Linden Neighborhood Conversation

Melanie Crabill
Director of Media Relations
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Kevin Kilbane
Director of Communications
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Media Alert
News Date: September 19, 2022

Mayor Ginther and Community Leaders Outline Proposed Affordable Housing Bond Package

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and community leaders today outlined how the proposed $200 million affordable housing bond – a portion of the $1.5 billion bond package that will go before Columbus voters this November – addresses Central Ohio’s housing crisis. 

Mayor Ginther previously declared a goal to invest $1 billion in public and private funds to meet the region’s housing needs. The $200 million allocation of the proposed bond package is Columbus’ contribution to the Columbus Housing Strategy and would be invested in four priorities:

  • $80 million for the construction of affordable rental units
  • $50 million for affordable homeownership
  • $40 million to preserve existing housing affordability
  • $30 million for programs and permanent housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness 

“Central Ohio’s housing crisis is not a Columbus problem; it’s a regional problem,” said Mayor Ginther. “By banding together with our private-sector and suburban partners to build new affordable rental units, preserve existing affordability, subsidize permanently affordable homeownership and prioritize housing stability programs that prevent homelessness, we can ensure that our city and region will continue to grow and thrive in ways that are truly equitable and sustainable.”

Continuing the success of the 2019 $50 million affordable housing bond that helped to build more than 1,300 affordable housing units, the proposed $200 million affordable housing bond would primarily serve households making less than $50,000 per year. The dollars would also be invested to preserve naturally occurring affordability at risk of being lost as neighborhood changes occur. 

“Access to housing is one of the most important factors in residents’ quality of life. Even when you think about the diverse needs that someone who’s fallen on hard times might have, any and all of them are easier to address when the person is safely housed first,” said Finance Committee Chair Elizabeth Brown. “The 2019 package paved the way for $50 million in sorely needed investments in housing in the yearly capital budgets that followed. But if we’re to ensure every resident has housing they can afford, we must double down on these investments for the long term.”

If approved, the funding would enable the City of Columbus to continue to work with the Central Ohio Community Land Trust and other regional partners to increase affordable homeownership opportunities for middle-class families and people of color. This investment would result in permanent homeownership opportunities for individuals and families priced out of market-rate opportunities as for-sale housing prices rise. These resources would also provide investment in permanent supportive housing and other resources to stabilize families at risk of falling into homelessness.

“Columbus’ affordable housing crisis is real, and the need for affordable housing is greater than ever. However, we cannot discuss solutions without acknowledging the role systemic racism has played in restricting Black and Brown homeownership,” said Councilmember Shayla D. Favor. “Equity that families have in their homes is the main source of wealth for middle-class Americans. Becoming a Black homeowner is more than just owning a home. It is laying a foundation for building generational wealth and creating family stability and financial security. The reality is, there is no silver bullet to fix the problem of affordable housing, however, the proposed housing bond package is one of the tools we have to start making positive change and adding more affordable housing to our community.”

Between the affordable rental units and the subsidies of affordable homeownership, coupled with the preservation of existing affordability and the support of housing-stability programs, the 2022 affordable housing bond is expected to impact thousands of families across Columbus. Residents will vote on the total $1.5 billion bond package on November 8. 

More information can be found at