AKWESASNE, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe announced a new tribal program to assist homeowners dealing with financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from the Tribe’s communication department.

The Tribal Homeowners Assistance Fund Program was made possible by the American Rescue Plan. The Tribe was awarded funding for the program from the U.S Department of Treasury on June 27, 2022.

The program was created to help homeowners with hardships including mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services and/or displacement. Funding will be applied toward payments for mortgages, homeowners insurance, utilities, home repairs and other eligible expenses.

Technical assistance is also available as part of the program to help determine homeowners’ best options to address housing-related hardships. Other options are available for tribal homeowners unable to make their regular mortgage payments, including possible home loan modification to lower their interest rate or lengthen 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,” Alexandra David said, who was recently hired as the Tribe’s Homeowners Assistance Fund Program Manager. “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 the 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 U.S. and were financially impacted by COVID-19 after Jan. 21, 2020.

The Homeowners Assistance Fund Program is currently located at the Akwesasne Business Center on Frogtown Road in Akwesasne and can be reached by emailing HAF@srmt-nsn.gov or by calling 518-358-2272, extension 2560 or 2561.

The program will be a topic at the Monthly Tribal Meeting on November 5.