Housing group targets single mothers

Turning Point Ministries was featured in The Edmond Sun on May 27, 2009, in Mark Schlachtenhaufen’s article, “Housing group targets single mothers.”

EDMOND — Connecting eligible buyers with affordable housing in Edmond is the goal of a new organization.

Turning Point Ministries is a nonprofit housing organization established to help individuals living in inferior housing situations find affordable homes, said Bob Turner, a member of the organization’s board of directors.

Turner said the ministry’s primary target audience is single mothers who would like to own a home in Edmond but are priced out of the market.

Others could be helped as well. Board member Dick Freeman said he heard that 10,000 Oklahoma families registered with the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency are eligible to buy a house if housing were available.

Freeman said a fair number of these families likely are living in Edmond or in the Oklahoma City metro area. And, he said, many potential beneficiaries work in the service industry.

Turning Point Build 1 - Painting

“Most workers in the service industry can’t afford to rent or buy in Edmond and have to commute,” Freeman said. “With the rising prices of gas, getting to work is getting more expensive.”

Many homes in Edmond aren’t cheap either. The average home price in Edmond was $234,047 in 2007, according to the Edmond Economic Development Authority. More than half of existing home inventory in the city is priced between the $225,000 to $1 million price range. Edmond land is also expensive, Turner said.

Addressing potential concerns that more affordable homes might decrease neighboring property values, Turner said affordable land likely will be available in areas in need of renewal. The brick multi-bedroom homes with two-car garages likely will increase property value in these areas, Turner said.

Freeman said due to the desire to buy real estate, board members wanted to keep the ministry separate from First Presbyterian.

Turner said Turning Point is coordinating with Habitat so that resources from First Presbyterian can be used to provide Habitat homes for church members and families in the community. The ministry also informs clients about other resources, he said.

Ann Felton, chairwoman and CEO of Habitat’s local chapter, said the new Edmond ministry fills a void.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Felton said of Turning Point Ministries. “There’s a great need for affordable housing in Edmond.”

Turner said the ministry’s plans are to build three homes annually and eventually develop a neighborhood of 12-15 such homes in Edmond. Transitional houses, a bridge for potential homeowners between current situations and future homes, also are planned.

Freeman said Edmond will benefit from having more hard-working taxpaying residents and state government would have lower public housing costs.

FOR MORE information about Turning Point Ministries, call 405-341-3602.