The City of Miami will be seeking $400,000 in state assistance to meet the exacerbated need for housing, according to a city administrator.

City council members declared, through a resolution, the city's urgent need for housing and affirmed its commitment to facilitate the receipt of Community Development Block Grant assistance, if awarded to the city.

Larry Eller, the city's grant coordinator and representing Miami's community development effort, told council members on Monday that he and economic development director Brian Barger continue to seek funding sources. The declaration of urgent need, according to Eller, is a necessary step in obtaining additional funds that may be available.

Most recently, Eller and Barger approached the Oklahoma Department of Commerce about grant funding to purchase land outside of the city's floodplain and install infrastructure for about 20 new single-family homes.

“It shall be the intent of the city, as each home is sold, to retain a portion of the sales price to establish funding for a community land bank so that a new building site can be purchased for the construction of future affordable homes, Eller said. “Additionally, the city could donate equipment and manpower to be used to construct subdivision infrastructure to stretch our CDBG funding to provide more homes.

In the meantime, Ellar said the city is proceeding with plans to put to use a $180,000 low-interest loan awarded to the city by the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency.

Two lots, on which ownership defaulted to Ottawa County, are being negotiated for city acquisition, according to Eller.

Eller hopes that contractors will break ground on those lots within the next three months - building approximately 1,200-square-foot homes valued between $90,000 and $105,000.

The $180,000 funding acquired by the city will be used to put young families with good credit and good job histories in to those homes, according to Eller.

“Our plan is to have builders to construct the home nd the city will market each home upon completion, Eller said. “They will be three bedroom, two bathroom homes with two-car garages. Permanent financing will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Rural Development.

Community development efforts in Miami also include an application for $100,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka to sustain 20 $5,000 grants to help working families to purchase new homes.

The First National Bank and Trust Company of Miami has agreed to sponsor the application, according to Eller.