included in a budget that President Obama is scheduled to sign this week. When/if this is signed, I believe this should fund it for the rest of 2013 and because of everyone's efforts, this new budget could also be increased! Please keep signing this petition so we can keep sharing our stories and hear from our many communities and loved ones. Also, please contact any of your local representatives or senators to let them know this issue is important to you and why it should matter to them as one of their constituants!

Update - 3/11/13 News story broadcast on our local station KSL, click here to view

I am a 30 year old father/husband/student, living in Utah. I am Native American and I am registered with the Navajo Nation. My wife, two kids (age 3 & 1), and I were 10 days away from closing on our loan to buy a home. This would be our first home. We have rented for the 4.5 years that we've been married. Between my wife and I, we work 3 jobs. We both work for a school district (not as teachers but contracted employees) and I also work part time at one of our local universities. Within the last month we found out about section 184 of the HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) program.

Section 184 allows people who are registered with a nationally recognized tribe, to obtain a 100% government guaranteed loan to buy and obtain a home. I believe this is quite similar to the loans that can be obtained by veterans, police, firefighters, teachers, and the like. Because it is 100% guaranteed by the government, lenders that have been approved to fund these loans, have a great incentive to get these loans to homebuyers. More importantly, because land on Native American reservations is federal trust lands, this is the only means that land/homes can be bought or sold on a reservation.

We found a great home that we loved and made an offer. The sellers happily agreed after they met my family and me. I guess it's not that uncommon for buyers and sellers to never meet, but in this case, the owners also own a vacant lot behind the house that they are planning on building a home on. So, by meeting them and talking with them, they were also able to decide that they would like us as neighbors and they loved our children who they hoped could play with the children in their family. We were excited at the thought of having them as neighbors because they are such great people. Our kids are much younger than theirs, but when we visit them our kids never want to leave, and we know it is because they already feel like family. We immediately started the process of getting the loan approved. We've jumped through all the hoops required by the bank and the government in order to obtain this loan. We've also paid over $700 (non-refundable) for the inspection and appraisal to make sure that nothing was structurally wrong with the home.

Our closing date was going to be March 13th. On March 4th, we received information from our bank (bank2online, one of the few lenders approved to offer these loans), that because of the sequester, HUD will not be funding section 184 loans at this time along with other HUD programs. The intent of these loans is the only reason we were considering buying a home at this time. Prior to finding out about Section 184, we knew that it would be at least 2-3 years before we could even consider looking for a home and we would be pouring money into our landlords pockets for the time being. The conditions of the loan significantly decreases the closing costs, interest rates, as well as mortgage insurance (because it is 100% guaranteed to the lender). We were approved for our loan, at an interest rate of 3.25% APR. We have pretty good credit, but the very low interest rate is due to the backing of the 184 loan and not our credit rating.

At this time, we will have to ask the seller to wait until the sequester terms are final and hope that HUD and section 184 receive the funding that they need to offer the programs that they do. Although both parties (seller & buyer) would like to see this purchase happen, it is unlikely that the seller will wait for this loan to go through at some unknown date in the future, if at all. Right now, because of rising interest rates, the Housing market in our area, a suburb of Salt Lake City, is moving very quickly. It is not unheard of at this time for sellers to be getting more than their asking price and we bid $2000 under their asking price. The house was actually just appraised at our offer price, but it is out of our hands at this time.

We are forced to wait until sequester terms are decided, and we are praying that section 184 will continue to receive funding so that families like ours will be able to buy their first home far before normal circumstances and our slowly increasing economy would have previously allowed. I know the news has recently been flooded with stories about the sequester affecting everyone, especially education, and traditional government entities like police and firefighters. This topic however, affects a great deal of people as well.

In the larger picture, the Obama administration's report, prior to sequestration, from the Office of Management and Budget, suggestsed that this lack of funding to HUD programs would affect a quarter of a million homes. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition's website, http://nlihc.org/article/omb-estimates-sequestration-impact-house-attempts-avert-sequestration , "HUD estimates that more than 250,000 households would lose their vouchers, leaving nearly one million people who are currently stably housed without assistance and at risk of homelessness. More than half of these households include people who are elderly or have disabilities. HUD also estimates that 100,000 households housed through Homeless Assistance Grants would no longer have homes. This would include 1,500 veterans and their families. Additionally, 80,000 homeowners would not receive housing counseling services. HUD estimates that sequestration cuts to the department would cause the loss of 53,000 jobs." Although my family doesn't fall directly in those categories, we are nonetheless be adversely affected and we will have to move in with family or continue to rent until this is resolved at a government level.

Please consider following up with this petition in someway. Even if section 184 of HUD is no longer going to receive funding, there are many many families far less fortunate than us that this lack of funding would adversely affect. We would really appreciate if some light could be shed on this portion of the sequester so that people are aware of how this government bickering is affecting families who don't have a voice and who work 2-3 jobs to provide for family. We love our children so much, we do our best to be active in our community, we pay our taxes, we vote, my wife and I are both about 75% completed with our bachelors, we feel like we are responsible to help those around us even though our finances are not abundant. We normally don't complain about where our tax dollars do or don't go, but we are very disappointed of our elected officials to allow cuts to negatively affect millions and millions in this "great" country. We are thankful everyday to feel safe and to make our own living, however we feel on a daily basis that the freedoms we allow ourselves are being limited by an irresponsible government, at almost every level. Please take my story and thoughts into consideration. There has also been a recent story produced that you can view at http://www.newson6.com/story/21549058/federal-budget-cuts-means-setback-for-green-country-family

For periodic updates, check the Office of Native American Programs (ONAP)

Sincerely,

Michael Cohoe

This petition was delivered to:
  • HUD, Secretary
    Shaun Donovan
  • HUD, Chief Information Officer
    Jerry E. Williams
  • HUD, Deputy Chief Finanical Officer
    David Sidari
  • HUD, Director
    Tom Wright
  • HUD, Loan Guarantee Specialist
    Matt Douglas
  • HUD, Loan Guarantee Specialist
    Krisa Johnson
  • HUD, Database Analyst
    Scott Laliberte
  • HUD, Loan Guarantee Specialist
    Robert Lamp
  • HUD, Loan Guarantee Specialist
    Thelma Pillay
  • HUD, Loan Guarantee Specialist
    Brian Thompson
  • HUD, Loan Guarantee Specialist
    Michael Thorpe
  • HUD, Loan Guarantee Specialist
    Andrika Wagstaff
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • U.S. Senate
  • Utah State House
  • Utah State Senate
  • HUD, Director for Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control
    Jon L. Gant
  • HUD, Director for Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities
    Shelley R. Poticha
  • HUD, Deputy Secretary
    Maurice Jones
  • HUD, Senior Advisor to the Secretary
    Estelle Richman
  • HUD, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary
    Mike Anderson
  • HUD, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing
    Carol Galante
  • HUD, Acting Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development
    Mark Johnston
  • HUD, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing
    Sandra B. Henriquez
  • HUD, Assistant Secretary Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
    John Trasviña
  • HUD, Assistant Secretary Policy Development and Research
    Erika Poethig
  • HUD, Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
    Peter Kovar
  • HUD, President, Ginnie Mae
    Ted Tozer
  • HUD, General Counsel
    Helen R. Kanovsky
  • HUD, Chief of Staff
    Laurel A. Blatchford
  • HUD, Chief Procurement Officer
    Jemine Bryon
  • HUD, Chief External Affairs Officer
    Alex Wohl
  • HUD, Director, Office of Field Policy and Management
    Patricia Hoban-Moore
  • Utah Governor


Michael Cohoe started this petition with a single signature, and now has 958 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.