Ever dreamed of living in Oklahoma (being an Okie)? If so Moore, Oklahoma wants you and will pay you to live there. However, there is a hitch.
For those not in the know, Moore is considered the tornado capital of the world. No place on earth has seen more twisters, especially violent destructive ones than this suburb of Oklahoma City. Since 1999, two EF5's, two EF4's, and four smaller storms have battered the city.
In fact, if you were to connect every tornado track that has affected Moore since weather records began in 1893, its length would be 249.3 miles long. The twisters produced 102 fatalities and 1044 injuries during that period.
So how does a city attract people back to areas where deadly tornadoes are considered frequent visitors? Well, the same way casinos lure gamblers back to the table: Free money.
Here's the 1999 tornado heading into Moore.
The 2013 twister every bit as deadly
This is what the city of Moore has come up with to attract people back to the area after the last EF5 storm in 2013....
The city of Moore is rolling out its new down payment assistance program which offers low-to moderate-income citizens financial assistance if they buy a home in a neighborhood impacted by the tornado. Here's a Moore sub-division devastated by the 1999 twister.
“Eligible applicants can get up to $40,000 to help with their down payment or closing costs for their home,” said Moore City Manager, Brooks Mitchell.
There are about 100 empty lots, along with several existing homes, that remain in the 18 neighborhoods that were damaged by the tornado.
Homebuyers who make between 50% and 80% of the area's median income can apply. But if it's an existing home, it can't exceed $138,000 and new construction is limited to $180,000.
“Certainly, the impact of the storms for affordable housing has been impacted, but this is a great opportunity for families to become homeowners either for the first time or to come back and be part of this wonderful community again,” said Roland Chupik, Neighborhood Housing Services Executive Director.
The community says the program sounds like a good idea.
“Well, that's a good start. If you didn't have insurance and you're wanting to rebuild, $40,000 would be a good start,” Emfinger said.
In order to qualify, you must submit an application and attend a homebuyer education workshop.
The first one is on Tuesday, August 1, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Station at Central Park....
For obvious reasons I've often said that if I was bent on seeing a tornado, the first place I would head to was Moore, Oklahoma. Heck, you don't even need to chase them, they come to you. Anyway, if you don't have a phobia about tornadoes and are willing to put it all on the line, this might just be the deal for you! Roll weather...TS