Columbus: City and County Officials Announce Competition to Address Housing Affordability
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Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, City Councilmember Shayla Favor, Franklin County Commissioners President Kevin Boyce, and Franklin County Treasurer Cheryl Brooks Sullivan unveiled a housing design competition today, Next Home 2021, inviting architects, designers and builders to submit design concepts to address housing access and affordability in central Ohio. The goal of the competition is to develop new, replicable strategies and high-quality housing solutions to increase access to housing for all residents.

"Finding creative ways to encourage housing that is affordable to everyone is not just the right thing to do," said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. "It helps the region remain competitive in attracting and retaining businesses."

To address housing cost as an equity issue, the City of Columbus and Franklin County committed funding to the Community Land Trust in 2019. The Trust holds the land on which a home is built as a community asset, and guarantees the affordability of homes on the lots for future residents. Homeowners own the home but lease the lot from the Trust. The competition will help address the pressing need of housing affordability by constructing additional homes for the Trust portfolio using the winning design proposals.

"Innovation and creativity will be essential to helping address our region's critical need for more affordable housing," said Councilmember Shayla Favor, chair of City Council's Housing Committee. "The Central Ohio Community Land Trust is a phenomenal partner in the Next Home competition as homes constructed for the portfolio will remain affordable for future generations."

The competition is sponsored by the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC), in partnership with Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC), the City of Columbus Land Redevelopment Division, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Columbus and Building Industry Association (BIA) of Central Ohio. Next Home 2021 challenges designers and builders to submit adaptable design concepts and will conclude with two-buyer ready prototypes of the winning designs.

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"Affordable housing is the bedrock of a thriving and vibrant community," said Franklin County Commissioner President Kevin L. Boyce. "We must think creatively on ways to address our housing needs. The partnership between The Next Home Housing Design Competition and our COCIC is the kind of collaboration that can help bridge the wealth gap in Central Ohio."

Entrants will submit a design proposal for a housing solution that can be adapted and built in two Franklin County communities: Hilltop (Columbus) and the City of Whitehall. The solutions must each be buildable for a construction budget of $170,000, or less. A jury consisting of competition stakeholders, community representatives, builders, and unaffiliated design professionals, will review submissions and select one winner. Information about registration can be found at www.aiacolumbus.org.

"When we launched the Central Ohio Community Land Trust in 2019, it was our goal to uplift changing neighborhoods by providing long-term stability for residents," said Franklin County Treasurer Cheryl Brooks Sullivan, who chairs the Franklin County Land Bank. "The Next Home Affordable Housing Design Competition is inviting creative solutions to our efforts to boost homeownership and our community's supply of affordable housing. I find that very inspiring."

"The Next Home 2021 competition truly highlights the power of partnership. No entity can address the complexities of housing affordability alone, and NDC is proud to be part of this joint effort. Through this collaboration, we're excited to make an impact on housing access for all in Central Ohio. With our partners and the ideas we receive from the talented design teams, we hope to reach meaningful solutions for the worsening housing crisis. With consideration for the unique conditions of our diverse neighborhoods, and the input of communities and stakeholders, the competition will discover creative ways to stabilize housing for everyone," said Isabella Gould, NDC Executive Director.

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"AIA Columbus is committed to healthy and equitable communities including accessible and affordable housing.  Architects are leaders in creating the built environment and are uniquely positioned to design solutions that create neighborhoods where housing is within reach for more citizens," said Aleks Daskalov, President AIA Columbus.  "Through creative and sustainable building techniques we can lower construction and utility costs, therefore lowering the threshold to rent or own a home.  AIA Columbus is proud to be a part of this design competition and looks forward to collaborating with the Neighborhood Design Center, city and county leaders, and other designers and building professionals to improve the lives of our fellow citizens and neighbors."

"Housing availability and affordability are persistent challenges in central Ohio. The BIA is pleased to work with the City, County and other project partners to look for new approaches that can move the needle in a significant way on affordability. We view today's announcement as a pilot project that could scale up to hundreds of different lots that are part of land bank holdings in the City and County if successful. The need for more housing at lower price points has never been more apparent - we owe it to the community to try new approaches like this," said Jon Melchi, Executive Director, BIA of Central Ohio."stats

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