PEMBROKE, N.C. (WMBF) - Since the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina was already receiving NAHASDA funds, it was eligible to apply for an emergency rental assistance grant through the U.S. Department of Treasury.
“When we found out we would be receiving the department of treasury funds, we of course expected we’d be receiving some money,” said Tammy Maynor, Director of Governmental Affairs.
Maynor couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw how much the grant total would be.
“When we first saw $18 million, I first thought it was $18,000 then I thought it was $180,000 and then we realized it was actually $18 million,” said Maynor.
The Lumbee Tribe is receiving the second-highest grant total in the state of North Carolina, only behind the city of Charlotte.
Maynor said they’re still waiting on guidance from the treasury department, but the funds will help provide rental assistance to tribal members who’ve been financially impacted by the pandemic.
“We already provide rental assistance through our housing program, so that allows to provide for a group of people that may be different, so we’re leveraging our money through the extra money that is coming,” she said.
The funds aren’t being distributed just yet. Maynor explained tribal law requires that once a budget passes, it has to sit for 30 days before it can be used.
“Well in these 30 days we can start preparing, it gives us time to prepare because this is a whole new program that’s completely separate from anything we’ve ever done,” said Maynor.
This grant won’t only impact Lumbee Tribe members in the North Carolina service area, either.
“If you live in Michigan, or Baltimore or California you’re eligible for rental assistance through this program,” said Maynor.
Maynor added that the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina is proud the Treasury Department trusts them to provide and assist those impacted by COVID-19.
“We’ve never received a grant of this magnitude in the past, so it’s historic for the Lumbee tribe and the Lumbee people,” said Maynor.