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Tulsa County Approves Initial $3 Million from Coronavirus Funds for Housing Assistance

Tulsa County Commissioners approved on Monday an initial $3 million for local housing assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tulsa Housing Authority will administer the program, which should start late next month. THA President and CEO Aaron Darden said funds will be available to Tulsa County residents who are having trouble paying their rent or mortgage because of the pandemic, hopefully helping them stave off eviction.

"The worst thing that you can do right now is make someone homeless in the midst of a pandemic where you are pretty much eliminating their ability to be able to social distance. They’re either going to end up in a shelter or they’re going to end up crowded into a home or an apartment with family or friends," Darden said.

Darden said THA was approved for a total amount of $14.25 million for the assistance program, which county officials will disburse in $3 million allocations as needed from their allotment of federal coronavirus relief funds.

Commissioner Stan Sallee said while some landlords and tenants have been able to work things out and avoid eviction, not all have been successful at doing that.

"There’s been some pain out there, and I think this assistance is going to be well received, just like the business assistance we just recently launched. It won’t serve all the needs, but it’s going to certainly impact those that we can help," Sallee said.

Tulsa County has approved more than $4 million for small business assistance from its federal coronavirus funding over the past two weeks.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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