Major changes are coming to the low-income housing market in the metro. The head of City Rescue Mission, Tom Jones, announced his retirement from the shelter this week, but he has a new vision to help those in need.
An old mobile home park on the edge of Midwest City has lain vacant for more than a decade, one of many such sites across the metro, but not for much longer.
“We’re looking to break ground the latter part of February, first part of March,” says Jones.
Jones and the Harbour House Foundation are embarking on a quest to build as many micro-homes for minimum wage earning tenants as possible, starting with 76 of them on North Douglas Boulevard south of Northeast 23rd Street.
“Poverty is a mindset,” Jones says, “but many times that mindset is set in concrete because every time they try to do something to rise out of it, they get smashed back down.”
From his 11 years at the helm of City Rescue Mission, Jones sees that the biggest roadblock to success for program graduates is finding affordable housing as they work to increase their wages. That is why rent for these homes, available in one- and two-bedroom options, will start as low as $200.
“We’re more concerned about the people having their needs met for housing than we are about the profit side,” Jones explains.
The craftsman-style designs will face each other in pods that share a garden and common area, with a community center to host events and social service assistance in the middle of the complex.
There is currently a shortage of 20,000 low-income homes in Oklahoma County, but Jones hopes this idea will radically change the housing landscape here and beyond for the future.
The homes will be ready to move in next year as soon as each pod is complete. For more information on the project, click here.