TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation is expanding its low-income Emergency Utility Assistance Program, and extending the deadline to apply to June 30, 2022.
The Emergency Utility Assistance Program aims to assist eligible Cherokee Nation citizen households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with utility payments. The expanded program now includes at-large citizens living in counties contiguous to the Cherokee Nation Reservation.
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 program has operated since May 6 with applications available on the Gadugi Portal, located online at https://gadugiportal.cherokee.org. Cherokee Nation will schedule drive-through events this summer to assist those who have technology barriers sign up for the assistance. A list of those events will be released soon.
“Many of our Cherokee families are still recovering from the financial hardships caused over the past two years by the COVID-19 pandemic and are now facing a steeply rising cost of living,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “This extended and expanded utility assistance program will help Cherokees who have been hit the hardest by these economic conditions, which will in turn help all of us recover as a people.”
To be eligible for the program at least one household member must be a Cherokee Nation citizen.
Those eligible must live within the Cherokee Nation Reservation, or counties contiguous with the reservation, and household income may not exceed 80 percent of the area median income. For income guidelines visit https://www.cherokee.org/about-the-nation/public-notices/
“I encourage eligible families to visit the Gadugi Portal to sign up for this assistance,” Deputy Chief Bryan Warner said. “Helping Cherokee families most in need is the right thing to do, and I am so pleased we can include many of our at-large citizens in the program.”