In one of the last bills signed by former President Trump, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, included $800 million for Native American Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA). The Osage Nation applied to the US Treasury Department and was awarded $1,579,289.42 from this fund for emergency rental assistance.
A temporary COVID ERA voucher program has been established to implement this award. This ERA program is restricted to current Osage members only. Applicants must have lost their job or suffered a financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All applicants must also be classified as low income (households making less than 80% of the median income) per HUD guidelines. Mortgage assistance is a specifically prohibited use of this funding, a change from prior Osage Nation housing voucher programs.
The new service area for this outreach is the entire State of Oklahoma.
Approved members can apply for past due rent and/or utilities as well as up to three (3) months of future rent. Those approved for relocation expenses can receive help towards security deposits as well as three (3) months of future rent. Any one household that reapplies can receive up to a cumulative total of twelve (12) months in emergency rental assistance.
The Housing Department has developed a simplified application that can be completed, submitted and approved 100% remotely. We will accept any in-person applications with social distancing protocols. This application can be found online at www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/housing.
The deadline to spend these funds is December 31, 2021.
The regular HUD-funded emergency voucher program continues to operate for those not affected by COVID. That program includes mortgage assistance and rental assistance for Native Americans residing in Osage County.
“The financial turmoil caused by the COVID pandemic has been painful. Last August we rolled out a supplemental COVID voucher program and that funding is nearly exhausted. This additional new funding has stepped in at the right time to allow this program to keep going. I am excited that we can now offer rental assistance to Osages across the entire State of Oklahoma. Nearly half of the entire membership of the Osage Nation resides in the Sooner State.” said Housing Director James Weigant.
Any questions about this program, or to submit an electronic application, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Osage Nation Housing Department can be reached at (918) 287-5310 or toll-free at 800-490-8771.