Native American Bank (NAB) made a different kind of pitch at the Kansas City Fed’s External LinkInvestment Connection event in Colorado in 2022. Instead of the usual shorter-term loans, NAB asked prospective funders to make longer-term deposits in NAB. That would allow NAB, in turn, to leverage those funds to lend more in their low- and moderate-income markets. The pitch worked. The results are as clear as construction on the new headquarters of Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.

What spurred the funder to deposit $5 million?

NAB, a Native-owned financial institution with headquarters in Colorado, connected with several funders at the Investment Connection event. One of those was the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA).

CHFA selected NAB for $5 million in deposits in 2023. According to Steve Boice, manager of business finance at CHFA, they made that choice for several reasons.

  • As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), most of NAB’s lending occurs in low-income communities. It is the only national American Indian-owned community development bank in the country. It is FDIC-insured and carries a Minority Depository Institution designation from the FDIC.
  • In the past five years, NAB has made $128 million in loans to projects with Native entrepreneurs and Tribal Housing Authorities. That includes a construction loan, recently closed, for a Native-owned Montessori school in Wheat Ridge that will enroll 229 students. Since 2018, NAB has made 70 loans in Colorado totaling $23.2 million, which supported 1,023 jobs in the state.
  • Of NAB loans, 95% are made in Indian Country. Nearly 90% of all NAB commercial loans support tribes, businesses, and projects in areas certified as Historically Under-Utilized Business Zones by the Small Business Administration, as well as other federally- designated distressed areas.

$5 million on the move: CHFA to NAB to Habitat for Humanity

The new, long-term deposit allowed NAB to offer a $5 million loan to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. The loan would allow Habitat to renovate a property to serve as the future headquarters of the organization.

“This new headquarters building will create efficiencies and productivity in Habitat’s operations,” Jaime G. Gomez said. “We will consolidate office and warehouse staff into one location, allowing us to build more homes and bring more affordable homes to the market.” Gomez is CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.

Construction is already under way. After 18 months, the loan converts to a permanent note for six years. NAB used the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) structure. “It’s not new for NAB,” Joel Smith said. Smith is president of the community development division for NAB. “NMTC allowed us to provide the $5 million as a source loan and use existing equity from the borrower. NAB is a frequent user of NMTC as in this case and especially in Indian Country due to the equity—projects that may not qualify for traditional lending.” As the loan is repaid funds will be redeployed throughout NAB’s footprint in Colorado and including Indian Country and underserved communities.

“Habitat Metro Denver’s new headquarters building will support and propel our organization to build and repair more affordable homes, serving even more people in our communities,” Gomez said.

For more information

For more information on Investment Connection go to External LinkInvestment Connection - Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (

For more information on NMTC go to: External LinkNew Markets Tax Credit Program | Community Development Financial Institutions Fund ( The NMTC Program incentivizes community development and economic growth through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities.


Ariel Cisneros

Senior Advisor

Ariel Cisneros is a lead community development advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City at the Denver Branch. Cisneros focuses on the community and economic developmen…