Choice Neighborhoods project in Tulsa represents largest investment in affordable housing, totaling more than $170 million
As phase one of the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) Tulsa project nears completion, residents are moving into the new mixed-income River West community. River West represents the City of Tulsa’s largest affordable housing project, totaling more than $170 million.
Phase one construction encompasses 74 housing units, including 37 replacement units, 16 tax credit units and 21 market rate units. The $18 million phase one plan is comprised of townhomes and garden style walk-up units. All units will come with washer and dryers in units, are enterprise green certified, are pre-wired for internet access and include a security system and access to a tornado shelter.
“I really want to thank the people who have made today possible. I remember in my first year as mayor joining other Tulsa leaders to make our case for why River West is perfect for the Choice Neighborhoods project,” said Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum.
Bynum continued, “To have this project selected as the target to be the largest affordable housing project in Tulsa history is truly historic. We’re proud to stand side by side with the U.S. government and philanthropic partners to create a neighborhood environment that truly allows people of all socioeconomic levels and a diverse range of life experiences to come together in one community and become the kind of Tulsa we want to be, a city where everybody has an equal shot at a great life.”
The Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa (THA) and the City of Tulsa were awarded a $30 million CNI grant in 2017 by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to launch the transformation of the Eugene Field neighborhood into River West, a mixed-income community. The Choice Tulsa Transformation Plan includes the construction of 460 mixed-income apartments, a renovated West Tulsa Park, a new full-service grocery store and extensive public infrastructure and stormwater improvements.
Along with the CNI grant, the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation has committed a $12 million affordable housing grant and the George Kaiser Family Foundation has provided a $3.25 million grant toward to the project. The City of Tulsa has committed $26 million in infrastructure improvements and stormwater improvements. Across all phases, the Oklahoma Housing and Finance Agency (OHFA) has established a Choice Neighborhoods set-aside, providing 9 percent low-income housing tax credit funding, the largest tax credit award in the agency’s history.
“It’s incredible to see residents moving into their new homes at River West; it’s why we do what we do,” said Aaron Darden, THA’s president & chief executive officer. “River West is a very clear example of our mission of creating a better Tulsa by transforming lives and communities in action. We hope this is only the beginning of a renewed commitment to affordable housing and mixed-income communities in Tulsa.”
Demolition for phase one began in December 2019 and included 17 buildings, totaling 90 apartment units. Phase one relocation, encompassing 69 total families, began in April 2019. Residents of Riverview Park Apartments and Brightwaters Apartments in good standing will receive resources to support their relocation including a dedicated relocation coordinator and case manager, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers for qualifying families, moving costs assistance and transportation support for students provided by Tulsa Public Schools. Residents in good standing also have first right-to-return to the redeveloped River West community, with 50 percent of the total redevelopment committed to returning residents.
Key Construction is THA’s construction partner, KSQ Design is the project architect and Wallace Engineering is managing project engineering.
For more information on River West, visit riverwesttulsa.com. For information on leasing, visit liveatriverwest.com.
About Choice Neighborhoods
A program of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Choice Neighborhoods leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally-driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. The program helps communities transform neighborhoods by revitalizing severely distressed public and/or assisted housing and catalyzing critical improvements in the neighborhood, including vacant property, housing, businesses, services and schools.
About Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa
The Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa (THA) is creating a better Tulsa by transforming lives and communities. THA has been serving the community since 1967, providing affordable housing solutions for Tulsa’s most vulnerable populations. THA owns and manages 13 communities, offers four Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance communities and manages the Housing Choice Voucher program. THA serves more than 20,000 Tulsans, providing affordable housing options in tandem with connection to supportive services to help all Tulsans thrive.