2020-08-01 bz-fixhousingp1

Tulsa Economic Development Corp. CEO Rose Washington speaks at a press conference in downtown Tulsa on July 1. TEDC is partnering with the city of Tulsa to provide an Affordable Housing Development Academy to promote nonprofit housing development. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World file

The city of Tulsa and the Tulsa Economic Development Corp. are partnering to launch Build Tulsa: Affordable Housing Development Academy.

Build Tulsa will promote nonprofit development in Tulsa’s neighborhoods, including informing the organizations of requirements for receiving federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program grants.

“Housing is a foundation for economic opportunity, both for those who live in it and for those who build it,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement. “This program is part of our commitment to ensure that all Tulsans can thrive, no matter where in the city they live.”

The program also aims to broaden participation and increase diversity within the real estate development field in Tulsa.

“Build Tulsa helps us meet one of the first goals of our new Affordable Housing Strategy, which is to strengthen neighborhoods,” said Becky Gligo, housing policy director for the city. “We’re excited to invest in the capacity of Tulsa residents and to shape these neighborhoods’ future together.”

The course will benefit nonprofit organizations that plan to expand into affordable housing and existing affordable housing providers that plan to become Community Housing Development Organizations. The course also is open to individuals who are interested in these topics.

“This work is important, especially during this time,” Tulsa Economic Development Corp. CEO Rose Washington said. “We want to build financial wherewithal for all forms of businesses, and this is a way for us to extend that skill set for housing builders and providers.”

Kyle Ofori, the city’s director of community partnerships, will serve as Build Tulsa’s lead facilitator. The course will be divided into different topics taught by professionals from city government, real estate and affordable housing fields.

Planning for the Affordable Housing Development Academy began at the end of 2019, when members of the Housing Strategy Advisory Committee provided feedback on the course structure and important topics.

“It was very important for me to plan this with committee members’ input so that the course will reflect the depth of their knowledge in housing and real estate,” Ofori said.

Sessions will be held biweekly starting Aug. 25 over Zoom, with the sessions free to anyone who registers. Those who complete the course are eligible for continuing education credits from Tulsa Community College.

To register, visit bit.ly/buildtulsa20.

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