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City and housing authority awarded $50 million grant to revitalize North Tulsa Community

A photo of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge and Tulsa residents following her announcement of the $50 million in federal funding to transform the 36th Street North community. Courtesy of the 36th Street North Event Center on September 23, 2022.

The U.S. Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development visited Oklahoma Thursday morning to announce the $50 million grant that will help to revitalize the 36th Street North community.

This is the second grant awarded to the city of Tulsa and the Tulsa Housing Authority; both were awarded $30 million in 2018 for the River West redevelopment, which officials say is now in its fourth of six phases.

Secretary Marcia Fudge said that safe and affordable housing is the foundation for a person's wellbeing, and that the Envision Comanche project made possible by the U.S. HUD will help to provide the North Tulsa community with just that.

"You have a better chance at having a better life, a better job, that your children will go to better schools, that you will make more money," Secretary Fudge explained. "Today I am proud to say that not only do you deserve what you are going to get , but I hope you can say to other people, 'this can happen to you too.'"

Tulsa was one of 21 cities to apply for a CNI grant from HUD and one of five cities selected as a finalist. The Envision Comanche project is a multi-year investment that officials say will transform a large portion of the 36th Street North corridor into a mixed-use, mixed-income community.

The redevelopment of the Comanche Park Apartments will provide over 500 new apartment units with 271 replacement units and 274 that are a combination of affordable and market rate.

Tulsa Housing President & CEO Aaron Darden said HUD's grant and the collaboration of area partners represents the largest investment in affordable housing in mixed income communities in Tulsa's history

"The Envision Comanche project is a collective effort supported by partners committed to seeing positive change in North Tulsa — a community that's been marginalized for far too long," Darden said.

In addition to the redevelopment of Comanche Park Apartments, Envision Comanche is calling for a neighborhood-scale grocery store, an urban farm, and the creation of the Flat Rock Creek Urban Wilderness Area.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.