First Nations Oweesta Corporation and Wells Fargo Launch $500,000 Program for Native Americans

Originally Published by Wells Fargo.

First Nations Oweesta Corporation and Wells Fargo & Company announced a $500,000 home down payment assistance program aimed at increasing U.S. homeownership opportunities for Native Americans. The grant is among the first by Wells Fargo in its five-year, $50 million commitment to American Indian/Alaska Native communities to help address unique economic, social and environmental needs in Indian Country.

Wells Fargo has committed $500,000 to five Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), including:

  • Cook Inlet Lending Center (Anchorage, Alaska)
  • Four Directions Development Corporation (Orono, Maine)
  • Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial (Pine Ridge, S.D.)
  • Native Community Finance (Laguna, N.M.)
  • TIWA Lending Services (Isleta Pueblo, N.M.)

“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 Corporation. “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.”

With Oweesta acting as the intermediary, committed funding from Wells Fargo will be directly issued to all organizations as equity grants, allowing each organization to provide direct grant funds up to $5,000 each to tribal members for down payment assistance capital through their respective tribal lending programs. To learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply for a down payment assistance grant in one of the five communities, contact the Native CDFI in the market.

“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,” said 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 nonprofit organizations in ways that are intentional, relevant, impactful and inclusive.”

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