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The Challenge

Among the Tribal citizens served by Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority, 70% are renters. In contrast, renters make up 36% of the population in the state of Alaska and nationwide. Until the Tribes collectively agreed to make homeownership a key priority in 2019, no new affordable housing had been built in the villages in 20 years. While Tribal citizens across Southeast Alaska own land, it has remained undeveloped for years.

Success Starts With Me allows landowners to build on their land and keep it under Tribal ownership. People who have thrived on this land since time immemorial will gain access to homeownership and invest in the well-being of their neighbors and the economic growth of their communities.

How it Works

Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority serves 14 Tribes across small village communities accessible only by boat or air. The authority is partnering with Haa Yakaawu Financial Corporation to offer Tribal citizens throughout Alaska’s southeastern panhandle a personalized pathway to homeownership. Tailored down payments, mortgages, and sweat equity options meet potential homeowners’ unique profiles. A foreclosure mitigation plan protects again the unspeakable threat of loss of Tribal land.

Training and education are key components of Success Starts with Me. The innovation prepares homebuyers every step of the way – because where other financial institutions see risks, the housing authority and its partners see opportunities to build and retain a strong Tribal community in Southeast Alaska.

A woman speaking and talking with her hands
We're not just trying to build affordable homes. We’re actually trying to change what housing looks like in our communities and what the future will be for the next generation. That's a pretty heavy lift and we can't fail.
Jackie Pata, Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority President & CEO