2019 Minnesota Indian Housing Conference

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2019 Conference Courses

Course Descriptions


Wednesday August 21st


The Role Elders Play in Native American Communities
Dan Boyd, Mille Lacs Housing Director & Darelynn Lehto, Prairie Island Indian Housing Director
The role of an elder is multifaceted.  One might say that Elders are the glue that holds a community together.   They are the storytellers, history keepers, mentors, and protectors of our language, culture and traditions. Elders provide a bridge between the past and the present for future generations and considered the wise ones.  Learn what roles an Elder played in the past and what role an Elder plays in the present – though an Elders eyes.

Multifamily Housing Development - 2020 and beyond
Moderators: Caryn Polito, Minnesota Housing, Business Development Analyst.
Looking to build or rehab rental housing on or off reservation? Learn about funding sources available including tax credits and deferred loans. Learn tips and tricks from the perspective of a tax credit investor, a development consultant who works with tribes, Federal Home Loan Bank, and the state housing finance agency.

Single Family Home and Home Improvement Financing along with a special focus on Modular, Manufactured, & Mobil Home Financing.
Presenter: –Jennifer Rydberg - USDA Home Finance Specialist will share information on single-family homeownership and home rehabilitation programs available through USDA.
Co-Presenter: Bremer Mortgage will share information on the underwriting and specifics to processing mortgage requests for Modular, Manufactured, and Mobil Homes.


Transitional Housing; A Collaboration of Multiple Tribal Departments in Creating Effect Housing For Tribal Members
Kristian Theisz Director of Community Support Services Health & Human Services, Daniel Boyd, Mille Lacs Housing Director & Tammy Moreland Mille Lacs Band Wraparound Coordinator
Developing Transitional Housing fills a need. Creating it with community goals, in mind, builds a future.  We will discuss key features that contribute to a successful program.

Building Capacity for a Successful Homeownership Program
Deborah Flannery, Director of Lending & Programs, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund
Panelists: Patrice Kunesh, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; Daniel Boyd, Mille Lacs Housing Director; and Bev Goss, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe

Homeownership is a central component of sustainable economies and community development. Learn how to build capacity for successful homeownership in your community by engaging leadership to implement strategies for creating diverse housing choices, by leveraging affordable financing tools through lenders who specialize in lending on Trust lands, and by developing programs to teach homeowners about the fundamentals of maintaining a home and how to build wealth through successful homeownership.  In this session we will learn from three expert panelists who will share knowledge of how to effectively engage leadership, provide high-touch financing opportunities for homebuyers, and develop effective strategies to help homeowners maintain their homes in order to build wealth and strengthen communities.

Development Compliance & Asset Management
Jane Barrett, Red Lake Housing Director.
This session will cover the basic compliance requirements of Low Income Tax Credits and Minnesota Housing deferred loan programs. Some of the topics will be documenting eligibility, annual certification, reporting requirements, best practices for preparing for a site visit, and responding to a notice on noncompliance.


Understanding NAHASDA
Moderator: Cheryl Causley, NAIHC technical assistance provider.
This sessions provides an introduction to the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA). Participants will become familiar with all program activities, including rental housing, homebuyer programs, rehabilitation, and housing and crime prevention services. Other major topics include the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) formula, eligible program participants, income verifications, other federal requirements, financial management and program administration. The sessions will also discuss the submission of an Indian Housing Plan (IHP) and an Annual Performance Report (APR), compliance requirements for all Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages that are eligible recipients under NAHASDA.

