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The city of Tulsa’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund soon will be operating to produce and preserve affordable housing projects citywide.

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Tammy Phelps had high hopes and big plans for 2020. She had planned to buy her own home and move out of the rental where she and her five children had been living since her divorce five years ago. She and her boyfriend were planning a wedding.

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The Tulsa Housing Authority and Restore Hope Ministries began offering rental assistance to tenants and landlords in Tulsa County on Aug. 24, thanks to Gov. Kevin Stitt and the Tulsa County Commission. But something is amiss.

"Our entire community has a stake in making sure we have a good outcome for those facing eviction," the author writes. "Families without homes face increased health risks, they find it harder to maintain employment, and their children encounter education delays that impact their development for years to come. We share our community with these families, and our ability to succeed depends on their ability to succeed." 

Restore Hope Ministries will use an open-ended grant to pay rents for tenants who received eviction notices while the courts were closed for COVID-19. It would benefit more than 500 Tulsa families, officials announced Tuesday.

City councils in Tulsa and OKC to consider calling for moratorium on evictions

Even before the pandemic recession, Tulsa had the 11th highest eviction rate in the nation. The COVID-19 shutdown threatens to make it much worse once state courts are in full operations. Nearly half of all adults in Oklahoma have lost all or part of their incomes since March, and 1 out of 3 Oklahomans are now struggling to pay their rent or mortgage, according to data from Open Justice Oklahoma.

The Coweta Fire Department is launching a campaign to help residents in their fire service area receive new smoke detectors if they do not have them.

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