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Muscogee Nation offering emergency rental assistance program

Posted at 1:07 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 23:35:21-04

TULSA, Okla. — "I got it back fast and approved, so I'm just thankful that they helped."

The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is still being felt a year later. Even with many restrictions being lifted, tribes are still stepping in with more assistance programs making sure no one is left behind.

In our series Native America: The Road to Recovery, 2News Tony Russell looks at how the Muscogee Nation is trying to help their enrolled members get current from past due rent.

Nikki Thornburgh, a mother and Muscogee citizen, is a survivor of coronavirus.

"The pandemic has hurt a lot of people," said Thornburgh. "They don't realize how much work you've missed because of this."

Her symptoms were mild but had to take days off of work to recover. Her responsibilities as a mother and the winter storm in February put her months behind on rent.

"It hasn't been the same, it's been a little crazy. Like I had the COVID back in January, it didn't affect me much," continued Thornburgh. "Just for us taking off and the crazy weather, the program has really helped."

As an enrolled Muscogee Nation citizen, she's applied for emergency rent assistance. Tribal nations are one of many government organizations receiving federal funding for this program.

"The emergency rental assistance program is not just specific to tribes it is something that was made available to public housing, to cities, to other areas," says Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief of Staff, Tracie Revis. "There are several tribes here in the state that did receive the funding, we did receive our funding and are providing that assistance directly to our citizens."

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation says enrolled members that apply can receive up to $4,000 if they are behind on their rent. The money goes directly to the landlords.

"We want to make sure those landlords are still getting paid. They can still provide that good housing and those good options for all of our citizens," says Revis. "When the pandemic hit it was something that I don't think anyone was really prepared for. There was such a health need and there were so many economic impacts that came because no one anticipated how long this would go on,"

It's a program Thornburgh is grateful for.

"It's a blessing that the tribe is doing this," says Thornburgh.

The tribe told 2 News this program is running through September. Enrolled citizens of the Muscogee Nation are urged to apply online or call in person.

On 2 News at 10 p.m. Tuesday, a closer look at Muscogee Nation's effort to help its enrolled members recover during the pandemic.

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