Construction begins on apartments for the homeless
BY MIKE AVERILL World Staff Writer
Monday, October 01, 2012
10/01/12 at 3:05 PM
Construction is under way on the Hudson Villas, a $6.5 million apartment complex at 11th Street and Hudson Avenue that will be run by the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, and will provide permanent, supportive housing for nearly 60 people.
Construction is being done in four phases, with framing work being done on phase one while the foundation is being poured on phase four. Construction is scheduled to be complete in late April or early May next year.
"We're moving right along," said Sandra Lewis, executive director of the Day Center.
Construction was originally planned for 2011; however it was delayed until the total $7.1 million for the project was raised.
Hudson Villas is being supported through a combination of private donations from local foundations and grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"We're pretty much building this debt-free," said Brian Darrough, Hudson Villas property manager.
The 36,000 square-foot complex will have 60 apartments, including four one-bedroom units for couples with the rest being single-room units.
"This is designed for people who need extra support to remain in housing," Lewis said.
The building, located in a gated area, will be staffed 24 hours a day and there will be case managers on site to provide assistance to residents and make sure they do what they have to do in order to remain in their apartments.
"Our goal is to do everything we can to help them stay housed," Lewis said. "This is for people who haven't had success in the past because of a lack of support and that's what we're going to provide them."
The complex is designed where anyone can pay market rate for a unit, $355 all bills paid; however, most of the tenants will be selected by the Day Center or recommended to the Day Center by other agencies.
Each tenant will be screened and selected, and no violent criminals or sex offenders can live there. The gated community will have one card-entry entrance.
"We really have tried to be sensitive to those issues," Lewis said.
Each apartment will have a kitchen area, but there will also be a communal dining area where meals will be served three times a day.
The location of the apartments and proximity to the similar Yale Avenue Apartments caused a negative reaction from many area residents.
When the apartments were announced in June 2010, residents in the area voiced their frustrations at a meeting and again in a January neighborhood meeting with District 5 City Councilor Karen Gilbert.
Lewis said she's worked to meet with residents to try and ease their concerns, including meeting with Gilbert and members of the area neighborhood associations.
"We were well received. They raised their concerns and we were able to explain what we're going to do to be good neighbors," Lewis said.
Lewis added that because of concerns raised during earlier meetings, the location of the apartment complex was changed so that instead of backing up to eight houses it will now be located between two industrial buildings.
"I think sometimes it's the fear of the unknown," Lewis said.
Gilbert said that after representatives of the Day Center and the Mental Health Association in Tulsa spoke with residents, their concerns were put to rest.
Original Print Headline: Framework for success
Mike Averill 918-581-8489
Construction continues on the Day Center for the Homeless' Hudson Villas, just north of 11th Street on Hudson Avenue. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World