From The Journal Record:
Construction of an affordable housing development that has been in the planning stages for years could begin by fall if the Oklahoma City Council approves needed funding next week.
Phase One of the three-phase Creston Park Neighborhood Affordable Housing Project in northeast Oklahoma City was fully funded at one point, but rising construction costs have increased the amount needed, said Ian Colgan of the Oklahoma City Housing Authority.
OCHA and its nonprofit arm, the Community Enhancement Corp., are seeking a $1.25 million allocation of General Obligation Limited Tax Bond proceeds to close the gap. The total project cost was estimated at just under $40 million when the request was made and now is about $42 million, Colgan said Tuesday.
“Construction costs are an ongoing and fluctuating problem,” he said.
The city’s Economic Development Trust approved the $1.25 million allocation in July, and it was introduced to the City Council in September. A vote on the item was delayed at the request of Councilwoman Nikki Nice, who said she had concerns about the relocation of residents in current housing that will be demolished to make way for the new development.
The project site – along Martin Luther King Avenue between NE 26th and NE 29th streets – includes 159 housing units on 15 acres known as the Northeast Duplexes Public Housing as well as an additional 15 acres of vacant land to the east.
Phase One construction requires the demolition of 95 of the current housing units. Colgan said about half of the residents moved out on their own and OCHA’s relocation coordinator worked with the remaining 39 residents to relocate. They were offered moving expenses and their choice of a housing voucher, housing at another public housing location or a vacant unit on the site that is not being demolished until after the first phase is completed, he said.
“We’re offering the right of return (to a new unit) to everyone who wants it,” Colgan said.
The completed development will have four times the housing – 370 family homes, 60 independent senior units, and 150 assisted living/memory care units. It will be a mix of public housing and other affordable housing, Colgan said.
Plans also call for commercial space along Martin Luther King, a community center, a family resource center, an education center, a senior living center, activity fields and pocket parks.
“It’s a big project and one of the biggest investments in the northeast side,” Colgan said. “It’s one of the largest affordable housing developments in decades. It’s needed more than ever.”
Read The Journal Record's article "Northeast OKC housing development’s construction could begin by fall," featuring the Oklahoma City Housing Authority.