The City of Tulsa is getting a grant to help break the link between housing insecurity and incarceration.
Tulsa County is one of four counties in the country chosen for the “Just Home Project.”
The Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity will receive a $370,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation to create a plan to address the impact incarceration has on housing.
Tulsa County was chosen alongside Charleston County, South Carolina; Minnehaha County, South Dakota; and the City and County of San Francisco, California.
The counties will work with housing leaders, behavioral health professionals, and criminal justice experts.
Kristin Maun, the Director of Housing Development and Incentives for the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity, says the shortage of homes for sale in the Tulsa area has made it harder for people who might have a criminal record to find safe and affordable housing.
“Well unfortunately, Tulsa has a 95-96% occupancy rate,” said Maun. “That means we have a very low housing supply. People need a safe and stable place if they are going to be able to take advantage of all the opportunities that Tulsa has.”
She says having a safe place to live is an important part of breaking the cycle of incarceration.
“If they want to pursue education, job opportunities, if they want to make sure their basic needs are met, it starts with ensuring they have a safe place to sleep at night,” said Maun. “And, so, if we really want to be a place where people can not just live, but thrive, we have to ensure that there is going to be access for safe, quality housing opportunities.”
After the planning process, Tulsa will be eligible to receive an investment from the MacArthur Foundation to implement its plan or develop housing for populations that aren't being served.