By Chris Wright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- A proposed apartment complex has triggered a fiery debate in Central Tulsa. The Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless plans on building affordable housing on 11th street between Yale and Sheridan.
The Day Center stresses that this will not be a shelter. Resident will pay rent. But neighbors are still saying thanks but no thanks.
The property's been bought, and the renderings for the controversial Hudson Villas are finished. But those who live nearby say they hope the project never gets beyond the conceptual stage.
"Nobody was notified until it seems like it's a done deal," said Jennifer Brown, resident.
Central Tulsa residents crowded into the City Council chambers for an informational meeting Wednesday. First, the Day Center made its pitch, pointing out that this will not be a homeless shelter.
Residents will have to pass a background check, and no registered sex offenders will be allowed to live there. Instead, it will fill what they say is a desperate need for affordable housing in Tulsa.
"These folks are going to sign a lease, going to pay rent, they're going to have their own space," said Sandra Lewis, Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. "It is not a shelter. It is not transitional. It's permanent."
Residents, who were given a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns, asserted that the Day Center could not have picked a worse location to build the apartment. Only last year, the Mental Health Association opened a similar housing complex, the Yale Avenue apartments, nearby.
"We're not against having opportunities for people who need to improve their lifestyles," said Jennifer Brown, resident. "We're not against that. We just feel like our community has already done that."
The Day Centers says the location is ideal, and despite the vocal opposition, pledges to be good neighbors.
"We are going to do everything in our power to provide good safety for our tenants and for the residents as well," Lewis said. "We're going to be staffed, we're going to have security."
The Day Center is still working on securing funding for Hudson Villas. If built, it will have 60 units and open next August.