The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 15, 2014

Forced out: We’re hoping for a smooth transition for disabled residents being relocated from Clay Hall

ENID, Okla. — We were saddened to read of the plight of some disabled residents of Clay Hall Senior Residences under the age of 62.

Unfortunately, nearly half of the complex’s 30 residents will be relocating.

These individuals need to find new places to live after the apartment complex failed a February inspection by Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency.

The issue was with tax credits the Prairie Village, Kan.,-based nonprofit PreservingUS leveraged in developing the complex. OHFA rules prohibit people 62 and under living in “elderly” developments.

PreservingUS, which invested $6.7 million renovating the former Phillips University dormitory on the east side of Enid into housing, should work with those residents who now need to find new places to live.

Residency is limited to people who are 62 or older with an income 50 percent below the median income.

Dennis Shockley, OHFA executive director, said the developers presented an application to OHFA “in a very competitive process.”

 “If they had not represented themselves as 62 and older only, they might not have been funded,” Shockley said.

Angela Morehead, executive director of PreservingUS, said relocated residents are not being tossed out onto the street. We certainly hope that’s not the case.

“We want to make sure the residents have adequate housing that’s affordable for their income,” Morehead said.

We hope this difficult transition is as comfortable as it can be.

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