The city of Tulsa and the Tulsa Planning Office have released the results of their Downtown and Surrounding Neighborhoods Housing Study.

Study results, which can be found at cityoftulsa.org/housing, confirm a need for more quality, affordable housing and policies in downtown and near downtown. Additionally, the results have spurred the creation of seven strategies to advance the goals of the study area.

“All Tulsans should have access to quality housing that meets their needs,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement. “This Housing Study has provided essential data to guide our policy development in preserving and increasing affordable housing stock in Tulsa.”

The seven strategies are supporting and expanding attainable homeownership opportunities; addressing vacant and abandoned properties; supporting quality and diverse infill development; improving the quality and availability of affordable housing and workforce rental housing; encouraging housing stability; sustaining downtown development momentum; and expanding financial and organization capacity for advancing housing priorities.

Of the seven strategies, four priority action items have been identified and are now under way. Those are the creation of Missing Middle Zoning Code Amendments, Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Downtown Master Tax Increment Financing policies and Revolving Loan Fund policies.

“People being able to have a safe, affordable place to live and raise a family, to retire, or to start a new career in the downtown heart of Tulsa are all possibilities within our grasp, but we’ve got work to do to get there,” District 4 Councilor Kara Joy McKee said in a statement. “The Tulsa Housing Study gives us a map to get to that more livable and vibrant downtown.”

Although the housing study was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, the development and policy strategies outlined in the report represent the needs and priorities for the city and its partners over the long term.

The City Council last week approved the Downtown Master TIF Policy, which was based on the findings of this study.

Among the ways the city is seeking to gather further input to assist in policy recommendations in the current housing market is by rolling out a more detailed Housing & Neighborhoods Policy Survey. The survey will seek to gather community perspectives on a range of topics related to neighborhood character, new housing in existing neighborhoods and preferences for housing types.

Results of the survey will inform the ongoing update of the city’s comprehensive plan, PlaniTulsa, and will guide implementation actions for the recently completed Affordable Housing Strategy and the Downtown Tulsa Housing Demand Study.

That survey launched Monday and will run until Aug. 31. It is open to all Tulsa-area residents and is available in English and Spanish.


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