Tulsa Habitat For Humanity Transforms Entire Neighborhood

Saturday, June 21st 2014, 10:12 pm
By: News On 6

It took just 16 days for volunteers to build eight new Habitat houses in Tulsa.

They called it a "super blitz."

The families on Saturdays got to move into their new homes.

It's sprucing up a once-dilapidated neighborhood.

There's new energy in the 2700 block of North Rockford.

"This is one of the great feelings when you get to hand the keys over to the families and you get to see tears of joy," Habitat for Humanity executive director Paul Kent said.

Eight new Habitat for Humanity homes are brightening up the neighborhood.

The property used to be full of abandoned homes, now the street is lined with brand new homes.

"We now have a chance to make this a community that will affect not only these four houses but the blocks to the left, the blocks to the south," homeowner Cathy Powell said.

She's almost more excited to be a neighbor than a homeowner.

"I cannot wait to watch all the kids who are here grow up, go off to college and bring their husbands and their wives," Powell said.

Habitat is teaching Cathy finance, how to change air duct filters and when to call a plumber.

She plans to teach the neighborhood kids to garden.

"So all my neighbors I hope really like tomatoes," she said.

Damon Joseph says he'll lean on his Habitat counterparts to keep him accountable as a new homeowner.

"We've had the similar experience of going through the process of getting a house and so we kind of know how to help one another," he said.

These eight families will pay their zero-interest mortgage for 20 years.

It is an investment to stabilize their own lives and the vitality of the neighborhood.

Kent said that's exactly what he hoped for.

"Injecting a vaccine into a neighborhood, that just gives it new health and new life and new energy," he said.

Tulsa Habitat for Humanity also just bought the Bowen Baptist Church, there they plan to develop another neighborhood of Habitat homes.