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Rising rent causing trouble for housing assistance recipients

Posted at 6:36 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 10:03:49-05

TULSA, Okla. — Finding affordable housing is difficult for a lot of people right now but it’s really impacting lower-income families.

As rent sky-rockets across the country, finding a place to live is even more challenging for those with section 8 vouchers. The Tulsa Housing Authority says it comes down to two major factors. First, finding affordable housing, and second finding a landlord willing to accept vouchers.

“We have over 400 people out there with a voucher, searching for housing,” senior vice president for Tulsa’s Affordable Housing Terri Cole said.

On average, the housing authority says it takes more than 60 days for over half of the participants in the housing choice voucher program to find housing.

“It doesn’t make it easy when the rents are high,” Cole said.

Tulsa’s Housing Authority says they were only able to place 39% of their voucher recipients last year. Right now, there are more than 5,000 people still on their waiting list. Cole says there just isn’t enough affordable housing in Tulsa, and rising rent makes it even harder. Plus, landlords are less likely to accept vouchers.

“Last year we were very fortunate because we did receive COVID funds. With those funds, we put them towards incentives. So, we were able to get over 100 new landlords last year just through those incentives.”

Those incentives included security deposits. However, the incentives ended with the COVID funding. Meanwhile, voucher recipients are waiting months to be selected.

“To reach the top of the list and not be able to utilize those vouchers, it's catastrophic to those families.”

Tulsa Housing Authority completed Phase Two of a project grant that is expanding affordable housing in the Eugene Field Neighborhood in west Tulsa. It’s adding more than 250 units. To learn more, CLICK HERE.

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