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City Policy Designed to Create More Affordable Housing

Mayor Ginther and City Council Announce Major Changes to City’s Residential Tax Incentive Policy

[COLUMBUS-OH] A vision that reimagines planning and development in Columbus is on the horizon. Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Columbus City Council announced historic changes to a decades-long residential tax incentive policy.

Today, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, during a joint press conference held at the River & Rich apartment construction site that is near completion, Mayor Ginther and Council revealed new incentive policy that focus on creating more affordable housing opportunities in Columbus neighborhoods.  

In 2016, Mayor Andrew Ginther tasked the Department of Development to commission the first-ever study to better understand the City’s use of both residential and business incentives. The consulting firm HR&A presented recommendations last summer.

“Based on research and input from the community, we have put together a new policy that will benefit neighborhoods and residents by spurring development of affordable housing and living wages -- real and long-lasting changes for the people of Columbus,” said Mayor Ginther.

Subsequently, Councilmember Elizabeth Brown, then chair of the Development Committee, convened five community and stakeholder meetings. Hundreds of residents gave input to the Department of Development regarding their priorities for tax incentives.

“No two neighborhoods are exactly alike, which is why our new incentive policy will reflect their different needs. The new policy will help us harness private market energy into public benefit: smart growth, affordable housing and good-paying jobs,” said Councilmember Brown.

The new residential incentive policy makes significant changes to support affordable, mixed-income neighborhoods in the City’s existing post-1994 Community Reinvestment Areas. Neighborhoods will be placed into one of three categories based on the following criteria: population growth, median household income growth, poverty rate, growth in median rent, housing vacancy rate and mortgage foreclosure rate.

“As chair of the Housing Committee, I am working diligently to increase access to affordable housing and believe that the implementation of this policy is a critical step,” said Councilmember Jaiza Page. “I look forward to working with my Council colleagues to make this policy robust."

Council will conduct a second tax incentive policy public hearing on Monday, July 23 at 3pm, in Council Chambers, 90 West Broad Street.  The hearing is to discuss proposed amendments to the legislation, based upon feedback received from the initial meeting. 

“This historic change is only one step of many to move us towards a housing market that works for all our residents,” said Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin. “At the end of the day in Columbus, if it’s not for all, then it’s not for us.”

The new policies will take effect summer 2018.

To review the report and proposed changes visit