The South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) has begun a long‐term, two‐phase “Housing Development and Community Improvement” program in response to housing needs throughout Southwest Oklahoma.
The first stage of the program will develop moderate sized (1200 to 1600 sq ft) housing to meet the needs of a growing population. These homes will consist of three bedrooms, two baths, two‐car garage, all appliances and basic amenities.
The SWODA Housing Committee and partners reviewed the needs of the area including the City of Elk City’s recently completed “Affordable Housing Market Study,” which encompassed Elk City and the surrounding Beckham County area. The study stated, “…need in Beckham County as a whole is expected to be 297 new owner‐occupied units and 128 new rental units over the next five years…”
The Housing Committee submitted their recommendations to SWODA’s board of trustees, and Sayre was approved as the first building site.
“This will show that homes can sell here,” said Sayre City Manager Guy Hylton, “and hopefully spark some private people into doing some of the building.”
The city of Sayre and SWODA are working together within the housing program. The city has located three lots for the building to take place, and SWODA will solicit bids and finance the construction with contractors to help control costs. A minimum of three homes will be built simultaneously at each location.
“It’s a great opportunity for Sayre,” said Mayor Eddie Tom Lakey. “We’re thankful for SWODA to be able to come help out. Increasing population increases the sales tax base, which could in turn help us to get more businesses and grants.”
SWODA will soon begin taking bids from contractors for the building of the homes, and hopes to have the project awarded by early October. “We are looking forward to working with local builders on the development of these homes,” said Michael Ryburn, SWODA’s Director of Business Development.
SWODA’s board of trustees has committed resources to begin implementation of this project and continued development throughout the region. “It isn’t an end-all solution to the situation,” said Ryburn, “but could help to spur the development process.”
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