Senate Committee advances bill creating Affordable Housing Commission

Tuesday, 09 April 2024 21:36

Senate Committee advances bill creating Affordable Housing Commission Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY –The Senate Business and Commerce Committee has given its approval to a measure to help increase access to affordable housing. House Bill 2724, by Sen. Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Meloyde Blancett, D-Tulsa, would create the Oklahoma Affordable Housing Commission to oversee the planning, coordination, and strategy to address the state’s ongoing housing shortage – a shortage Kirt said is impacting every county in the state.

“Oklahomans are struggling, and we need to make housing more affordable,” Kirt said. “Right now, Oklahoma is short 71,000 homes and we don’t have a plan to fill that gap. This bipartisan commission will help us work together on real housing solutions.”

Under HB 2724, the 15 members of the Oklahoma Affordable Housing Commission would be appointed by the leaders of the Senate, the House, and the governor, with representation from both parties and experts in the field from rural and urban communities as well as Tribal Nations.

“Housing is essential to economic growth. As our state continues to focus on workforce development to help existing businesses expand and bring new businesses to Oklahoma, affordable housing must be prioritized,” Kirt said. “Everyone needs a home, and affordable housing and economic stability go hand in hand. Developing a comprehensive policy that empowers more Oklahomans to own a home is ultimately good for our entire state. That’s what this legislation will help us achieve.”

HB 2724 is now eligible to be heard by the full Senate.

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