O’Connor: Affordable housing and investment in OKC

January 25, 2017

by Cathy O'Connor, via The Journal Record:

Oklahoma City is often touted as an affordable place to live. In 2015, Forbes Magazine ranked Oklahoma City the fourth most affordable city in the country, with 77 percent of all housing affordable at the median family income. That’s the key – for median family incomes. For those with lower incomes, quality affordable housing is getting increasingly difficult to find.

According to data from the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, 42 percent of renters and 23 percent of Oklahoma City homeowners pay more than one-third of their gross income in monthly rent or mortgage payments. Worse is the 24 percent of renters and 10 percent of households with a mortgage more than half of their income for housing. This number is going up.

Oklahoma City’s low-income housing inventory hasn’t kept up with demand – and what we do have is aging. Between 2000-2013, Oklahoma City built five affordable housing units for every 100 households experiencing severe cost burden – 50 percent of income. Other cities averaged 32 units of new construction per 100 cost-burdened households.

Read full article in The Journal Record