City Of Tulsa, Habitat For Humanity To Revitalize Neighborhood

Wednesday, May 4th 2011, 11:45 am
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Habitat for Humanity and the City of Tulsa are working together to rebuild a neighborhood one house at a time. It's taken years to clear out the unwanted houses. Now it's time to build new ones.

What's happening in the Crutchfield neighborhood has been part of a long effort by Tony Blueford.

"And we got a lot of abandoned houses torn down and now we're getting new houses put up," Blueford said.

He's been fighting to clean up his neighborhood for years.

"Drug dealers were using these empty houses and the only way, we could get them out, but they come right back and the only way to get them to stay out is to tear them down," he said.

The Crutchfield neighborhood isn't far from downtown. It's between Highway 75 and Utica from Pine to Admiral. The neighborhood and the City of Tulsa worked together to clear out old dilapidated houses, but that's left 300 empty lots with few people willing to rebuild.

"Nice houses are fine, but in this area, a $125,000 home, we just can't afford that," Blueford said. "A $75,000 or $80,000 home we can afford, but nobody wants to build them houses anymore."

So in a new deal between Habitat for Humanity and the City of Tulsa, Habitat will build affordable homes, on low cost land being sold by the City.

"I think one of the unique things we have 7 contiguous properties and this will give us a chance to build 6 or 7 houses at one time, so you'll see one section of the neighborhood really lifted up and we don't have that happen very often. Paul Kent, Habitat for Humanity:

The city is selling the lots for Habitat for $2,500 each, and Habitat will start building this fall.

"It's going to revitalize my neighborhood and bring in new blood," Blueford said.

The City has sold 16 lots to Habitat, some together and some scattered around the neighborhood.