The US Department of Justice gives a big donation back to the community

Thursday, August 4th 2005, 11:34 am
By: News On 6

A west Tulsa neighborhood once nearly given over to the drug trade is being reclaimed and rebuilt, by the hard work of its residents and some very generous gifts.

Thursday, the South Haven neighborhood received the biggest gift of its kind in the nation. News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin says South Haven used to be riddled with crack houses; now new family homes will stand in their place.

The US Department of Justice is handing over nine parcels of land, confiscated from drug dealers, to the group Habitat for Humanity. The neighborhood near 33rd West Avenue and I-44 is a major project for Habitat. The volunteer organization has already built 35 low cost homes in the area, which new owners help pay for through sweat equity, joining in the construction.

Now with 9 more new houses on the way, residents say South Haven is a new place. South Haven resident Diane Perry: "so when I see kids, young couples moving in, it's gonna grow."

Officials say this is the US Department of Justice’s largest donation of confiscated property at one time in the country.

Residents say their property values are already going up. In addition to the Habitat homes, plans are underway to build a new South Haven community center.