OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The extension of the nationwide ban on evictions has provided some relief for renters. Well, at least until July 31. But even when the moratorium ends, Oklahomans can still get help paying their rent and utilities.
Community CARES Partners has provided aid to people in all 77 Oklahoma counties, and they still have more work todo.
Many Oklahoma families are still on the rebound after the pandemic took a heavy financial toll, but CCP ensures they have the money to help.
CCP executive director, Ginny Bass Carl, said now is the time for renters to take advantage of the free aid.
“We know that once the moratorium lifts there are going to be more evictions filed and people are going to be in a greater sense of urgency to make sure that we get their application processed as soon as possible,” said Bass Carl.
So far 17,000 applications have been completed either online or in person at application stations taking place around Oklahoma City. One of them, belonging to Amarianna Mitchell.
“So I lost my job around April and I kind of went through a hard time for those months, and then I found this program,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell is just one one out of 200,000 families in Oklahoma that have struggled during the pandemic. Many of those families are at risk of losing their homes as they anxiously await for the moratorium to end.
“Over 200,000 Oklahomans are facing eviction,” said Michael Figgins, executive director at Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma assists people with signing up with CCP at the courthouse and doing what they can to prevent tenants from receiving an eviction.
“After August 1, there’s certainly just going to be plenty of rent money left,” said Figgins. “It’s not ending. It’s still going to be there. So the effort needs to be made, whether there’s a moratorium or not, to encourage all parties, tenants and owners, to take advantage of this rent assistance, one-time-only rent assistance.”
CCP can pay up to 15 months of rent per household, both in past due payments and upcoming charges. You can apply for the financial assistance on the CCP website.
Renters having trouble paying their rent and utilities or landlords in need of assistance with tenants can utilize the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new online tool, consumerfinance.gov/renthelp. It allows renters and landlords to find information on rental assistance in their area.