Miami City Council members have approved the proposed construction of a single-family housing development designed to transition rent-payers into homeowners.

The project, spearheaded by Norm Seaburg and his company Millennium Miami LLC, will bring a 24-unit housing development to property north of the intersection of 20th SW and K Street SW, according to the city's community development coordinator Larry Eller.

Seaburg is currently seeking funding for the development - the fourth of its kind that he has developed within Oklahoma.

Upon acquisition of funding and with the city's agreed incentives approved last week, Seaburg will build a series of three bedroom, two bath, double-car garage homes that will initially be introduced as rental properties.

After 15 years, renters will have the first option to purchase the homes for the remainder of the 30-year mortgage, according to Seaburg.

In the meantime, occupants will pay a rental fee based on 50 to 60 percent of the areas average median income, estimated to equal a rental fee of about $350 to $400 monthly.

In 15 years, occupants of the homes may choose to continue to rent, buy the house - if approved by a lending institution - or move out, according to Seaburg.

The homes will then become available for sale to any qualified buyer.

The advantage to the renter is that, as they pay rent, the home accumulates equity which stays with the home, according to Seaburg, and the overall project builds an affordable housing opportunity as quality homes move onto the real estate market at a price that many people can afford.

Additionally, the equity built into the home creates an affordable risk for lending institutions.

The City of Miami's incentive package includes the waiving of building permits and water tap fees. City crews will also conduct street, water and sewer line inspections. The total incentive package equals about $14,000 of which about $1,200 is “hard cost” to the city. The rest will be in-kind labor.

Seaburg's proposal met some criticism as he brought the project to the council for approval on the day it was due for submission to a funding institution.

The 󈫻th-hour” effort prompted councilman John Dalgarn to cast a “no” vote in objection of approval.

“I would just like more time to review this,” Dalgarn said.

Rudy Schultz, noted the late hour of the proposal, but also stated that he recognized the importance of the project and moved for approval. The motion passed 3-1.

Councilman Scott Trussler was absent.