MBCI Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson and Jeffrey London, Director, VA Loan Guaranty Service, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin an important partnership to offer low interest loans to tribal veterans, active-duty military and their spouses to build, purchase or refurbish a home on the reservation. This partnership marks a 10-year collaborative effort between the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to offer this important service to tribal veterans.
MBCI Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson and Jeffrey London, Director, VA Loan Guaranty Service, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin an important partnership to offer low interest loans to tribal veterans, active-duty military and their spouses to build, purchase or refurbish a home on the reservation. This partnership marks a 10-year collaborative effort between the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to offer this important service to tribal veterans.
A memorandum of understanding, which will make the process of applying for a Veterans Affairs home loan easier for eligible Native American veterans, active-duty military and their spouses on federal trust land, was signed last week by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The ceremonial signing was Thursday in the Golden Moon VIP room.

“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.”

Chief Anderson told those in attendance that the Tribe had worked for more than 10 years “to forge this important partnership to provide low interest mortgage loans.”

Anderson said the Tribe had 614 deceased and living veterans who have and still do bravely serve and protect our country.

“Native Americans serve in the armed forces at the highest rate of any minority group,” she said. “It is great to know and hear that.”

She told those in attendance for the signing that there were a “great number of Tribal members with the means to purchase, build and/or refurbish their homes with a low interest loan. What we’ve been working on for 10 years has become a reality today. Most importantly, this is a day to say thank you and pay tribute to our veterans and our active duty military members.”

Jeffrey London, director of the VA Loan Guaranty Service, said it was a “passion” for Veterans Affairs to help Native Americans build and refurbish houses on federal trust land.

He said programs such as this one with the Tribe was a favorite of his former boss and was fast becoming a favorite of his own.

“This is my fifth MOU to sign this year and it is becoming my favorite,” London said.

Thursday’s 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 reached 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 www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans for more information about the Native American Direct Home Loan Program (NADL).