The beatings will continue until morale improves: Based on court filings, authorities in Oklahoma expect an unprecedented number of rental evictions in the coming months due to the government-imposed business shut downs and resulting unemployment.
Attorneys and academics told The Oklahoman a moratorium on eviction hearings, once ended, will be followed by a wave of evictions creating a homeless population not seen since the Great Depression.
…The state’s unemployment rate hit record levels within weeks of the outbreak, with first-time claims on unemployment insurance up by nearly 800%. Nearly 100,000 Oklahomans, more than the entire population of Edmond, filed initial claims in the past two weeks. “I don’t see how these people are going to be able to pay their bills,” [said Richard Klinge, director of the Pro Bono Eviction Assistance Program at Oklahoma City University]. “It’s a tsunami coming on the horizon as people can’t pay their rent.”
A national survey by Eviction Lab at Princeton University ranked Tulsa and Oklahoma City as cities with the 11th and 20th highest eviction rates based on 2016 data. The Pro Bono Eviction Assistance Program under Klinge has helped 650 families — more than 1,300 men, women and children — facing eviction and other landlord issues since the organization was started in 2018. That is only a fraction of total evictions the state could see this year alone.
“Before COVID-19 struck, based on filings to date in Oklahoma County, 14,000 cases would be set for Oklahoma County in 2020,” Klinge said. “That means more than 30,000 men, women and children will be facing eviction from their homes.
I remain amazed how little interest there is in the overall economic disaster that is going to bankrupt thousands of businesses and push millions out of their homes. In the end, this collapse of the economic is going to hurt (and kill) far more people that anything so far suggested possible by the Wuhan virus.
Instead, our state-run press, hawking propaganda for the government and its employees, seems only interested in reporting the possibility that government agencies might have to shrink and cut pay.
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