As part of the program Wells Fargo has allocated $500,000 to five Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs): Cook Inlet Lending Center in Anchorage, Alaska; Four Directions Development Corporation in Orono, Maine; Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial in Pine Ridge, S.D.; Native Community Finance in Laguna, N.M.; and TIWA Lending Services Isleta Pueblo, N.M. First Nations Oweesta Corp. will serve as the intermediary for the program, with Wells Fargo’s funding being issued as equity grants to the participating CDFIs, which will provide direct grant funds up to $5,000 each to tribal members for down payment assistance capital through their respective tribal lending programs.
“For a myriad of reasons and for generations, Native communities have historically had lower homeownership participation than other parts of the U.S., and this new opportunity will allow Native Americans to attain the true American dream,” said Chrystel Cornelius, Executive Director of First Nations Oweesta Corp. “This opportunity provided by Wells Fargo will have an incredible impact for generations within Indian Country as we see tribal members creating assets and building personal wealth in the form of homeownership.”
“Wells Fargo has been serving American Indian/Alaska Native governments and communities for more than 50 years and currently provides capital and financial services to more than 200 tribal entities in 27 states, including tribal community development projects,” added Martin Sundquist, Executive Director of the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. “This work will continue to help address challenges in partnership with American Indian/Alaska Native leaders, governments and native-led non-profit organizations in ways that are intentional, relevant, impactful and inclusive.”