Federal Rent Relief Money Available To People Affected By COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday, May 7th 2021, 5:23 pm
By: Augusta McDonnell


This week, a federal judge overturned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's eviction moratorium that was enacted during the pandemic. 

People who are behind on their rent might be on their way to court sooner than expected if appeal efforts fail.

The moratorium is set to expire on June 30, but the decision might move that date up by about a month. 

The local Community Cares Partners overseeing the administration of the second round of CARES Act funding from the American Rescue Plan are connecting people facing convictions with resources. 

Approximately $220 million worth of funding is now being distributed to applicants who qualify due to COVID-related late rent payments. 

“The beauty of that program is that it keeps people from being homeless,” said Dan Straughan, executive director of the Homeless Alliance in Oklahoma City. 

Representatives from the group can help get evictions dismissed. 

“If people come in for eviction court, we can hook them up right then. It is much better before you get an eviction notice or a five-day to quit or whatever to go ahead and apply online,” Straughan said. 

The requirements to qualify include making 80% or less than area median income, which in Oklahoma County is about $40,000 per year, and that tenants are behind on rent due to COVID-19. 

“Not necessarily that you got sick and couldn’t work, but let’s say you had to cut back your hours because the kids were homeschooling and you had to be there. Well that’s COVID related,” he said. 

This relief money also covers utilities. 

You can apply online at www.okcommunitycares.org.