Media Relations Team
Director of Media Relations
January 30, 2018
Yesterday we announced new policies for incentives. The plan is detailed, but the mission behind it is very simple: We are using abatements and incentives to promote affordable, mixed-income development and support revitalization in the neighborhoods that need it most.
I’m proud of the work done by our Development team and Columbus City Council – these proposed new policies came out of long hours of research, community meetings and thoughtful conversations. After all, incentives and abatements are public resources and we must utilize them for the public good.
Shelbi Harris-Roseboro grew up in Eastgate, watching her dad coach football for East High School. She remembers riding the bus home from Monroe Middle School, visiting her grandparents who lived on Miami Avenue and taking African dance at Beatty Recreation Center. Her childhood memories include
singing in the choir at Second Baptist Church and acting in plays at St. Paul AME.
Shelbi will tell you that she is a proud product of the Near East and that she believes it is a neighborhood filled with rich history and culture. A recent graduate of the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, she now lives on the South Side, but the Near East is where her heart is.
As we were putting together our new incentives policy, we were thinking of people like Shelbi – people with a deep love and commitment to their neighborhoods. We wanted to spur revitalization efforts and living wages.
With our new policies we will leverage the largest and strongest of our incentives for neighborhoods that need our greatest focus for private investment to make public-private partnerships work for residents. For companies who want to build in “market-ready” or booming neighborhoods, incentives will be reduced and developers will be required to build a minimum amount of affordable housing.
Single family residential rehabilitation projects will qualify for abatement, which means homes like some of the historic properties in the area where Shelbi grew up can be revitalized for tax credits.
And the City will only incentivize jobs paying at least $15 an hour.
We know that incentives work in reimagining our neighborhoods. We are seeing success on the Southside along Parsons Avenue and in Weinland Park.
We know, too, that every neighborhood is unique, with its own set of strengths and opportunities. What works in Milo-Grogan may not be what the Hilltop needs. Our new policies allow flexibility.
Columbus’ future is America’s Opportunity City. We must harness our growth to make sure that it includes not just a few pockets of success, but strong, vibrant neighborhoods throughout our great city.