Minnesota Housing Single Family Products, & Enterprises, Programs Toward Enhancing and Implementing Homeownership Programs in Native Communities
 Cheryl Rice, Minnesota Housing, Tribal Indian Housing Program Manager
At Minnesota Housing, we know affordable housing is an essential part of your community’s infrastructure and a foundation for success for all Minnesotans. From helping families buy and fix up their homes to supporting local workforce housing needs, come learn with the how we can work with you to provide opportunities across the housing continuum.
Co-Presenter: Russ Kaney, Enterprise Community
Building on the Tribal Leaders Handbook on Homeownership, developed by the Center for Indian Country Development and Enterprise Community Partners, the Enhancing and Implementing Homeownership Programs in Native Communities curriculum for TDHEs and THAs delves into the components of a homeownership program — helping practitioners to determine what assets they already have in place, identify gaps, and outline concrete next steps. Curriculum participants will have the opportunity to define what homeownership means for them, to work with their peers to identify and address potential opportunities and challenges to homeownership in their communities, and to develop strategies and work plans to guide their next steps.

Loving Youth out of Homelessness A New Look at a Traditional Practice
Deborah Flannery – GMHF Director of Lending & Programs
Presenter: Jacqueline White - Executive Director of CloseKnit

When a young person, for whatever reason, first can’t live at home, they typically approach people they already know, staying with extended relatives, the families of friends, or neighbors. These informal networks, which exemplify the belief that a community has a collective responsibility to care for its young people, are especially strong in Indian country. We’ll learn strategies to help stabilize intergenerational hosting arrangements, which both young people and their adult hosts often find deeply meaningful, but can easily break down due to financial stress, lack of clarity around house rules, and other issues.

Thursday, August 22

8:10-8:50 General Presentations

A Conversation on Tribal and Urban Housing with:
Mark Butterfield, Regional Administrator, Office of Native American Programs Eastern Woodlands
Cora Gaane Wells Fargo’s, Senior Vice President & National Tribal Philanthropy Leader Corporate Philanthropy and Community Relations

9:00-10:30 General Presentation

Housing Issues & Needs on and off Tribal Lands, Tribal Leadership Panel
Nicci Lehto, Secretary of the Prairie Island Tribal Council
Robert Smith, Council Member and Sam Strong, Secretary of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, Earl Pendleton, Treasurer of the Lower Sioux Community and Nicci Lehto, Secretary of the Prairie Island Tribal Council. A discussion of Homeownership, Rental Housing, Homelessness, and Development Planning, both on and off tribal lands will be shared by these leaders in this session.


The Minnesota Tribal Collaborative & Its Work on Homelessness
Tammy Moreland, Chairperson of the MTC
Here how and why the Minnesota Tribal Collaborative was formed, about the participating tribes, past, present and future goals of the collaborative in its every expanding partnerships to meet the needs of homelessness in indian country.

Homebuyers Education in Indian Country
Julie Gugin MN Homeownership Center
Presenter: Andrea Reese, Bii Gii Wiin Community Development Loan Fund

Homeownership is one of the steps we can take to build healthy and vibrant communities. Homebuyer education should be the planting of a seed in making our communities aware of the process, resources, and products that are available and help guide them through the home buying journey. Homeownership and mortgage financing can be intimidating. However, when homebuyer education is presented from and for our community in the context of our own culture, it can be perceived as more relevant. We’re excited for a conversation on Homebuyer Education in Indian Country! We hope you’ll join us!

Opportunities for Increasing Economic Prosperity & Improving Infrastructure for Essential Community Services
USDA Rural Development is committed to furthering rural economic prosperity by providing financial and technical assistance opportunities to build or improve infrastructure for essential community services and rural small businesses.
Economic developers will learn about how USDA’s Business Programs work through partnerships with public and private community-based organizations and financial institutions to provide financial assistance, business development, and technical assistance to rural businesses and entrepreneurs.
Community leaders will be introduced to learn about how USDA’s Community Facilities programs offer direct loans, loan guarantees and grants to develop or improve essential public services and facilities, such as fire and rescue stations, village and town halls, health care clinics, hospitals, adult and child care centers, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation centers, public buildings, schools, libraries, and many other community-based initiatives. Additionally, the Water & Environmental Programs (WEP) provides funding for the construction of water and waste facilities in rural communities and is proud to be the only Federal program exclusively focused on rural water and waste infrastructure needs of rural communities with populations of 10,000 or less.
Join experts to learn how USDA could help make your community or business project a reality and hear some examples of the types of projects USDA has partnered with Minnesota’s Native Tribes on.                 


