By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- The latest new apartment building going up in Tulsa is causing concerns in one central Tulsa neighborhood.
If the complex is approved, it will help fill a shortage of affordable housing for people who are homeless now, but ready to move into an apartment.
The neighbors aren't sure what to think because they don't know much about it.
The Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless plans build an apartment building offering inexpensive rent to what they say will be a carefully screened list of people who would otherwise be homeless.
Sandra Lewis is proud of the design of Hudson Villas and hopes it will be in harmony with both the neighborhood where it's going and with the neighbors.
"And I think the important message is that this is not a homeless shelter. This is a residence," said Sandra Lewis, Tulsa Day Center. "People are going to be living there. They're going to pay rent and they're going to be proud of what they have."
Hudson Villas is going to be a 60 unit, single story apartment building. It will offer subsidized living for formerly homeless single people, not families, who are considered ready for a place of their own. They must have an income, and pass background checks to qualify, and Lewis says the whole place will be fenced, with security and staff on site around the clock.
"We're going to do very careful screening before we bring folks in here," Lewis said. "We're going to know who people are and what their situation is."
The site is now an abandoned soccer field that sits in between an industrial area on 11th Street and the Glen Haven neighborhood on the north.
With little information to go on about what's coming, many residents are worried.
"Giving us very little information up front doesn't help because we're speculating, we're wondering and of course as human beings, we can come up with all sorts of scenarios," said Amelia Agostinelli. "And we may be worrying for the wrong reasons or worrying for the right reasons for our neighborhood."
Lewis says Hudson Villas will be nothing like the Day Center for the Homeless that will manage the property. She says the next step in the project is final fundraising and informational meetings with the neighbors to help explain what's coming.
Neighbors will get a chance to meet with the leaders of the project, and their city councilor Maria Barnes, next Wednesday night, June 9, 2010, at City Hall at 6:30 p.m.