The City of Tulsa is launching a new program to tackle blight and help residents become homeowners.
"The City of Tulsa has a demolition backlog of 300-plus structures that create instability and invite crime in our neighborhoods. These are vacant and abandoned properties that are unfit for human occupancy," said Mayor G.T. Bynum.
The new Housing Opportunity Partnership in Bynum's proposed 2020 city budget will get the Working In Neighborhoods Department started on the demolition work, but there's more to it than tearing down dilapidated houses.
"The city will partner with community and nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity and Crossover Community Development Corporation — organizations already working in these neighborhoods — building homes on the lots that have been cleared to create opportunities for homeownership, focusing on the residents who are already living in these neighborhoods," Bynum said.
The WIN Department aims to eliminate the entire backlog in two years. The city will not become the owner of the properties.
A third piece of the program will be working with the Tulsa Health Department to connect homeowners, tenants and landlords to programs that can help with maintenance and repairs in order to prevent blight in the first place.