Some Tulsa Residents Resistant To Proposed Affordable Housing Site

Wednesday, March 2nd 2011, 9:57 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Affordable housing meant to help people down on their luck is getting a not-so-warm welcome from potential neighbors.

The Tulsa Day Center hopes to open the apartments in the White City neighborhood and on Wednesday, those plans came one step closer to reality.

The future sit of the Hudson Villas is near 11th Street and south Yale. Walk across the street, and you're in White City and many of its residents aren't happy about the new development.

6/9/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Residents Voice Opposition To New Apartment Building

At a Tulsa planning and zoning meeting Wednesday, the commission approved preliminary plans for Hudson Villas.

Sandra Lewis is the executive director of the Tulsa Day Center, which would run Hudson Villas.

"Truly, we are not the bad guys here," she said. "We really are trying to provide a good service for people who need a place to live."

Dennis Henry, who lives in the White City subdivision, says he understands the need, but not the location.

"Look how big Tulsa is and here's our addition, this blue square. There's a unit here, a unit here and a unit here, to a tune of 180 people. That's 33 percent of the population of our entire addition," he said.

Those other two units are the Yale Apartments at I-244, which residents also protested, and the Cedars on 12th Street, both run by the Mental Health Association.

Hudson Villas would be a gated community on six acres, accommodating sixty people, who must make less than $16,000. No violent criminals or sex offenders can live there.

"In this historic neighborhood, I just don't understand why our area has been singled out to handle this many homeless and mental ill facilities," Henry said.

"We looked at the best available property at the best price. This was a great piece of property it suited all of our needs and gave us the ability to have some green space," Lewis said. "We want to be good neighbors. Why would we do anything to destroy the value of property that we own?"

The planning and zoning commission has several more votes on Hudson Villas, and then it goes to the City Council for consideration. Sandra Lewis says if approved, they hope to break ground this spring.