Cyber and Work Place Security (PART ONE)
Jane Barrett, Red Lake Housing Director
With the rise of the digital age, we are seeing considerable increases in cyber-attacks both to personal and business entities. Computer Security in Indian Country is intended as an interactive discussion on weaknesses in our cyber infrastructure in order to motivate others to make more elaborate passwords. Hear, Dylan Montano’s message from the perspective of a member of the Safety Services team at Amerind Risk, where he work hands-on with members in their quest to manage risk and protect lives and property.

Health & Housing
Moderator: Harry Entwistle
Presenters: Patty Bittner and others

Professionals discuss how methamphetamines and other drugs affect individuals and families as well as the relationship it causes on the ability to remain in or maintain housing units. Case management support & after care will also be addressed during this session 

Housing Commissioners Roles & Responsibilities
Donna Fairbanks leads an interactive discussion on the roles and responsibilities of Indian housing commissioners
The big picture how the board, management and housing staff all tie together. Hear real stories of Donna’s expansive experiences all across Indian country on what she has seen works and not, what can happen when we all come together understanding our roles.


Cyber and Work Place Security (PART TWO)
A continuation of the session part one. With the rise of the digital age, we are seeing considerable increases in cyber-attacks both to personal and business entities. Computer Security in Indian Country is intended as an interactive discussion on weaknesses in our cyber infrastructure in order to motivate others to make more elaborate passwords. Hear, Dylan Montano’s message from the perspective of a member of the Safety Services team at Amerind Risk, where he work hands-on with members in their quest to manage risk and protect lives and property.

The Gift - When Tribes and Native Urban Agencies Come Together - Ain Dah Yung
Deb Foster Executive Director &  Erika Schwichtenberg, COO of Fox Advancement and Capital Consultant with the Ain Dah Yung Center and Mandy Pant, Project Manager, Project for Pride in Living
Native youth have the highest disparities of homeless in the state of Minnesota. Approximately 2% of Minnesota’s population is American Indian, however a devastating 22% of Minnesota’s homeless youth are Native. We all know that the foundation of success for our people is to ensure that they have opportunities to re-establish and/or strengthen their sense of Native identity and pride. The Ain Dah Yung Center (ADYC) in St. Paul has designed and developed a new 42 unit permanent supportive housing project for 18 – 24 year old youth designed specifically to do just that. Our young people need ALL of us, Tribal Governments and Native based urban agencies - to come together if we are going to truly create solid pathways out of homeless and give our children what they need to achieve the life goals they so deserve.

Friday, August 23

8:30-10:30 General Session

Tribal Supportive Housing: A Decade Plus in Review
Amy Stetzel State Director, Corporation of Supportive Housing
Minnesota Tribal Nations where the first in the nation to develop and run supportive housing units and programming specific to Native Americans on and off Tribal lands.  Come hear from the partners involved in this work on what those developments look like today and what we’ve learned along the way. We will discuss strengths and opportunities, new funding and programming opportunities, and what the future holds for Tribal supportive housing both on and off Reservations in Minnesota.

10:30-11:30 General Session

A Funding Perspective: Future of Indian Housing
Presented by
Kevin Fitzgibbons, Principle at Fitzgibbons Consulting
This session will provide an overview of the Federal government’s historical commitment to Indian housing from a financial perspective.  This session will also examine the funding impact of the transition from Indian housing being funding under the 1937 Act programs to the current funding under the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA. This session will explore a myriad of programs that could be used to assist in addressing your housing needs.  This overview will include a discussion of the wide range of Federal programs available as well as State and other housing related resources.  This session will also examine current demographic trends impacting Indian housing and also examine the important role of that energy efficiency plays in the future of Indian housing.