Osage Nation Kickstarts Funding Program to Aid Homeowners
The Osage Nation made a significant announcement on Wednesday: the inauguration of the Homeowner’s Assistance Funding Program, a new initiative managed by its Financial Assistance Department.
This program is specifically designed to provide much-needed support to Osage homeowners who have experienced financial difficulty post-January 21, 2020. The primary aim of this initiative is to prevent detrimental outcomes such as mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities, and displacement of homeowners from their properties.
The financial backing for this program was made possible thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act, which awarded the funding to the Osage Nation via the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This support underlines the federal government’s commitment to providing relief to those affected by the financial consequences of the ongoing pandemic.
The Homeowner’s Assistance Funding Program will provide one-time grants to those who qualify. The assistance will remain available until all allocated funds have been utilized. It operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and payments are made directly to the vendors, further streamlining the process and ensuring that the funds go exactly where they’re needed.
The assistance provided by this new initiative is quite comprehensive. The program includes support for:
- Current and overdue mortgage payments, helping to alleviate the pressure of potential foreclosure.
- Utilities and utility arrears including electric, natural gas, propane, firewood, and water, ensuring that homeowners can keep their households running smoothly.
- Assistance in making payments for homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance, offering vital protection for homeowners and their properties.
- Assistance with delinquent property taxes to prevent tax foreclosures, providing a lifeline to those in financial distress.
- Emergency home repairs necessary to maintain the habitability of a home, ensuring that homeowners can live safely and comfortably in their homes.
To be eligible for assistance, the Osage Nation stipulates that an individual must meet several criteria. They need to be 18 years or older, an Osage Nation member, and a homeowner. They must also attest to experiencing a negative financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The applicant’s household income should be at or below 100% of the U.S. median income, or if they are a socially disadvantaged homeowner, their annual income should be at or below 150% of the area median.
Osage Nation tribal members can take advantage of this assistance by applying either in person or online, providing flexibility and accessibility for all potential beneficiaries.