- Tanya Fiddler
Veterans Are Bringing Home the Dream
Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial (Mazaska), located on the Pine Ridge Reservation, is assisting Native American Veterans to achieve homeownership through an innovative construction loan product aimed to serve clients on tribal trust lands. Working with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the VA Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program, Mazaska is providing the much needed gap financing for applicants who qualify for the NADL program. Today marks the fifth loan they’ve made totaling nearly $600,000 vets on the reservation.
Alvina White Bull is a first-time homebuyer who had been renting in the Veteran’s Affairs Support Housing (VASH) program but decided to pursue her dream of owning her own home. Working with several local housing support groups for homebuyer education and referrals, Alvina was able to apply for a loan with Mazaska after learning about their partnership with the VA. She says, “It has been a process applying for a home loan but I am thankful to all who have been involved. My new home is now complete and I am able to move in!”
To help OST veterans with this process, Mazaska has produced guidebook to educate veterans on their homeownership opportunities which can be downloaded at https://www.mazaskacdfi.org/veterans-guide. With funding provided by the CDFI Fund they hope to continue serving this special population in the year to come.
Colleen Steele, Mazaska’s executive director shares, “Mazaska has been very excited to assist veterans with financing to achieve homeownership through the VA NADL program. It has been important to serve those who have served our country and another dream has become reality for this veteran on Pine Ridge.” Tribal members who would like to apply for a housing loan from Mazaska should stop by the office or call 605.867.1018.
About Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial
Mazaska is a certified Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) founded in 2004 and located in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. They create homeownership opportunities for tribal members living on and off-reservation with home purchase and renovation loans, construction financing and a credit building loan product.