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Phone: (580) 436-7280
Fax: (580) 436-4287
Constitution & Code
Harvard's Kennedy School of Government Honoring Nations program awarded $10,000 to the Chickasaw Nation's Chuka Chukmasi (beautiful home) loan program as one of the eight most effective and significant tribal government programs in the country.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby and Division of Housing Administrator Wayne Scribner received the award Tuesday, Nov. 18, during ceremonies at the DoubleTree Hotel in Albuquerque for the program which has provided more than $19.3 million in home loans to 218 families in a dozen states.
Award money will be used to help the Chickasaw Nation share the success of the loan program with other tribes across the United States.
"This program has been very successful in helping us meet the housing needs of our citizens across the country," said Governor Anoatubby. "While it is gratifying to receive this award, what is more significant is that it will enable us to assist other tribes across the country."
Administered by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Honoring Nations identifies, and shares information about tribal government programs, practices and initiatives that are especially effective in addressing key needs and challenges facing American Indian nations.
Since the inception of the Honoring Nations program in 1998, about one-quarter of the tribes in the United States have applied, and 64 tribal government initiatives have been awarded.
"It is exciting to see tribes learning from each other by sharing best practices," noted Andrew Lee, the program's founding director.
Created in 1998, Chuka Chukmasi is a cooperative effort between the Chickasaw Nation, PMI Mortgage Insurance Company Underwriters, First Mortgage of Oklahoma City, and Fannie Mae to provide low down payment, flexible home loans for Chickasaw citizens and citizens of other tribes living within the Chickasaw Nation's jurisdiction.
"PMI is thrilled that the Chickasaw Nation has been awarded Harvard's Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations program. PMI has a great working relationship with Chickasaw Nation. Together, we have created innovative affordable housing solutions so Chickasaws can purchase, rehabilitate and construct owner occupied properties," said Roger Haughton, Chairman and CEO, The PMI Group, Inc.
A partnership formed in 2002 enables the tribe to offer its mortgage program through Fannie Mae's Desktop Originator on the Web, expanding services to Chickasaw citizens across the United States. The Web-based system enables applicants to proceed through the mortgage loan process faster and more efficiently, resulting in a greater number of home loans issued.
Another important part of the program is the in-depth home ownership counseling provided to families purchasing a home.
Most people learn about Fannie Mae, mortgage applications, abstracts, title searches, title insurance, closing costs, and a host of other things while they are in the process of buying their first home. Dealing with this information overload can turn what should be a pleasant experience into a time of confusion and frustration.
The home ownership counseling helps to relieve some of that frustration and confusion first time home buyers often face by helping people understand the home buying and home owning experience before they buy
The home ownership seminar began as a way to help buyers fulfill the counseling requirements of Chuka Chukmasi program, but it is also open to anyone interested in making a more informed home buying decision.
"The seminars are open to the public," said Kay Perry, director of counseling and loan services with the Chickasaw Nation. "Anyone can come, and since we are a HUD recognized counseling entity, we issue a certificate that can be used for any special home buyer program at any bank."
More than 475 counseling certificates have been awarded through the program.
The tribe also offers low income home ownership programs, rental assistance, home maintenance and repair, low income home energy assistance, emergency housing assistance and a retirement village.