- Lani Hansen
Housing Department raises college rental assistance
Updated: Aug 9, 2018
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
TAHLEQUAH – The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Housing Department has increased its College Student Rental Assistance Program funding to $2,000 beginning this fall in hopes to better assist full-time students with housing expenses.
“One of the reasons why we wanted to raise the limit from last year’s funding of $1,200 to $2,000 is because the cost of living is getting more expensive each year and some of our members go to bigger schools, which cost even more to live on campus,” said Charles Deason, UKB assistant housing director. “We are trying to help our members with as much of that housing cost as we can.”
The increase takes effect just before the August 31 deadline for fall 2018 semester funding applications and uses monies from the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act.
The program is operated on a first-come, first serve basis. Awards are subject to the availability of funds and currently only for students who live within the UKB’s nine-county jurisdiction.
Students can use the funds for either on or off-campus housing and must be exclusive UKB members taking at least 12 semester hours to receive first preference for assistance.
Members of other federally recognized tribes will be assisted after all UKB members are served.
Upon approval, funds will be dispersed quickly and payments will be made directly to the student’s college or university in one lump sum.
For students who reside off campus, monthly payments will be made directly to the landlord. If a student moves during the semester, the institute or landlord must return a prorated amount to the Housing Department.
CSRAP funds can also be used by students who attend colleges or universities out of state, a change from last year’s program guidelines.
“This year, we have opened it up to schools nationwide,” said Deason. “Not all of our Keetoowah members got to school in Oklahoma so this gives an opportunity to our members who are out of state.”
Students must submit a completed application with copies of their tribal membership card, social security card and driver’s license. Financial aid and income verification of all household members, a class schedule and an official transcript are also required.
Applicants who are living off campus will also need to supply tax returns, a property lease agreement and a W-9.
For more information or to receive an application, visit the Housing Department at 18263 W. Keetoowah Circle or call 918-871-2773.