The Oklahoma Eagle Newswire
Restore Hope has surpassed $4 million in rent and utility assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). More than 900 applicants in the 20 eligible counties have received funds through the program, which assists landlords and tenants by paying past due rent, utilities (water, gas, and electric) and, in some cases, forward rent for up to three months.
Restore Hope received more applications in the first month of its launch than approximately ten years of requests prior to COVID-19. Due to the enormous increase in applications, Restore Hope has made emergency adjustments, including staff increases, modifications to streamline the application process, and increasing website capacity. Even Nan McKay and Associates, the national specialists hired to process applications had to increase staff count to increase processing to 400 applications per day.
Restore Hope prioritizes cases based on need to triage those needing financial support for example prioritizing those with an eviction date. To date more than 80% of the funds distributed have gone to families earning below 30% of the annual median income. The program is available to individuals earning up to 80% of AMI (see here) and nearly every applicant that has gone through a final
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