Cleveland County qualifies for federal rent assistance grant worth over $6.4 million in relief for renters

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Yellow facial mask laying on top of the eviction note

CLEVELAND COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The federal government approved Cleveland County for a U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance grant that will provide over $6.4 million in funds to aid qualifying renters.

The Board of County Commissioners directed county staff to apply for grants available to counties that have a population of over 200,000 residents, according to a county news release.

County officials will set up an equitable distribution system once the money is received, according to the news release.

Applications for rent assistance are not open yet.

Further information on applying will be released at a later date.

“We will get the word out when we’re ready to accept applications,” Commissioner Rod Cleveland said. “We don’t want anyone to fall between the cracks because they didn’t know about this.”

County officials will set up an equitable distribution system. Applications are not open yet.

Eviction sign
A sign urging help to stop evictions during the pandemic (Nexstar, file)

“We were excited about this opportunity to help our county residents,” Cleveland said. “We hope to have it set up for people to apply by late spring or early summer. The program was designed to go directly to landlords on behalf of renters who need it most.”

The Consolidated Appropriations Act made the funds available to to counties and cities with a population of over 200,000. States will receive funds for disbursement to smaller entities..

Households qualify for rent relief based on unemployment or a reduction in household income and risk of homelessness due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the news release.

“Federal guidelines for this assistance target the poorest of the poor to make sure no renter loses a home due to COVID,” Commissioner Darry Stacy said. “This is good news for children, the elderly and other vulnerable populations within our county.”

Federal rules prohibit households that already receive federal assistance from receiving U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance grant funds, the news release states.

“Helping those who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and the resulting economic hardships is critical,” Commissioner Harold Haralson said. “I’m grateful Congressman Cole and Senators Lankford and Inhofe who helped bring this program to the county so that we can get the money where it needs to go as expediently as possible.”

Households can apply directly and landlords can apply on behalf of eligible households.

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