Funds still available for housing, utility assistance program

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

Local families have received more than $1.1 million in assistance through a COVID-19 relief program.

And more than $1 million is still available.

Residents of Midwest City, and Oklahoma and Canadian counties who have undergone COVID-related job losses may be eligible for help with rent or mortgage and utilities.

“All you need is to show a loss of income due to COVID including layoffs or reduction in hours,” said Jessie Thompson, executive director, Community Action Agency.

Midwest City, Oklahoma City and Oklahoma and Canadian counties received federal funds through the CARES Act and directed it to the local agency for COVID relief. Community Action Agency, a local non-profit, is administering the COVID assistance program.

Those eligible for the program can receive up to $1,000 per family. Payments would be made directly to utility companies, landlords or mortgage companies.

The program includes income restrictions. A family of four with a household income of about $50,000 or less would be eligible. Losses in income would be considered at the time of application.

Community Action Agency started awarding assistance in June. So far, the organization has distributed about $1.1 million to 1,517 households.

Interest in the program started strong but has dampered in recent months, according to Thompson.

“We had more people right away and it has slowed down in part because there are more assistance programs available,” she said. “But we’re still here and still have money available.”

Thompson encourages more people to take advantage of the assistance.

“Some people think they do not qualify or they’re afraid to ask for help,” she said. “Oklahomans are often too proud to ask for help but there are still a lot of people hurting. I tell people it’s okay to get help.”

Funding for Oklahoma City and Midwest City is available until June 30. County funds will be offered through September 2022.

For more information or to apply, visit www.caaofokc.org or call (405) 232-0199. Applications can also be made in person at the Community Action Agency office located at 1124 N. Douglas Blvd. (inside the Midwest City Neighborhoods in Action building).

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