New tribal lease program aims to close homebuying gap
SHAWNEE — The Citizen Potawatomi Nation has launched a lease purchasing program to help members get into homes of their own.
“We want to prepare them for home ownership,” said Scott George, director of the CPN Housing Department. “For many tribal members, a low credit score or few monetary resources to put a down payment on a home keep people from owning a home.”
The lease purchasing program is neither simply a fast track to buying a home nor does it guarantee homeownership. The program seeks to help clients maneuver common roadblocks to home ownership and equip them with skills for long-term success.
“There needs to be some transition time and support, which is why the lease purchase program was created,” George said. “We want to educate and help families get into their first home.”
The Citizen Potawatomi Nation is building five energy-efficient, single-family homes for eventual tenants in the lease-purchase program. Household income must meet federal eligibility guidelines.
The program's design is meant to teach the skills of owning a home by helping tenants meet a series of responsibilities over the course of the three-year agreement. Income proof and ongoing financial education courses are two main program requirements, while residents largely will be responsible for the day-to-day care of the properties.
Program enrollment will be determined by tribal citizenship; income eligibility; credit, bankruptcy and rental history; and proof of employment.
For more information, call 800-880-9880 or go to cpn.news/housing.
The Citizen Potawatomi Nation's jurisdiction covers 900 square miles in parts of Pottawatomie, Oklahoma and Cleveland counties. The tribe recognizes more than 33,000 citizens around the world, with about 40 percent living in Oklahoma.