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The Housing Authority Commission and Housing Administration are firmly committed to taking all necessary steps to curtail the spread of COVID-19 while providing flexibility in existing housing assistance programs to meet tribal member needs.

At its special meeting today, March 30, the Sault Tribe Housing Authority Commission unanimously voted to approve a plan that expands current housing assistance during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The approved resolution increases funding for the Emergency Housing Assistance Program along with increasing the standard of assistance. The standard of assistance increased to $1,000 to prevent evictions or foreclosures. 

This program is available to all income eligible tribal members (including those leasing from DeMawating Development) who reside in the service area. Financial assistance will be paid directly to the financial institution or landlord. Information for tribal members on how to apply for emergency housing assistance will be posted on the tribe’s website saulttribe.com, and shared on its official Facebook page.   

Effective April 1, 2020, Sault Tribe Housing Authority residents’ rent and homebuyer payments are suspended for at least the next two months and will be reevaluated thereafter as the COVID-19 pandemics continues. The rent and homebuyer payments will not accumulate and residents are not expected to pay it back. 

The Housing office is closed with minimal staffing. In the next few days, Housing residents will receive a letter outlining the details. We ask that you please wait for the letter instead of calling the office. Your patience is very much appreciated.

“These are challenging and uncertain times; Housing administration continues to assess housing needs. This is just a start,” Housing Director Joni Talentino said.

“I assure you Housing is committed to actions that assist our membership to retain housing,” Talentino added.

Tribal and Housing Administration is actively following all federal announcements and adapting to new federal regulations with as much flexibility as possible.

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY