Sisseton Wahpeton Housing Authority Celebrates FHLB Des Moines 90th Anniversary

last updated on Thursday, November 17, 2022 in Community News

The moment a first-time homebuyer signs their mortgage papers and closing documents and a home becomes theirs is an unforgettable experience. FHLB Des Moines has been instrumental in helping the Sisseton Wahpeton Housing Authority create these moments for Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) members.

There are approximately 590 houses and 600 rental units on the Lake Traverse Reservation in northeast South Dakota. The Sisseton Wahpeton Housing Authority was established in 1967 with the mission of eradicating substandard housing, eliminating homelessness and increasing affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities for SWO members through supportive services and financial assistance programs.

Since 2010, FHLB Des Moines has assisted us in rehabilitating 99 homes and securing down-payment assistance for nine families, in addition to supporting the rehabilitation and new construction of 36 rental units so far and an additional 46 in process through their Affordable Housing Program (AHP).

Our mission is to secure affordable housing for our tribal members. The process can feel overwhelming and opaque to first-time homebuyers, an experience that is compounded by high interest rates and generational distrust of banking systems. Our partnership with FHLB Des Moines has had direct, positive impacts on families here.

We emphasize affordability, safety and stability. Our members’ roots run deep in this community, and it is important for them to have a house that they can call their home. The safety and stability of a home means families can focus more attention on their community – through entrepreneurship, volunteerism and civic participation – because they know they’re here to stay.

It is not only about having a home. Our partnership with FHLB Des Moines speaks to a broader shift in the homebuying process for tribal members who, 20 to 30 years ago, were often rejected by banks for loans. We greatly appreciate FHLB Des Moines’ understanding of this history of distrust, and their willingness to work with us and our members to rebuild that trust and chart a new path.

Today, with the help of FHLB Des Moines and our friends in USDA Rural Development and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program, we are setting up Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate members for success.

Through education and financial resources, FHLB Des Moines’ support is not only helping SWO families now, but generations to come.

We are thrilled to celebrate the 90th anniversary of FHLB Des Moines and we look forward to growing our partnership in the years ahead.  

Article Submitted By:

Angie Johnson

T Yamni ~ SWHA

  1. 90th Anniversary
  2. Community Investment Programs