OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KOKH) — From city to suburbs to rural communities, as our state grows the housing market has declined.
Oklahoma City’s housing need is substantial, and that’s clear by the numbers.
From the Oklahoma City House Authority’s data, nearly 30,000 household income earners and their families are waiting to move into public or Section 8 housing.
The data also includes 35,000 as the number of units needed for low income families.
“Oklahoma may be perceived as one of the more affordable markets, but it’s really all based on what your salary is,” Greg Shinn, the Assistant Executive Director of Development & Community Revitalization at the Oklahoma City Housing Authority said. “So if you’re making minimum wage, $7.25 an hour, the gap is huge. You have to work full time jobs to afford a one or two bedroom apartment.”
Shinn and his coworkers at the Housing Authority own and operate public housing and develop affordable housing.
“At any point in time we’re helping upwards of 15,000 households with affordable housing,” Shinn said.
He’s hoping to expand on the organization’s mission with an around $55M investment over ten years from MAPS4, a taxpayer funded pot of money.
“The city is really putting their money where their mouth is on this, partnering with us and others,” he said.
As the city population grows, people are also searching outside the metro for a place to live, which is a task that’s just as difficult.
“It’s definitely a huge concern everywhere across the state different communities have different needs,” Holley Mangham at the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency said. “Some communities in the state have a need for more homes for purchase and some of them have a need for more rental housing, so everybody is feeling the squeeze right now the way the economy is.”
Mangham said at the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, they’re breaking down the barriers of the widespread problem with a little help from the legislature.
“The Oklahoma Housing Stability program is a huge step in the right direction because that is going to increase the housing stock of housing all across the state,” she said.
The program is still in the works, but the goal is to encourage building affordable housing developments like subdivisions and apartment complexes, and provide down payment assistance for purchasing homes.
“We’re hoping that this $215M program that we were recently allocated, that that will alleviate a big chunk of that, so we’re really excited about getting that moving along,” Mangham said.