TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa needs about $2.5 billion in new housing to close the gap in the city's housing crisis, according to a new study released Friday by Tulsa Housing Solutions.
It revealed more than half of the housing demand is from households that are at or below the city's average median income, which is below $54,000.
But the study shows there's still a critical need for those who have a moderate or high income.
"There's need across the spectrum," said Aaron Darden, the president and CEO of the Tulsa Housing Authority. "[From] emergency housing all the way up to even luxury housing that's needed here in the city."
He said the study was not surprising to people working in the affordable housing industry, but it's a good way to spark conversations with people needed to help address the issue.
"If we could just get others to come to the table both, you know, as nonprofits, developers from the city, I think we can really coalesce around this issue and we can start to get close to that number that's needed moving forward," he said.
According to the study, one in five Tulsa renters pays more than half their income on housing.
One in five Tulsa homeowners pays more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
"The strategy is really just getting together with our partners getting together as a community and understanding where we all play a role in that," said the city of Tulsa's housing policy director Travis Hulse. "The city is certainly a big part of that and leading that effort and bringing some of those other partners at the table and figuring out how we all work together."
In order to meet the $2.5 billion needed over the next decade, the study says investments of $245 million need to be made annually.
In the fall, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum announced a challenge to invest $500 million in housing over the next two years.
"The housing study falls right in line with supporting that effort," said Hulse. "The good news is, is we were already kind of underway and starting to figure out how we as a city can can make changes what we can do with what funding is available, identifying new funding sources."
Hulse and Darden pointed out that this housing crisis isn't unique to Tulsa.
"For the past couple of years, we've seen an increase in construction costs and increase in interest rates," explained Hulse. "We've seen labor supply shortages, we've seen supply chain issues. There has just been so much activity and volatility going on in the market."
More than half of properties in Tulsa are older than 50 years old, according to the study.
Hulse said there are ways to attract builders.
"I think that we do that by offering them different incentives potentially," he said. "We offer them a clear path forward on how to get permitting how to go through the development process, providing that customer service and that assistance at city hall "