September 16, 2020 8:00 am
As the COVID19 Pandemic continues to spread throughout the country, households are urged to stay home as much as possible to reduce the spread of the virus. Home is considered the safest place to be, but with reduced income, far too many families find it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to pay the most critical bill of the month – rent. Out of concern for the public health risks created when households are evicted and displaced from their homes during a pandemic, the CDC has announced a national moratorium on residential evictions through the end of the year 2020.
“We’ve said all along that families should not face homelessness in the midst of a pandemic. We’re glad the CDC has finally taken this step to keep people safer at home,” said Rev. Jeff Jaynes, Executive Director of Restore Hope Ministries. “I can’t imagine a parent worrying about a roof over their child’s head on top of how they will manage distance learning or an outbreak in their school. This moratorium will remove the fear of homelessness and will keep so many families from the stigma of eviction that stays with them–and their credit–for years.”
While details of the moratorium are still being analyzed, the action is only a first step toward real help for landlords and tenants. The moratorium does not prevent landlords from charging rent or fees. Thus, tenants will still owe monthly rent through the period of the moratorium and landlords may also struggle with their own bills during that time. Without further action, many tenants will face a significant debt on January 1 and landlords will be hurting as well.
“We want to be here for both landlords and tenants,” Jaynes said. “Starting today we are adapting our programs to pay future rent as well as past-due rent. This will not only prevent tenants from becoming homeless but will also keep them from facing a mountain of debt on January 1st. It will also help landlords in this difficult time.”
Tenants are encouraged to submit an application for assistance through the online portal set up by Restore Hope and the Tulsa Housing Authority for CARES act assistance. That application can be found at tulsahousing.nanmckay.com. Assistance will be focused on those who face the highest risk in the months ahead.
To learn more about Restore Hope, go to www.restorehope.org or follow us at @RHMTulsa on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.