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Home Loan Program for Akwesasne Veterans
on December 7, 2013
MOU Signed between Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and Veteran’s Affairs
on December 7, 2013
On Saturday, December 7, 2013, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) securing direct home loan benefits to eligible Mohawk veterans on the Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation. Loans are now available for veterans to purchase, build or improve a home at Akwesasne, a benefit not previously available. Traveling to mark this occasion were two representatives from VA. Mike Frueh, National Director of Loan Guaranty Programs in Washington, DC is responsible for the oversight of all loan programs for the VA. His focus is bringing a greater understanding and use of Native American veteran’s loan products to Indian Country. Peter Vicaire is a Tribal Government Relations Specialist from the Eagan, Minnesota office. Mr. Vicaire will be our regional contact specific to any work with the Native American Direct Loan Programs.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe celebrated the signing of this MOU at the American Legion Post 1479 in Akwesasne on Saturday, December 7, 2013. Chief Ron LaFrance signed the official MOU and stated it was “an absolute honor to be able to share this occasion with our veterans. It is very difficult for us to get a mortgage on the reservation. This will allow our Mohawk veterans to be able to apply for a bank mortgage, build a home for their family, and receive the same competitive rates people living off Indian land are eligible for.”
The Honorable P.J. Herne shared a profoundly touching view of exactly what this MOU means today, but especially what it may mean to a young Akwesashró:non tomorrow. “What will the ‘rest of the story’ involve? We cannot predict such things, but what is certain is that in the future, a young man or woman from Akwesasne is going to be sitting down with an Armed Forces Recruiter. As they review the benefits of enlisting, let us hope that the VA/ Saint Regis MOU will be noted. And should that young person from Akwesasne ask ‘What is this for?’ Let us hope someone can tell them: ‘because, Kenneth Herne crossed the Ganges River in India with the Army Engineers, because Charlie Cook weathered storms on bleak Iceland, because Johnny Cook saw all of Europe through a B-24’s nose gunner’s blister, because Barney Rourke rode into Tienstsin with the first Marines, because of them, and hundreds of them before you, you have the opportunity to receive assistance from the VA in acquiring a home on the Saint Regis Indian Reservation’.”
Veterans who have earned the VA home loan benefit can now take full advantage of the no-down payment home loan program for properties on Indian land. This includes re-finance options to receive competitive interest rates.
The VA may make direct loans to any Native American Veteran if their tribal organization has signed this MOU with Veteran’s Affairs. Director of Housing, Retha Herne, stated “The Akwesasne Housing Authority (AHA) was proud to work towards the goal of attaining veterans housing opportunities. The hard work and research of Judge P.J. Herne and former Chief Randy Hart secured the right connections to fulfil the first step in providing these services to our Mohawk veterans. The AHA will work with our VA agency representatives to bring the necessary training to our staff, tribal departments and our community. We are going in the right direction and I congratulate our deserving veterans and currently enlisted native warriors.”
Native American Veterans
According to the Department of Defense, American Indians and Alaska Natives have one of the highest representations in the armed forces. VA consults with American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments to develop partnerships that enhance access to services and benefits by Veterans and their families. VA is committed to ensuring that Native American Veterans and their families are able to utilize all benefits and services they are entitled to receive.
Native American Veterans may be eligible for a wide-variety of benefits available to all U.S. military Veterans. VA benefits include disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and burial. See our Veterans page for an overview of the benefits available to all Veterans.
VA Benefits and Programs for Native American Veterans
Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program
The NADL program helps eligible Native American Veterans finance the purchase, construction, or improvement of homes on Federal Trust Land or reduce the interest rate on such a VA loan. Native American Veterans may use these direct loans to simultaneously purchase and improve a home or refinance another VA direct loan made under NADL to lower the interest rate.
Learn more about the Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program.
How to Apply
· Apply online using eBenefits, OR
· Work with an accredited representative or agent, OR
· Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee assist you. You can find your regional office on our Facility Locator page.
Maintenance Tips for Your Home/span
Maintenance Tips for Your Home/span
Take some time to give your home a check-up along with its annual spring
cleaning. Adding these home maintenance tips to your routine can help your house
operate more efficiently.
Take some time to give your home a check-up along with its annual spring cleaning. Adding these home maintenance tips to your routine can help your house operate more efficiently.
During the chilly winter months, you may have closed all the doors and windows and stayed indoors. However, the spring season is here, and now it is the ideal time to open the doors and windows, and allow the outside warm air to embrace the interiors and take the place of the potential and stuffy stale smells.
Clean and open windows – The first part of your house that needs to be given utmost attention is the windows. Clean your windows and remove the dust and grime that must have settled during the winter months. Open the windows and allow the sunshine and fresh warm air to travel inside. This shall get rid of the stuffy and stale air and breathe in new life to your home.
Upholstery cleaning – Vacuum all your upholsteries and draperies to get rid of pollen, dander and dust accumulated during the long winter season. Alternatively, if you have heavy patterned silk curtains and draperies hanging, you may replace them with fresh cotton draperies.
Ceiling Fans – as ceiling fans are not used during the winter season, dust and grime are known to collect over them. Clean them properly and remove the dust so that it does not circulate in the room when the fan is switched on.
Exterior cleaning – Once your interiors are clean, you need to give attention to the exteriors as it was also a subject to the harsh charges of the winter season. Examine the exteriors thoroughly to ascertain whether there has been weather stripping or not. Replace the weather stripping as well as the cracking and old caulk. Investigate the roof for missing or broken tiles and shingles. At the same time, clean out the down spouts and gutters.
Check the interior system – spring is the right season to review the interior systems of your home such as the air conditioning, ventilation, and heating system.
Akwesasne Housing Authority (AHA) is a Tribally Designated Housing Entity created by the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council Inc, on July 19, 1984.The mission of the Akwesasne Housing Authority and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is to develop a comprehensive housing program that will address the needs of all Mohawks living on and around our designated Indian area. We will seek to generate and promote community strength and prosperity through safe housing, supportive ventures, economic development, and program efficiency. In the spirit of this mission, we will strive to protect and educate our future generations.
The Mutual Help Homeownership Opportunity Program is one program
Click here to download the Mutual Help Homeownership flyer!
The Akwesasne Housing Authority is updating its list of Job Applications:
Click here if you would like a AHA Job Application.
Akwesasne Housing Authority
378 State Route 37 Suite A
Hogansburg, NY 13655