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Green Country Habitat for Humanity grant to go toward affordable housing

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 09:42:49-04

TULSA, Okla. — A big donation is going to mean more affordable housing in Tulsa over the next several years.

Green County Habitat for Humanity announced major funding from three organizations on Wednesday. The large donation will help Green County Habitat for Humanity reach its goal of building 250 affordable homes in North Tulsa over the next five-to-seven years

They've built 43 homes this year with an additional 25 underway and most of those in north Tulsa. The George Kaiser Family Foundation, Ascension St. John and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies have committed $13.5 million to continue the North Tulsa Initiative.

“It’s no secret the real estate market has been completely volatile over the last two years," said Cameron Walker, Green Country Habitat for Humanity's President and CEO. "Rising real estate prices have unfortunately priced out a large portion of families all across the country but particularly here in Tulsa.”

While they just announced the funding, they say they've been deploying the money since January to help in three areas.

“In the form of forgivable down payment assistance, we will use it to acquire both vacant land and distressed properties and then we will also use it to bring in new infrastructure and upgrade infrastructure in varies neighborhoods throughout north Tulsa,” Walker said.

State Sen. Kevin Matthews who represents north Tulsa says he is especially excited about the down payment assistance.

“So that they can afford the home. So that home won’t be more than 30% of their monthly income," Matthews said. "A person making $2,000 a month will have a house payment of only about $600 a month.”

He says it won’t just help a family buy a home but it will also improve the quality of life for children.

“It’s been proven statistically that people that own a home, children that come from a home that they own, they have less absences from school, they have a higher self-esteem and they do better in school,” Matthews said.

Both men say that this isn’t just about providing homes to families but also supplying services and jobs to the community because when you add homes, businesses follow.

Habitat for Humanity says it hopes to build 80 new single-family homes in north Tulsa next year.

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