The Regional Housing Strategy identifies five core housing issues impacting Central Ohio residents.
Relative to demand, the availability and production of homes in Central Ohio has reached an all-time low, creating increased competition among both homeowners and renters. Increased competition is the result of several related factors: recent unprecedented population growth; historically low rates of housing production; and lingering effects of The Great Recession.
Central Ohio’s tight housing market can make finding and maintaining housing a challenge for anyone. However, the barriers are far more severe for some households than others. Across incomes, persistent disparities between white households and households of color in evictions, home lending, and housing discrimination result in disproportionate housing barriers for people of color, especially Black households.
Low-income households can face housing challenges in Central Ohio more acutely than their higher income counterparts. These households must compete for a limited supply of rental and for-sale homes that they can afford, more frequently finding themselves cost-burdened.
Ideally, the housing produced serves the diverse housing needs of the residents who live there. Some housing consumers are more likely to face housing challenges, not only in how much they can afford, but with limitations in what type of housing they need. Furthermore, many residents have spatial limitations (e.g., public transportation, social connections, schools) that filter the options available when looking for housing.
Housing instability creates a host of ripple effects for a household and community. For residents paying a high percentage of their incomes on housing, precarious situations, such as changes to housing costs or household income, or threat of evictionor foreclosure can cause a household’s living arrangement to become unstable.
From a menu of over 100 actions with the potential to address these issues, the project advisory board identified these five as priorities:
By making the process more efficient, developers can build their projects in a more cost-effective way, providing more opportunity for low-to-moderate-income homes in residential areas.
Without these protections, some households may face barriers to utilizing housing assistance programs to obtain housing.
More gap financing to build affordable and mixed-income housing is needed. A State housing tax credit can be a source of gap financing.
As our population continues to grow and become more diverse, innovative design and construction is needed; especially near transit and job centers, and within areas of opportunity.
The number of households at rise of eviction continues to climb as a result of COVID-19, disproportionately impacting lower-income households and households of color.
The Regional Housing Strategy dashboard tracks Central Ohio’s progress toward four key metrics related to housing supply, affordability, and equity. While there are many potential metrics that could be measured, the four presented here were carefully selected for their ability to relate existing data to the region’s core housing issues and other key questions asked by stakeholders throughout the development of the RHS. If Central Ohio can make progress on these four metrics, we know we are making progress on housing overall.
The Regional Housing Strategy Speaker Series brings together thought leaders from across the country to shine a light on the challenges facing our communities, with a focus on innovative solutions. Watch past webinars at this link.
Across Ohio, communities are adopting policies and programs to take action on housing issues.
If you need help with rent, visit Rentful: Columbus & Franklin County’s rent assistance hub for tenants and landlords.
E-Learning: Age-Friendly Communities & Affordable Housing
How can we help people thrive and live the lives they wish to live as they age? We invite you to explore this e-learning module to learn more about how communities can support older adult residents with age-friendly housing.