Photo caption: The Osage Nation Senior Housing complex is located on the Osage campus in Pawhuska. SHANNON SHAW DUTY/Osage News
The Osage Nation Housing Department has issued a Rental and Mortgage Payment Forgiveness plan for the months of July, August and September.
Using CARES Act funding, the department will forgive rental payments for Senior Housing tenants and families participating in the Homeownership Assistance program for the next three months. The department previously issued a rental and mortgage payment forgiveness plan using HUD money for the months of April, May and June.
Weigant said there are currently 27 senior housing units filled and 50 families in the homeownership program. The senior housing units are located in Pawhuska on the Osage Nation campus and the homes purchased through the homeownership program are within Osage County.
“This payment forgiveness will help with these uncertain times and work toward keeping everyone healthy,” said James Weigant, Housing director and coordinator for the Osage COVID Task Force. “It does not have to be paid back at the end of [their] contract, it is completely forgiven.”
The housing department will mail information to all participants of the two programs detailing the forgiveness and how it applies. The Nation’s accounting department will also cease all auto payment deductions from ON employees’ paychecks who participate in the programs.
According to the housing department’s website, the homeownership assistance program provides homeownership opportunities to qualifying low-income Native American families and individuals. Homebuyers purchase homes through the Osage Nation.
Senior housing provides maintenance-free and affordable rental housing to Native American elders residing on the Osage Nation reservation or Osage County. Rental rates are based on the annual household income of the residents, according to the website.
Osage preference applies to both programs, which means Osage tribal members, their spouses or parents of an Osage child will get first preference. There are currently waiting lists for both programs and Osage officials have expressed the need to expand both programs.
For more information about the two programs or the Housing Department, visit https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/housing