A state representative from Oklahoma City says his constituents are being pressured into selling their homes.
Dr. George Young, D-District 99, says multiple homeowners have come to him with concerns, and at least one neighborhood is being targeted.
The Adventure District in northeast Oklahoma City has some major attractions to draw tourism, and right across the street from them lies a decades-old predominately Black neighborhood.
The people there are determined to hang on to their culture.
Lutisha Allen has lived in her Martin Luther King Avenue home since 1971. Her view is a bit different than it used to be.
“This has always been a quiet neighborhood, so it’s not quiet anymore,” Allen said laughing.
About three years ago she got the first request to sell, but in recent months she says the flyers in her mailbox have become insistent. “Looking to buy a house in your area this month,” one reads, “as is, all cash.”
Some even include a photo of her house, and Allen is not alone.
Young says troubled constituents are calling more frequently.
“I’m not saying this is a scam,” Young told News 9. “They may legitimately be wanting to buy the home. How they’re going about it is my concern.”
Gentrification is the word at the top of his mind, as developers nationwide can be seen buying up Black inner-city neighborhoods to make way for newer, more expensive real estate.
“You get crowded out really easily like that,” Young said. “Which comes back to how it all started. Someone approaches you about buying your home for a price you never thought you could get, but it’s still not enough for you to do anything with.”
While these tactics are not illegal, Young wants to make sure homeowners are aware.
Allen plans to pass down her home to her family for future generations and says she and her neighbors do not plan to give in to scare tactics. “
Do you see a sign out there that says my house is for sale?” Allen asks the solicitors. “I do not appreciate you harassing me and almost bullying me out of my house and I won’t put up with it.”
Young plans to work with Oklahoma City to figure out how to best revitalize some of the more blighted parts of his district while maintaining the rich history that still resides there.