Mayor Ginther Announces Columbus Housing Strategy
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.
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.”
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,