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Hotel to Housing: New program aims to find permanent housing for homeless

Posted at 7:08 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 11:17:36-04

TULSA, Okla. — A new program is hoping to help unsheltered Tulsans who are experiencing homelessness find permanent housing.

The Hotel to Housing program is pairing landlords with potential tenants to get people off the streets and into permanent housing while helping landlords fill up vacancies.

“Initially, people might be a little apprehensive, but when we’re able to prove ourselves because we all know, actions speak louder than words — prove ourselves that you can call us, that we will respond to you, that you are getting that rent every month. And often, we get more and more landlords as sort of word gets around," said Juliana Kitten, director of emergency for Housing Solutions.

More than 300 of them were housed in a hotel to keep them from the bitter cold temperatures during the winter storm. That prompted the opportunity to launch the hotel to housing initiative, connecting landlords with prospective tenants.

“They have many properties, where they are renting and utilizing section 8 and they’ve said it’s been fantastic for them, it supports them financially as well as issues and concern minimal,” she said.

Right now, they are asking landlords to join the team. They said all tenants are required to abide by the lease and must agree to have a home visit by a case manager at least once a week.

“We need as many as we can get," Kitten said. "We have 263 rooms. Some of them are couples. Some of them are families. Most would be potentially one bedroom unit, but we also have people who certainly would, I think they’ve known each other for a long time, and would like to have a roommate situation."

Before the introduction of Hotel to Housing program, they followed a model with a lengthier process to get people into permanent housing. Now, they are hopeful to offer a more effective and sustainable solution to stop the growth of unsheltered homeless.

Landlords looking to join the program can reach out to the Tulsa Landlord Tenant Resource Center at 918-218-4138 or click here.

On April 29th they will host a landlord fair from noon to 2 p.m. for any landlords interested in learning more about the program.

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