By Joe Morey
The LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) unanimously passed an updated Elder Home and Vehicle Repair Policy which allows for Elders and disabled members seeking funds totaling $1,350, to combine their home or auto repair bills. In the past, only $350 was permitted for auto repair and $1,000 for home repair. Now they may use any amount either way.
The new plan will begin on October 1. Included in the new ordinance are stipulations that allow caregivers of an Elder who may not drive or live in their home to have access to the funds provided an affidavit is signed stating they take care of that Elder and proof can be shown.
The affidavit process can be utilized immediately.
LCO Chairman Louis Taylor said the TGB is trying to make something better for the Elders.
“They should be able to use the funds for either one. There aren’t any auto repairs under $300 these days,” Taylor stated. He also added the TGB didn’t change the rules for any single person and that these new rules aren’t favoring anyone.
“We are trying to do this for everyone. There are a lot of old homes built before any of us were even born. They hand these homes down through their families.”
LCO Vice Chairwoman Lorraine Gouge added they want to make sure it’s not the same people year after year getting the funds. “We want to make sure everyone has access.”
The Policy states a certain amount is budgeted to the program and once the funds are used up, the services cease till the next fiscal year.
The program is open to Elders who are 62 years and older or disabled members, and who have their primary residence within the boundaries of the LCO Reservation.
They must also, “Provide documentation including at least one of the following: a copy of home ownership, land lease and/or (in cases where the lease or ownership documents have not yet been updated with Tribal Realty after the death of a family member, spouse or significant other) a sworn affidavit attesting that the individual is the primary owner/possessor of the home and that they are the primary beneficiary of the requested essential repairs or improvements; and must notify (in writing) the Elder Center as to a need for home repair services, provide a written estimate of anticipated costs and receive approval for assistance, up to the designated limit, prior to work being started or materials ordered.”
For more information, contact the Elder Center at 715-957-0027.