Oklahoma Co. Budget Board Working To Approve Housing Assistance Money

Thursday, August 6th 2020, 5:34 pm

The Oklahoma County Budget Board is recommending that the county commissioners use $1.5 million of CARES Act money to help many with housing assistance.

"Guys, we have 46 million dollars that we are sitting on. And no other county that I have talked to in the entire country is just sitting here on their money, and this is 1.5 million dollars a sliver of our total amount," said Carrie Blumert, a County Commissioner for Oklahoma County District One.

Out of the $47 million the county commission was awarded; they have only used $1 million of it.

Blumert said this money would help people, "with rental assistance, utility assistance, [and] really keeping people in their homes."

The money would go into a trust under the county home finance authority. An outside group called Community Cares will help distribute the funds.

Thursday, commissioners were concerned with tracking the money, making sure it was spent correctly, and whether this is legal.

"Community Cares has set up criteria for those they can serve, you who have lost income or lost your job after March 1st," said Blumert.

Community Cares manages state, city, and now county dollars and gives the money based on each person's need.

This would allow a larger population to receive assistance.

"This program will help people who live in the county who live in the 19 other municipalities," said Blumert.

This was just the first of the hurdles for this proposal. Next week will be the real test.

"The final vote will come to the three county commissioners next Wednesday, and as soon as that happens, we start working with home finance authority to get them the money," said Blumert.

When they release more information on how to apply, we will have that on our News 9 app and News9.com.