- Kenton Tsoodle
New affordable housing approved for OKC
Affordable housing is a challenge, both on a national and local level. While median home value and median rent have increased significantly, average per capita income growth has not increased at the same pace. The 2020 U.S. census measures the median income in Oklahoma City at $56,456, about 30% of the OKC population with a median income of less than $35,000, and another 15%, less than $49,000. This suggests that 45% of the OKC population has a maximum mortgage eligibility of about $122,500, yet the median home price in the metro area is approximately $232,000.
The City Council just approved the use of Home Funds available through the city Planning Department to enable Progress OKC to build four new homes in the Culbertson East Highland neighborhood of northeast Oklahoma City. Progress OKC is working with other partners to create a funding plan for another five homes in the same neighborhood to total nine new homes.
To qualify, buyers can’t exceed 80% of the area median income. Based on 2022 allowable income, the limit for a family of four at 80% AMI would be $68,240.
Progress OKC develops and manages affordable and workforce housing and supports small and minority-owned businesses and other revitalization activities. Progress OKC has had significant success in building new homes and redeveloping properties that were blighted or underutilized.
With support from the city of OKC and Inasmuch Foundation, Progress OKC began the redevelopment of an entire block in the Culbertson’s East Highland neighborhood several years ago. Nine quality single-family homes were built, of which seven were sold to income eligible individuals or families as part of the city of Oklahoma City’s Affordable Housing Program. These homes will contribute to sustainable homeownership, a major vehicle for building wealth and economic opportunity.
Oklahoma City has a long way to go to address the affordable housing crisis and our citizens agree that the city should help with the solutions. Some 72% of those surveyed as part of a recent housing study agreed that Oklahoma City should be involved in addressing housing quality problems and ensuring an adequate supply of affordable and safe housing.
The continued work to build quality, affordable homes in neighborhoods with high demand represents a new way of thinking about affordable housing and how to further scale those efforts with both private and public investment.