gthousing

Mayor G.T. Bynum and Housing Policy Director Becky Gligo discuss the city’s new affordable housing strategy at a press conference at City Hall on Thursday. KEVIN CANFIELD/Tulsa World

The city of Tulsa’s affordable housing strategy rightly recognizes how nothing exists in a silo; various factors impact how residents pay for where they live.

Steps announced in a comprehensive city approach hits on four key principles: strengthening neighborhoods, developing and preserving affordable housing opportunities, reducing evictions and lowering homelessness.

Indicators show housing becoming a significant obstacle for many residents, including one-third of residents who pay more than 30% of their income for housing, the No. 11 U.S. ranking in eviction rates and higher numbers of people going to homeless shelters.

The city comes at these issues from multiple perspectives in partnership with dozens of nonprofits, developers, initiatives and other housing stakeholders. These relationships will determine the success of the strategy.

It’s a plan Tulsa ought to get behind. Cities that ignored their housing problems now face a crisis in affordability and homelessness. It impacts a community’s economic viability and growth.

Tulsa is smart to get on top of this issue with a multi-prong approach before it becomes a disaster.

We hope City Councilor Cass Fahler can learn more about this issue and the people it impacts.

It was disappointing to see the councilor suggested using the condemned former Adult Detention Center to hold people who are homeless. His references to “vagrants,” “transients” and “people who don’t want services” are stigmatizing to a population already on the margin and often suffering from trauma and mental health needs.

Using law enforcement as a strategy to end homelessness is outdated, ineffective and wrong.

Tulsa’s strategy has 10 goals with plans for implementation and metrics for progress under each. Some areas have an infrastructure such as Tulsa’s homeless network while other areas will need more time to develop.

It is a worthy plan that uses humane, methodical paths to affordable housing.

Subscribe to Daily Headlines

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.