The Norman Transcript

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January 5, 2013

Senior housing project under consideration

NORMAN — The Noble Planning Commission met Thursday evening to discuss the possibility of constructing an independent living community for seniors.

The community would be south of Maguire Road off Highway 77.

After the public hearing, the Planning Commission voted to recommend the project to the Noble City Council.

Bob Wade, Noble city manager, said developers have found a piece of property suitable for abou 36 units and 18 duplexes. Wade said the project would be funded in part by federal disaster funds awarded because of last summer’s wildfires which destroyed a number of homes.

Wade said developers must apply for federal funds for the project and that “they are hopeful” for the outcome.

Duplex prices at the facility are gaged toward and intended for seniors on Social Security, Wade said.

Terry Carty with the Carland Group says he and his company develop affordable independent living housing facilities for seniors. Carty says his group has built similar facilities to the one proposed for Noble in Newcastle, Harrah, Guthrie, Midwest City and Shawnee.

He described the senior community as duplexes with garages and a community center complete with an exercise room. The duplexes come in one- or two-bedroom models. They are brick with central air conditioning, furnished with washers and dryers, garbage disposals, dishwashers and icemakers.

The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency receives and allocates federal funds to developers who apply for them. According to the OHFA website, the agency “provides funding sources for all types of affordable housing across the state.”

Carty explained that contractors work with the OHFA to obtain federal funds in the form of tax credits, which are sold and used as funds for equity.

In turn this allows contractors to build houses with lower investment so they can be rented at affordable, below-market rates. Carty said he and his group have been trying to put together a project like this in Cleveland County for some time, and in order to be eligible for federal funds, communities must “score well enough under certain criteria.” Being declared a federal disaster area due to last year’s wildfires helped Noble acquire enough points for consideration in the program.

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