Choctaw tribe signs agreement to help veterans’ home ownership

By MBCI MEDIA RELATIONS,

CHOCTAW — The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs held a ceremonial signing on Thursday, Nov. 30, of a Memorandum of Understanding that will make the process of applying for a VA home loan easier for eligible Native American Veterans, active-duty military and their spouses on Federal trust land.

“I am excited to be signing this agreement today,” said Chief Phyliss J. Anderson.  “Many people have been working diligently for years to make this happen. This agreement between the Tribe and the VA will greatly benefit many Native Veterans, especially our Choctaw Veterans.”

The event began with an hour-long information fair for Veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits Administration – Jackson Regional Office and the GV (Sonny) Montgomery Medical Center were both on hand to speak with Veterans. The ceremony included the signing of the MOU, posting of the colors by the Choctaw Veterans Color Guard, and a traditional Pow-Wow style Honor Song and Veteran’s Song performed by the Southern Pine Singers.

The Choctaw Mortgage Program, located at the Choctaw Town Center, will serve as the local office to assist Veterans with their VA home loan application process.

Daniel Tubby, Home Ownership Counselor, will be the point of contact and can be reach at 601-656-0056 ext. 2678 or Daniel.s-.tubby@choctaw.org

By statute, before the VA can make a loan to a Native American Veteran desiring to build or renovate a home on tribal land, the Veteran’s tribal sovereign governing body must enter into a MOU with VA.  Native American Veterans eligible for VA home loan benefits and whose sovereign governments have signed a MOU may then apply directly to VA for a 30-year fixed rate loan to purchase, build, or improve a home located on Federal trust land. 

They may also refinance a direct loan already made under this program to lower their interest rate.  If the property is not located on Federal trust land, the Veteran can use the traditional VA-guaranteed Home Loan program.

Call toll free 1-800-827-1000 or visit benefits.va.gov/homeloans for more information about the Native American Direct Home Loan Program.