Cherokee Nation opening applications for low income emergency utility assistance

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation is opening applications for emergency utility assistance Friday. The Emergency Utility Assistance Program aims to assist eligible Cherokee Nation citizen households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with utility payments.

According to a statement from the Cherokee Nation, assistance may be used to cover a portion of past-due utility payments, current and future utility payments, and utility deposits. The tribe can assist with natural gas, propane, water or electricity. The payment will be made directly to the utility company and the applicant must upload the utility bill they wish to receive assistance on with the online application.

“Many of our Cherokee families are still recovering from the financial hardships caused over the past two years by the COVID-19 pandemic and this emergency rental assistance can help give some support to these families,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said.

He continued, “We will recover from the effects of the pandemic working together in the spirit of Gadugi, that’s the Cherokee way.”

The Cherokee Nation will utilize funds from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program from the U.S. Department of Treasury.

To be eligible for the program, there must be one Cherokee Nation citizen per household.

Those eligible must live within the Cherokee Nation Reservation and household income may not exceed 80 percent of the area median income

Applications to apply are only on the Gadugi Portal. The deadline is Friday, June 3.

“Eligible families should log onto the Gadugi Portal starting May 6 and apply for the emergency utility assistance by June 3,” Deputy Chief Bryan Warner said. “These funds will help many Cherokee families.”