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Residents upset over proposed low-income housing near Miami - KOAM TV 7

Residents upset over proposed low-income housing near Miami, Okla

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Plans for a new housing development in Ottawa County, Oklahoma are underway.  The project would create 36 new homes outside of Miami city limits.  They will also be low income units and this has some nearby residents worried.

For 34 years Inez Friend has lived in her home just outside of Miami and across the street from the land slated to build a new low-income housing development.  She says the new homes will drive her out.

"I just hate the thought of having to give up my home because that's what it's going to amount to," Friend says.  "I plan to put it up for sale."

BAM Properties out of Arkansas hopes to build 36 three-to-four bedroom homes on the property that is less than 10 acres.  The homes will be income-restricted with a rent-to-own feature.

Ottawa County commissioners approved a resolution supporting the project.

"We, the county commissioners, think that Miami needs more housing and why we liked this deal is there will be 24 hour management on site," says Gary Wyrick, the Ottawa County Commissioner for the 2nd District.  "It will be kept up.  The property will be kept up - the yards.  It will be a nice neighborhood."

"I don't know what that's going to do to my real estate," says Friend.  "Who pays the property taxes on them if they rent?  I pay big taxes.  We haven't had anything given to us and my idea is people need to work to have what they got."

It's not just the low-income element of this housing development causing concern, many residents fear the development itself will invade the privacy they enjoy with the open land.

"I do not want the development," says resident Susan Blalock.  "We moved down this street specifically to raise our grandchild where she could play, there wouldn't be a lot of neighbors, you know, not a lot of chaos."

"We're going to have traffic now that we haven't had," says Friend.  "It's very very sad to think we've lived here all this time and they could come in and do something like that."

Commissioner Wyrick says BMA Properties has plans to eventually annex the development into the city of Miami as plans progress.

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