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Increase Affordable Housing

Addressing housing affordability is paramount to the well-being and financial security of Tulsa residents.


By Monroe Nichols


The days when the housing market favored either the buyer or seller are a thing of the past. Home prices are up 43% since 2018. Tulsa lacks an essential 6,000 units for all Tulsans to have a place to call home. Nearly half of Tulsa's renters, a staggering 46%, struggle under the weight of being cost-burdened. A household is considered “cost-burdened” when it spends more than 30% of its income on rent and utilities. These financial strains not only limit an individual’s ability to meet other essential needs but also perpetuate a cycle of economic instability. This has a crippling impact on our local economy, so addressing housing affordability is paramount to the well-being and financial security of Tulsa residents.


Collaborating with landlords and non-profit organizations, we will implement early intervention measures to support tenants struggling to keep up with rent payments. By providing resources and assistance, we can prevent evictions and stabilize housing for families in need.

The lack of affordable housing, cost-burdened renters, and a housing stock shortage create the ideal scenario for Tulsa to rank among the highest eviction rates in the country. Both renters and landlords realize that changes must be made to successfully provide housing to those in need while ensuring that there are safeguards to protect landlords’ investments in our neighborhoods.


This is a crisis that will not go away without aggressive action. As Tulsa’s next mayor, I am proposing a broad approach aimed at both preventing evictions and increasing the availability of affordable housing. This will help stabilize the housing market and assist our community in realizing economic mobility regardless of income level.


First, we will revitalize neighborhoods by eliminating blighted properties and converting them into affordable housing units. This not only addresses the issue of vacant and deteriorating buildings but also expands the availability of housing options for low-income residents. Collaborating with landlords and non-profit organizations, we will implement early intervention measures to support tenants struggling to keep up with rent payments. By providing resources and assistance, we can prevent evictions and stabilize housing for families in need.


I will establish a One-Stop Permitting Center staffed with project managers who are working to streamline the development process and ensure a smooth experience for developers seeking to build affordable housing. With a One-Stop Permitting Center, we will also prioritize the expedited review of code violations to address safety concerns. This will allow landlords to quickly resolve problems and make sure that housing remains habitable for all residents.


I will explore innovative financing techniques to increase the availability of affordable housing stock, leveraging public-private partnerships and exploring alternative funding sources.




I will establish a Mayor’s Council on Evictions. This council will include service providers, landlords, city councilors, and renters, who will all work together to regularly review strategies and implement changes based on real-time data. By staying proactive and responsive, we can better address the underlying causes of evictions and provide support to vulnerable tenants before they face homelessness.


Furthermore, I will allocate $2.5 million to create a rental support fund, benefiting both tenants in need and responsible landlords facing financial losses. This fund will serve as a safety net for renters facing sudden emergencies while also incentivizing landlords to work with tenants to find mutually beneficial solutions.


Collaboration is key - and by implementing these comprehensive measures together, we can build a future where every Tulsan has access to safe, stable, and affordable housing.


BOTTOM LINE GOALS

  • Reduce blighted properties by 60% by 2028

  • Increase affordable housing stock by 6,000 units by 2028

  • Reduce Tulsa’s eviction rate

  • Reduce the cost burden taken on by developers to produce more affordable housing stock


WHY IT MATTERS

  • #1 cause of homelessness is lack of affordable housing

  • Tulsa has the 11th highest eviction rate in the country

  • Tulsa needs 6,250 units to support low-income residents

  • 46% of Tulsa renters reported as being cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing


HOW TO ACHIEVE THESE GOALS

  • Appoint a Mayor’s Council on Evictions to ensure local government is constantly reviewing strategies and making changes based on real-time data

  • Revitalize neighborhoods by turning blighted properties into affordable housing units

  • Work with landlords and non-profits to intervene before tenants fall too far behind on rent

  • Create a $2.5 million fund to support renters in a pinch and protect responsible landlords for losses

  • Create a One Stop Permitting Center staffed with project managers to ensure a smooth customer experience for developers

  • Speed up review of code violations

  • Utilize innovative financing techniques to increase affordable housing stock


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