By Joe Morey
The new Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) coordinator, Kelly Nayquonabe, met with the LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) at their weekly meeting on Monday, Oct. 18, to discuss the recently approved program. She stated there is $30,000 available per home for mortgage assistance, delinquent property taxes, or renovation or repairs for tribal members who own their own home on the Reservation.
Nayquonabe said there are 150 tribal member homeowners who would qualify under the HAF program. The program is income limited, but more than half the available funds are added by the TGB, which would allow more flexibility in eligibility.
“HAF was established to mitigate financial hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic by providing funds to eligible entities for the purpose of preventing homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020, through qualified expenses related to mortgages and housing,” according to the American Rescue Plan details.
Lac Courte Oreilles was awarded $2 million and the TGB added an additional $2.2 million to the program.
According to Nayquonabe, nearly all 150 homeowners have already submitted their applications.
The potential process was discussed with the TGB at the meeting, at which time it was explained that once the Inspector is hired under the program, he/she will work with the homeowner who should at that time have a priority list of what repairs and upgrades that individual needs. The Inspector will do a walk through.
Chairman Louis Taylor said the program should allow the homeowners to have more say in the contracting and choice of products used.
“Some of our people are great handymen and women and would prefer to do the work themselves on their own homes. If they aren’t, then they may have relatives who would work for less,” Taylor stated. He added this would help them stretch the money a lot further.
Kelly Nayquonabe will be at the Tribal Office on Wednesdays to take applications and to answer any questions. To request an application, please email Kelly.Nayquonabe@lco-nsn.gov.
Visit the following link for application.