TULSA, Okla. - A new wave of tenant evictions is likely starting June 1, when Tulsa County District Courts reopen for civil cases.
One group tracking eviction cases report there are at least 1,200 pending cases, despite a federal moratorium on evictions in some cases.
Tulsa’s ACTION network of churches and housing advocates is asking the Governor to issue a blanket moratorium through July 25th.
“People in Tulsa need more time to get back on their feet” said Greg Journey, with ACTION.
The Federal CARES Act moratorium applies to about two out three landlords - and their tenants.
Other landlords can start eviction proceedings as soon as the courts are ready to handle them.
"This isn't the time for eviction, this is the time to help Tulsans get back to work and do the best we can to support them and not put people out on the street” said Journey.
ACTION mailed postcards Friday to the tenants with current cases, advising them to call Community Service Council's 2-1-1 Eastern Oklahoma hotline for help with finances, or legal questions.
Eric Hallet, a staff attorney with Legal Aid of Oklahoma, said “The number one mistake that people facing eviction make is that they don't seek help. Eviction is something a lawyer can help you with. There is a lot of money available to help tenants with rent catch up, and we can help you access that.”
Hallet said some apartment managers will work with tenants, but if an eviction notices comes - tenants need a lawyer.
The ACTION group is asking the Governor to pursue financial relief for landlords so they won’t be forced to evict people who can’t pay their rent during the pandemic.