Elder Home Project establishes $50 payment cap
Updated: Aug 9, 2018
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
TAHLEQUAH – The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Housing Department has announced that its Elder Home Project will cap monthly loan payments to $50 for the length of the program’s 10-year note agreement with participants.
“The income-based payments will never be above $50. At the end of the 10-years, the lien will be released and the remainder of the debt will be forgiven,” said Charles Deason, UKB assistant housing director.
The program uses monies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Its mission is to build cottage-like homes so that low-income elders ages 55 and older can become homeowners.
Each home will be between 500 to 1,000 square feet, sit on a permanent foundation and come with appliances. UKB will cover taxes and insurance for the note’s duration.
Deason said the Housing Department kept seeing the need for housing among elders and after a period of research, decided upon smaller, more affordable homes for one to two occupants.
“We're trying to keep the cost down to somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 to $35,000,” he said. “Safe, decent and sanitary homes is HUD's mantra. Everything we do is focused around those primary aspects. The intent is for the elder to have a nice place to live.”
Applicants must own land in the UKB’s operating area and meet minimum income requirements set forth by HUD.
A point system is then used to prioritize applicants. More points are given if an elder is 62 or older, full blood, a veteran or an exclusive Keetoowah member. All applications are given to the UKB Housing Committee for review.
Deason said the note is also set up to keep the home in the family should an elder pass before the agreement is complete.
“If something was to happen, the home would go to a family member as the successor,” he said. “It's in the lease agreement process. They're identified up front and that person has to agree to pay the lease. Payment stays the same. That way it doesn't go outside of the family.”
Deason said the Housing Department will complete two homes this year, with hopes to expand in 2019. For more information, contacting the Housing Department at 918-871-2773.