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City of Tulsa Establishes Trust Fund to Help Close Gap in Affordable Housing Stock

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The City of Tulsa has established a major piece of its four-year strategy to address a shortage of affordable housing.

It seeded an affordable housing trust fund with $4 million from a downtown revolving loan fund and has set a goal of raising up to $20 million. City Housing Policy Director Becky Gligo said that won’t cover all 4,000 units needed.

"What I view $20 million as is a proof case of how this can be effective, but we’ll need we’ll need far more than that. The analysis that was recently done in the Downtown and Surrounding Neighborhood Housing Study showed that we could get anywhere from about 850 to 1,000 affordable units out of it if leveraged properly," Gligo said.

Officials are hoping private donations bring the fund to $20 million over the next two years, entirely in local funding. A contribution from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation has the fund total at nearly $7 million.

To date, federal funds have played a big role in Tulsa housing projects.

"But they also come with a lot of compliance requirements, there are people that are highly vulnerable that simply don’t qualify for federal funds. There’s a lot of administrative burden that can come with applying for those federal funds," Gligo said.

Plans call for 70% of the fund to go toward preserving and building housing, 15% toward landlord incentives, 14% toward direct rental assistance and 1% toward administrative costs.

A housing study showed the greatest demand in and around downtown Tulsa is for units with rents under $1,700 a month.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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