NCAI Calls Upon HUD to Engage in ‘Meaningful’ Government-to-Government Consultations
The Cedar Band of Paiutes today applauded the National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) resolution responding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) issuance of Mortgagee Letter 19-06 on April 18, 2019. The HUD Mortgagee Letter attempted to assert that “tribes are acting in their governmental capacity only on their reservations or when working with enrolled members.” HUD’s Mortgagee Letter was eventually withdrawn in response to successful litigation brought by the Cedar Band of Paiutes.
The resolution, titled “HUD Consultation Before Proceeding with Rule Making Relating to Tribal Down Payment Assistance Programs,” was adopted by the NCAI General Assembly at its 2019 Annual Session in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In its resolution, NCAI called on HUD to engage in meaningful consultation with tribal nations before commencing rulemaking, and to refrain from discrimination against tribal nations or any actions that are deleterious to tribal sovereignty. NCAI’s official position further underscores how HUD’s actions had a substantial direct effect on all tribal nations—including the Cedar Band of Paiutes—and sought to limit the ability of a tribe to operate in a governmental capacity.
The Cedar Band of Paiutes wholly owns and operates Cedar Band Corporation and CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA), which provides secondary financing to homebuyers receiving loans from the Federal Housing Authority. The Band relies on the revenues derived from CBCMA and other Band enterprises to sustain the Band’s essential government functions.
“HUD’s actions were a direct violation of the agency’s own Government-to-Government Tribal Consultation Policy,” said Delice Tom, chairwoman of the Cedar Band of Paiutes. “HUD’s unilateral actions would have had a ruinous impact on our Band and negatively impacted the hundreds of other tribal nations around the country seeking innovative and sustainable ways to support their communities.”
The Cedar Band of Paiutes also highlighted that the recently passed U.S. House of Representatives T-HUD appropriations bill, included language strengthening the process for federal agencies to consult with tribal nations.
While HUD has indicated that it intends to proceed with rulemaking, Chairwoman Tom further highlighted the importance of appropriate consultation in the nascent stages of the process. “We fully expect HUD to engage in a meaningful and collaborative process with the Cedar Band, as well as other Indian Nations and National Tribal organizations before drafting a rule affecting tribal nations, consistent with HUD’s own Tribal Consultation policy.”
About CBC Mortgage Agency
CBCMA provides secondary financing to borrowers, who are receiving loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). CBCMA takes great care to ensure that the FHA loans perform well, including providing education as well as 12 months of counseling to borrowers after the purchase of their home. In addition, CBCMA regularly reviews its credit standards to ensure that the borrowers it assists are credit worthy.
CBCMA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cedar Band Corporation, a federally chartered tribal corporation wholly owned by the Cedar Band of Paiutes, a federally recognized American Indian band. For more information about CBCMA and its programs, visit chenoafund.org.