Mayor Ginther Announces Columbus Housing Strategy
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Mayor Andrew J. Ginther today announced the Columbus Housing Strategy, which will tackle Columbus' housing shortage to ensure housing affordability for current and future residents. Joined by partners including Columbus City Councilmember Shayla D. Favor, Ginther outlined how the regional shortage of market-rate, workforce, subsidized and affordable housing has particularly harmed low-income families and people of color, and threatens to cripple economic growth.

"We are experiencing a housing crisis in our city and across the region," Mayor Ginther said. "We cannot ignore how regional under-production is displacing working families and pushing vulnerable residents toward homelessness. This strategy outlines our plan for accelerating regional housing construction and focusing city resources on ensuring housing affordability for households earning less than $50,000 per year."

At the core of the Columbus Housing Strategy is the impetus to build more housing at all price points region-wide. It calls for collaboration and investment from regional civic leadership, developers and the people who live and work in Central Ohio to double the number of housing units built over the next 15 years. Through the strategy, the City of Columbus commits to leading in this charge by reforming codes, policies and processes so that units can be built faster.

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The strategy also focuses dollars and city resources to ensure more equitable outcomes in housing through three strategies:
  • Preserve existing housing affordability to minimize displacement in growing neighborhoods. Through robust tenant protections, strategic acquisitions and home repair programs for low-income homeowners, the city will work to preserve existing affordable housing and protect residents from evictions and displacement.
  • Invest in housing the market won't provide. Mayor Ginther outlined his request for voters to approve a new bond package that would unleash an unprecedented $200 million to build housing that is affordable for those earning less than $50,000 per year.
  • Include everyone by addressing racial and economic disparities and fostering economically diverse neighborhoods. This will be achieved through inclusive housing policies, direct investment in Black homeownership and alignment of housing with transportation plans to ensure long-term connectivity. This also includes updates to the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) residential tax abatement introduced to Columbus City Council today, which will require developers to build additional affordable units in high-rent neighborhoods in order to qualify for an abatement.
"Housing is a right for all in the City of Columbus," said Councilmember Favor. "With this plan, we're announcing that Columbus acknowledges the challenges the housing crisis presents and outlining the commitment to finding a viable solution. This is a great first step, and I am grateful to Mayor Ginther and the Department of Development for prioritizing housing. Now our work really begins. We must advocate for progressive policies to ensure the success of this presented strategy. Housing is a complex, multi-layered issue which requires the need for a holistic and creative approach while also acknowledging the systems that have perpetuated racism and inequity within housing. The future of our city depends on ensuring all residents have the means and opportunity to find safe and stable housing without financial constraints and barriers."

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The Columbus Housing Strategy aims to provide affordable housing options throughout the region. The goal is ambitious: To ensure that every family has access to affordable housing. Housing is considered "affordable" if a household spends less than 30 percent of its income on housing expenses.

For more information on the Columbus Housing Strategy, visit www.columbus.gov/development.

Filed Under: Government, City

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