Tuesday, September 27, 2022

OPINION: Assist accessible for Cherokee householders dealing with hardship attributable to pandemic | Opinion

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All households should stay in security and dignity, with out worry of shedding their houses. Through the financial uncertainty attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, some Cherokee householders fell behind on their mortgages or slipped into monetary hardship with a purpose to make funds. To assist be certain Cherokee households can keep of their houses, the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation is increasing the tribe’s House owner Help Fund (HAF) program.

Certified householders can apply for forgivable loans via the HAF. The loans are absolutely funded with federal {dollars} as a part of the American Rescue Plan. They can be utilized to cowl delinquent mortgage funds, past-due residence insurance coverage premiums, past-due property taxes or different money owed that would displace householders if left unpaid. As soon as permitted, funding goes on to the mortgage mortgage servicer. The monetary reduction program is already serving to Cherokees discover extra stability and safety of their houses.

The pandemic has taken a toll on a lot of our fellow Cherokees, rising their bodily, psychological and monetary stress. However it has additionally been a chance for all of us to hitch within the spirit of Gadugi, working collectively for the better good. We all know this program will instantly impression tons of of Cherokee households, whereas strengthening our communities and making optimistic generational impacts for everybody.

Cherokees all through our reservation and neighboring areas have entry to the tribe’s HAF program. The Housing Authority will prioritize householders situated in counties comprising the reservation, which encompasses all or components of 14 northeast Oklahoma counties. It is going to then develop to Cherokees who personal houses in an Oklahoma, Kansas or Arkansas county that borders the Cherokee Nation Reservation. Availability can also be based mostly on family earnings earnings.

Beforehand, this program was open solely to individuals with mortgages via Cherokee Nation or the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation, however now we’re opening it for all Cherokee mortgage holders who meet the eligibility tips. The expanded House owner Help Fund might be accessible so long as funds final, which our housing specialists estimate to be via 2026.

For extra info and an entire record of eligibility tips, go to www.hacn.org/HAF or name 918-456-5482.

For some households, discovering inexpensive housing is a long-term wrestle that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic. We all know the necessity for secure and protected housing is excessive, and it’s going to stay that manner because the financial system adjusts.

Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, the Council and my administration have made housing a excessive precedence with the landmark Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act in 2019, which was renewed and expanded earlier this 12 months. HJSCA introduced greater than $120 million to satisfy varied housing wants for the Cherokee individuals, the biggest housing funding in historical past. Greater than that, HJSCA embedded in Cherokee Nation legislation that housing is among the many highest precedence of the Cherokee Nation. Setting that tone is what spurred applications such because the Owners Help Fund and what’s going to spur many extra concepts sooner or later.

The HAF is only one of a number of applications supplied by Cherokee Nation to satisfy our residents’ housing wants. Others embrace the New Development Homeownership Program to create a path to homeownership for Cherokee households, housing repairs for elders and Cherokees with disabilities who need assistance sustaining their houses, emergency rental help, and extra. A full record of applications will be discovered on the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation web site, https://www.hacn.org/.



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