TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (KFOR) – The Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation (HACN) is continuing its rental assistance program in Oklahoma and, for the first time, extending it to Cherokee citizens who live in Arkansas and Kansas.
The program was developed to provide rental assistance amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Renter households can apply for assistance at www.hacn.org.
Rental assistance is available to Cherokee citizens who have difficulty paying their rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The assistance covers a portion of past due rent payments and future rent payments for residential dwellings as well as residential lot rent, such as mobile home lot rent, according to a Cherokee Nation news release.
“As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to plague many Cherokee families, the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation continues to be a force of good,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is one more way the Housing Authority is helping Cherokee families continue to recover from the worst public health crisis we have seen this generation. The temporary extension of these benefits to many of our at-large citizens will be particularly impactful.”
Rental assistance is available to both new applicants and previous recipients.
HACN’s funds for rental assistance were allocated by the U.S. Department of Treasury to states, U.S. territories and tribes for emergency rental assistance in response to the COVID 19-pandemic.
“This is a program that continues to bring much-needed relief for renters to stay in their homes as well as landlords who have been hard-hit by the economic effects of the pandemic,” Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation Interim Director Jerri Ann Killer said. “I believe we’ve made some significant strides to a strong recovery. The recovery began with making sure everyone has safe and stable housing. This program continues to ensue people can stay in their homes once the pandemic had ended.”
The following criteria must be met to be eligible for rental assistance:
- At least one household member must be a Cherokee Nation citizen.
- Applicants must be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling or residential lot rent in the state of Oklahoma; in the Arkansas counties of Benton, Crawford or Washington; or in the Kansas counties of Chautauqua, Cherokee, Labette or Montgomery.
- The landlord must be willing to complete a W-9 and accept payment from the Housing Authority of Cherokee Nation. Refusal to complete a W-9 and accept payment from the Housing Authority of Cherokee Nation may result in the Applicant’s ineligibility.
- Household income may not exceed 80 percent of the Area Median Income. First preference given to households under 50 percent Area Median Income.
“I appreciate the extension of these benefits to Cherokees living at some of the at-large areas. At-large Council members have encouraged the administration and the Housing Authority to take reasonable, sustainable steps to help as many Cherokees as possible deal with the COVID pandemic, no matter where they live. I applaud the administration for this temporary expansion of benefits, as it will help many living inside and outside the Cherokee Nation,” said Council member Johnny Kidwell, one of the legislative branch’s at-large representatives.
Contact the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 918-456-5482, ext. 1135, for more information about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program or for assistance with the application.