OKLAHOMA CITY -- State Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa, filed an interim study request last week to review neighborhood blight throughout Oklahoma and how it affects homeowners and communities.
Neighborhood blight refers to neighborhoods with abandoned houses or lots often in disrepair. When neighborhoods experience blight, property value decreases for everyone, including small businesses in the area.
“Significant wealth, sometimes wealth accumulated from a lifetime maybe even generations of work, can be wiped away due to the action or inaction of others,” Nichols said. “Since financial considerations are often the cause of abandoned property, this is a problem that low- and middle-income Oklahomans feel the most.”
Nichols sees this as an issue facing both rural and urban communities.
“When you visit many neighborhoods in rural Oklahoma, you see a very similar site as some areas in Oklahoma’s bigger cities,” Nichols said. “The state needs to be proactive in revitalizing communities that are already financially struggling.”
The Tulsa Democrat hopes the study will arm lawmakers and local officials with information and resources on overcoming abandoned property issues.
“We are all in this together,” Nichols said. “What is good for rural Oklahoma is good for urban Oklahoma and vice versa. One of the jobs of a state lawmaker is to help local officials find solutions to the problems facing their community, which is what I hope to do with this study.”
Interim studies are approved by the Speaker of the House. A decision on all interim studies is expected by July 25.
To reach the office of State Rep. Monroe Nichols, call (405)557-7391 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.