MORPC and Local Communities Kick Off Regional Housing Study

August 18, 2019

Work has begun on a coordinated housing strategy that will develop investment and policy recommendations to support mixed-income neighborhoods and regional growth.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), the City of Columbus, Franklin County, and additional regional partners announced the Regional Housing Strategy on July 31. Since then, the study’s advisors and funding partners have already met to discuss the scope of the study and what its success will look like.

 

“As Central Ohio grows, now is the opportunity to get ahead of major challenges related to housing affordability that other regions our size are facing today. That said, we must act quickly as studies over the last few years, the most recent coming from the BIA, show we are not keeping up with the need for housing.”
MORPC Executive Director William Murdock

The study will:

  • Look closely at the state of the housing market in the region and the data gaps that currently exist based on previous research
  • Review and analyze the availability of public and private dollars to support housing development
  • Identify structural impediments to housing developments
  • Conduct a national scan around investment policies and strategies to address housing affordability.

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., a non-profit out of Washington, D.C., will serve as the lead consultant for the project. The team will also consist of local agencies Ice Miller, RAMA Consulting, and Vogt Strategic Insights.

“As the city and region continue to grow, we must make sure that residents who work in the region can afford to live here, too. In May, voters resoundingly approved bond sales specifically to address affordable housing. This study will create a regional housing plan that will serve as a roadmap to a common-sense approach of how to expend funds and address the region’s housing needs.”
Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther

One of the fundamental elements of the plan will be recommendations on how to most effectively spend public and private dollars to ensure that housing is available at all price points, including funds generated by the City of Columbus’ $50 million housing bond package and the recently announced $100 million loan pool for the Affordable Housing Trust of Columbus and Franklin County.

“The affordable housing challenge impacts every part of Central Ohio. A thriving community requires that the people who work there can also live there, so I’m excited that we’re taking so many big steps to improve access to desirable housing throughout Franklin County.”
Franklin County Board of Commissioners President Marilyn Brown

The housing strategy will build on the work of the Affordable Housing Alliance, Franklin County’s poverty and economic development work – including the recent proposal to increase the county’s annual investment in affordable housing from $17 million to $24 million – as well as the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio Housing Need Assessment and the city’s 2018 Incentives Study.

The study is being funded by the cities of Columbus, Delaware, Dublin, Grove City, Lancaster, Whitehall, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Marysville, Delaware, and Westerville; Franklin, Union, and Licking counties; the Columbus Partnership and many of its members; and The Columbus Foundation. It is expected to be completed by spring 2020.

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