Oklahoma affordable housing needs go unmet
EDMOND — The state's affordable housing need grew even as population growth slowed due to the crude oil price slide and economic downturn, according to an update of the comprehensive Oklahoma Housing Needs Assessment released a year ago.
David Puckett, senior vice president at JLL Valuation & Advisory Services in Tulsa, gave updated figures Thursday at the Commercial Real Estate Summit presented by the Central Oklahoma Commercial Association of Realtors at the University of Central Oklahoma.
The study, the first broad look at state housing in 15 years, found that Oklahoma would need 66,821 housing units, including 43,942 owned and 22,879 rented, between 2015 and 2020.
The study was commissioned by the state Commerce Department and the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency. It is available, with detailed information for each of the state's 77 counties, at oklahomahousingneeds.org.
Almost across the board, neither projected population growth nor construction needs were met in 2016, although there were more single-family houses built last year than the forecast annualized need.
Affordable housing — defined as rentable for less than 60 percent of area median income — does tend to be built "in areas of high poverty, because that's where land is affordable," Puckett said, including urban infill areas. "There's just no incentive to build in places where land is expensive."
But nowhere is the need being met, he said.
Puckett provided these statistics:
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•The statewide population forecast for 2015-20, annualized, was 0.81 percent, while actual growth 2015-2016 was 0.41 percent.
•The regional five-year growth forecast (Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Lincoln, Logan, McClain and Pottawatomie counties) was 1.27 percent annually; actual 2015-16 growth was 1.17 percent.
•The Oklahoma County five-year forecast was for 1.29 percent growth; actual 2015-16 growth was 0.9 percent.
•Housing units needed per year 2015-20 was forecast at 13,364; the number of units permitted in 2016 was 12,521.
•The number of single-family homes needed for ownership per year was forecast at 8,788; that number was surpassed by 6.1 percent, with 9,324 single-family homes permitted last year.
•The number of multifamily units (apartments) needed for rent per year was forecast at 4,876; just 3,197 units were permitted last year.
•Here, the disconnect between projected need for affordable housing and construction is stark. Affordable housing is defined as for rent for less than 60 percent of area median income.
•Statewide, the study determined that 2,326 new rental units would be needed annually; just 483 units, 20.1 percent, were funded last year using low income housing tax credits.
•Regionally (Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Lincoln, Logan, McClain and Pottawatomie counties), 1,318 units were needed annually; just 98, or 7.4 percent, were funded.
•In Oklahoma County, 898 units were needed and tax credits funded zero.
"We're constantly behind," Puckett said. "We're never going to catch up to these numbers."