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  • Cathy O’Connor

Making affordable housing accessible

Oklahoma City is consistently ranked as one of the most affordable cities based on cost of living in the United States.

Just recently, the International Housing Affordability Survey by Demographia ranked our for-sale housing market as the third most affordable in 309 cities across eight countries. The cities were evaluated using a formula that divides the median house price by median household income in that city. This gives a better comparison of the housing cost or burden per family in each city.

While this is excellent news, for those with lower incomes quality affordable housing is getting increasingly difficult to find. According to data from the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, Oklahoma City has experienced a significant increase in rental housing cost over the past decade.

Eliminate coastal cities and Oklahoma City has experienced one of the highest rates of increase in median rents in the entire country since 2000. Income growth has not risen correspondingly, which means many residents are experiencing a much heavier burden to pay for rental housing.

Oklahoma City can address these trends before we experience a crisis of affordability like many major cities in the U.S. One solution is to invest in the renovation or redevelopment of the nearly 3,000 public housing units in Oklahoma City currently in disrepair. Federal funding to repair and modernize public housing has been cut nearly in half over the past decade, making it difficult to maintain at safe and acceptable standards. A significant investment would not only improve the quality of living, but also help revitalize the neighborhoods surrounding the existing housing.

Read the full article at The Journal Record

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