Growth Causing Housing Shortage In Mannford

Wednesday, February 6th 2013, 10:26 pm
By: Tess Maune

A Green Country town is facing a major housing shortage.

Mannford has seen tremendous growth in people, but when it comes to houses, it's almost impossible to find one.

The small lakeside town of Mannford is busting at the seams. In the past 13 years all the town has done is grow.

"We grew by 47.8 percent, which only Jenks and Owasso grew at a larger pace than we did at Mannford," said City Administrator Mike Nunneley.

Nunneley said there's a downside to the growth. There aren't enough houses to support it, and the town is still rebuilding after summer wildfires destroyed hundreds of homes.

Right now, Nunneley said there are only six houses for sale inside city limits and zero for rent.

"Just everybody that moves here likes to stay, and there's not much new construction," said Jerri Saliba, of Premium Real Estate.

Saliba said the city is drawing a younger crowd, and it's no secret what's bringing them to town: Keystone Lake.

"When you can be 20 minutes from work and two minutes from the water, that's got to be pretty appealing," Nunneley said.

3/5/2012 Related Story: New Marina To Open This Fall On Keystone Lake

But there's still something missing in Mannford: new homes.

"I think, if another builder or some other developer wanted to come in and create some more building, I think it would be awesome, because that's what people are asking us for," Saliba said.

There's already a lot of development going on in the city that's commercial, and the Harbors on Keystone is one of the biggest projects. Once it's finished, there will be about 450 boat slips and a restaurant, right on the lake.

"[There's] a lot of movement and a lot of it is spurred by the marina, but we just need houses. It's tough," Nunneley said.

Because the buyers are there, Nunneley is making a push to bring in developers willing to build houses. The city has about 80 residential lots up for grabs at reduced rates.

"We've got the lots priced at $5,000 a piece, and they're large lots and they're ready to build on," Nunneley said.

Three national retailers and a fast food chain are building in the town this summer, because of the new marina. About 130 new boat slips will be opened by lake season, while the rest of the development will be complete by next summer.