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Eden Village to become next tiny homes community in Tulsa

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Posted at 4:38 PM, Apr 20, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — According to Housing Solutions stats, more than 40 percent of Tulsa’s homeless population is considered chronically homeless, or people who’ve experienced homelessness for over a year.

Those are the folks who organizers with Eden Village are looking for to live in their tiny homes. By the looks of the inside, some people may think the tiny homes are luxury apartments.

Founder Brad Johnson is in the midst of planning for 63 of them, to start, in Tulsa after witnessing the success the homes have brought to Springfield, MO in the nonprofit's inaugural venture. They’ve since licensed their model to 12 cities and Tulsa was one of them.

“It’s all about community," Johnson said. "It’s much more than giving them a key to this cute, little house and wishing them luck. The key is relationships.”

The tiny home community will be for people chronically homeless, and have some form of income. The rules include no drugs or guns and being a law-abiding citizen. Organizers say it will cost someone $350 a month to live in one.

Pastor Chris Buskirk with Abiding Harvest Church sponsored a home for $50,000. He’s put up folks from church at hotels when they were struggling before, but believes tiny homes could be a lasting solution.

"To put somebody up for a couple of nights is $70 a night and it really doesn’t change their circumstance. It just gives them a reprieve from it for two days and they’re right back in the same circumstance," Buskirk said.

City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma is also building tiny homes in north Tulsa and some neighbors aren’t on board, like Jane Malone.

“We are concerned about our property values," Malone said to 2 News in February. "Criminal activity in various forms will increase which will inevitably defeat our goals for the betterment of our community.”

The west Tulsa neighborhood, south of Charles Page Boulevard, has seen better days, but it’s where the Eden Villages community is going to be.

“If you take a raw piece of land in the city of Tulsa anywhere, it’s going to do nothing but increase property values and the safety," Johnson said.

Organizers say their main focus is to get infrastructure in place. They’re hopeful by the end of the year, they should have 9-20 homes in place.

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