AKWEASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) is pleased to announce a new tribal program to assist homeowners dealing with financial hardships due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Overseen by the SRMT Community & Family Services Division, the new Homeowners Assistance Fund Program was made possible by the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
“The American Rescue Plan Act contained $9.961 billion to establish a nationwide Homeowners Assistance Fund,” shared Jennifer Brown, SRMT Community & Family Services Office Manager. Brown added, “On June 27, 2022; the U.S. Department of Treasury awarded the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe funding to create its own Homeowners Assistance Fund Program.”
The Tribe’s Homeowners Assistance Fund Program is intended to help tribal homeowners who may have experienced a financial hardship after Tsiothohrkó:wa/January 21, 2020; such as mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and/or displacement. The HAF Program can help by assisting with making payments for mortgages, homeowner’s insurance, utilities, home repairs, and other eligible expenses.
The HAF Program can also provide technical assistance to help tribal homeowners determine their best options to address their housing-related hardship, which may entail temporary financial relief. If a homeowner is unable to make their regular mortgage payments other options may include a home loan modification to lower their interest rate or lengthening the payment terms.
“All HAF programs are encouraged to integrate counseling services into their programs to help individual homeowners find the best solution for their needs,” said Alexandra David, who was recently hired as the Tribe’s Homeowners Assistance Fund Program Manager. David noted, “Housing counselors are knowledgeable on options that are available and can help assess financial situations holistically, often providing support or referrals to other resources.”
To be eligible for assistance from the Tribe’s HAF Program, individuals must be enrolled tribal members or eligible for enrollment, own their home, reside within the Tribe’s 15-mile service area in the United States, and were financially impacted by COVID-19 after Tsiothohrkó:wa/January 21, 2020.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Homeowners Assistance Fund Program can be reached by emailing HAF@srmt-nsn.gov or calling (518) 358-2272 extension 2560 or 2561. The HAF Program is currently located at the Akwesasne Business Center, Suite 102, located at 447 Frogtown Road in Akwesasne, NY.
Information on the Tribe’s Homeowners Assistance Fund Program will be presented at the Monthly Tribal Meeting scheduled for Saturday, Kentenhkó:wa/November 5, 2022.