The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Awards $6.7 Million Grant
To Establish Boomtown Development Co.
Recognizing Tulsa’s need for safe, quality and affordable housing for moderate to low-income families, Tulsa Habitat for Humanity (THFH) announces the formation of a new non-profit affiliate, Boomtown Development Co. The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, which is dedicated to developing sustainable solutions to affordable housing, is awarding a $6.7 million grant to launch this new housing initiative.
Boomtown Development Co. emphasizes the development of mixed-income housing, focusing on creating diverse socio-economic neighborhoods and breaking up concentrations of poverty. THFH has a proven model for working with moderate and low-income homebuyers, which accommodates borrowers in a specific income range. With the realization that an ever-increasing number of Tulsa families were falling outside its homeownership program requirements, but still short of qualifying for traditional mortgage financing, THFH began looking for ways to expand its services and help more Tulsans realize the dream of homeownership. Boomtown Development Co. will provide a more comprehensive approach to addressing the affordable housing crisis, by providing access to those who currently fall outside of THFH’s guidelines.
Additionally, Boomtown’s PATHS: Permanent Answers to Housing Shortages program is designed to equip those living on the socio-economic margins with financial training, support services, and attractive housing options, whether they are on a path to homeownership in the near-term, long-term or simply in need of safe, quality and affordable rental housing. Boomtown Development Co. makes it possible to expand housing offerings, provide more support services and continue to deliver the proven methods developed by THFH to a wider range of families in our community.
“Many moderate to low-income families are living paycheck to paycheck,” notes Tulsa Habitat CEO, Cameron Walker. “When the majority of a family’s income goes to paying rent and utilities, they are forced to make difficult decisions. That may mean taking dollars away from food, reliable transportation and other necessities. Together, Tulsa Habitat for Humanity and Boomtown Development Co. provide a comprehensive approach to stopping that cycle, and equipping those living on the socio-economic margins with tools, support and affordable housing options that provide benefits beyond improved shelter.”
The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation grant supports Boomtown land acquisition and personnel expansion over a five year period. THFH will complete 26 homes by the end of 2017. Boomtown’s 5-year plan calls for the construction of 40 new homes in 2018, ramping up to a full capacity of 150 homes per year by 2022. Offerings will include a mix of single-family new construction, single-family remodeled homes, townhomes and multi-family rental units. An integral part of the grant is creation of a land fund which will receive a fixed contribution from Boomtown home sales, leading to a self-sustaining land acquisition reserve.
“We want to empower community members to improve their lives, and there is a tremendous need for affordable housing in Tulsa,” says Bill Major, Executive Director, The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation. ”This project, like the other great work of Tulsa Habitat for Humanity, will change lives for our friends and neighbors by helping to create a path to homeownership for some who may never otherwise have the chance to own a home.”