TULSA, Okla. — Renters behind on their payments are one week away from the safe zone disappearing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's moratorium on evictions ends March 31.
“A lot more people who are evicted and who could become homeless as a result of that," said Jeff Jaynes, executive director with Restore Hope Ministries. Restore Hope facilitates financial assistance for apartment tenants and home renters who struggle to make ends meet.
"There is a real need out there for assistance," Jaynes said.
He told 2 Works for You that Restore Hope helped provide $4 million in rent assistance from May 2020 to March 2021. He said 1,700 Tulsans applied for the extra help.
On March 15, Restore Hope was tasked with handling nearly $20 million in CARES Act money. The fund is for low-income families financially affected by coronavirus.
In 10 days since the program's launch, Jaynes said they've received almost 3,000 applications seeking $8 million total in assistance requests.
"That's four times the amount than we've ever helped before," Jaynes said.
Restore Hope is working around the clock to ensure it makes good on applicant payments before the March 31 moratorium deadline. Jaynes said they are relying on some help from landlords.
"We can't provide assistance if those apartments are empty," he said.
Tulsa Apartment Association Executive Director Keri Cooper said property owners are doing their best to work with tenants on late rent. She said residents are their priority.
“It’s been very emotionally difficult for them, as well, to see their residents struggle and go through these things," Cooper said.
Jennifer Johnston, vice president of operations for Capitol Assets, told 2 Works for You, "Residents are our business." She said their company loses money by evicting residents.
Capitol Assets evicted less than 10 of its tenants in over 3,000 units across Oklahoma last year for violating lease agreements.
Jaynes said Restore Hope aims to have first assistance payments to residents next week.
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