Concern accepting applications for COVID relief funds

July 20, 2021

Concern now accepting individual applications for assistance

Concern, a local non-profit organization that has partnered with the City of Bartlesville to provide COVID relief funds to Bartlesville residents impacted by the pandemic, is now accepting applications for the program, Assistant City Planner Nancy Warring said this week.

The COVID Relief Fund Program, made possible through grant funding from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, targets low to moderate income residents in need of rental, utility or mental health assistance as a result of employment/income loss or hardships, child care issues or illness due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding for the program — a total of $936,189 — comes from the ODOC’s Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Disease Relief Program grant. The City applied for the grant last year and received notification of approval in April.

“In an effort to secure funding that will help local residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Bartlesville applied for and has been approved for this grant funding,” Warring said. “The City has partnered with Concern, a local non-profit organization with the expertise and systems already in place to begin administering funds for rent and utility assistance as quickly as possible, to facilitate these portions of the program.”

Warring said staff from both organizations began working several weeks ago to construct the program and formulate an agreement between the City and Concern that “best accommodates all concerned.”

“We are happy to announce this week that we have reached an agreement and are ready for final consideration by the City Council,” Warring said.

In a final administrative step, the council will consider approval of the agreement during its regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 2. Once approved, the City will transfer the first $50,000 to Concern to dispense to qualified individuals.

“These are up-front funds that the City will get reimbursement for after Concern has made payment to someone and sent us the documentation,” Warring said.

She said applications are being accepted by Concern at this time.

“We encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible to contact Concern and begin the application process,” she said.

Rent assistance

  • You must be a Bartlesville resident.
  • You must be renting your home.
  • You must be requesting assistance for bills dated no earlier than Jan. 21, 2020.
  • You must have a total household income in the low to moderate range, per HUD guidelines (see below).
  • Your inability to pay rent must have been due to COVID-19.
  • You must not claim the same assistance from any other source.

Required documentation:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Bartlesville residency
  • Past due notice(s)
  • Rental agreement
  • Proof of COVID-19 connection

Utility assistance

  • You must be a Bartlesville resident.
  • You must be requesting assistance for bills dated no earlier than Jan. 21, 2020.
  • You must have a total household income in the low to moderate range, per HUD guidelines (see below).
  • Your inability to pay utilities must have been due to COVID-19.
  • You must not claim the same assistance from any other source.

Required documentation:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Bartlesville residency
  • Past due notice(s)
  • Proof of COVID-19 connection

HUD guidelines for household income:

 

 

 

To apply for rent or utility assistance, bring your required documentation to Concern, located at 333 S. Penn Avenue. For more information about rent or utility assistance, call 918.214.8945.

Mental health assistance

For the mental health portion of the program, the City will reimburse Grand Lake Mental Health Center for iPads that were provided by GLMHC to individuals in need of mental health assistance as well as the associated data plans.

“We are very pleased to see this program progress so that the citizens who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic can begin getting the help they need,” said City Manager Mike Bailey. “We hope these relief funds will indeed bring some relief to those who are struggling, and allow them to meet such basic needs as housing, mental health, and utility services.”