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Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity ready for post-tornado applicants

It takes some time for people who lost a house in a tornado to decide what to do, whether to rebuild or buy or just rent for awhile. Central Oklahoma Habitat is ready to work with those who were uninsured and underinsured when they are.
by Richard Mize Published: July 6, 2013
/articleid/3859516/1/pictures/2151908">Photo - Ann Felton Gilliland, chairman and CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity speaks to guests during the dedication of Habitat's 700th home, in Yukon, in April. <strong>Steve Gooch - The Oklahoman</strong>
Ann Felton Gilliland, chairman and CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity speaks to guests during the dedication of Habitat's 700th home, in Yukon, in April. Steve Gooch - The Oklahoman

“Ann's pretty anxious for us to get some applications in,” Dozier said, noting that tornado-related applications will be considered by special called board meetings rather than through the usual, lengthier process.

Central Oklahoma Habitat built 60 houses after the May 3, 1999, tornado — in Moore, Oklahoma City, Bridge Creek and as far away as Mulhall — and plans at least as many after this year's twisters, Felton Gilliland said.

Habitat homebuyers must be head of a household (can be a couple with or without children or a single person with or without children); at least a year of stable work history; participation in financial planning and budgeting workshops and other required training; and willingness to put in considerable “sweat equity” — working for Habitat — among other requirements.

But people who lost homes are “fast-forwarded” through the process, Felton Gilliland said.

She said the following will guide Habitat's response:

•  Household income can be from $21,000 to $63,000, depending on family size.

•  Habitat is aiming for uninsured or underinsured homeowners.

•  Habitat homebuyers will pay the usual zero percent interest with a 22-year mortgage note.

•  Habitat homes are three- and four-bedroom brick houses up to 1,500 square feet with a two-car garage, in several floor plans.

•  Homebuyers have the option of a tornado shelter.

•  Habitat is looking for lots to buy, but already has places to build in Oklahoma City, Moore, Blanchard and Shawnee.

•  Habitat homes are built to green standards of energy efficiency and have low utility bills.

by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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How to help

To make a donation to Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity online, go to and click on “Donate to Oklahoma Tornado Victims.” For more information about rebuilding in the tornado-stricken area or Habitat's work in general, call 232-4828, or email Ann Felton Gilliland at; or James Lamey at; or Christi Roney at


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