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City Council Unveils Initiatives to Include, Preserve, and Invest in Columbus’ Housing Portfolio

For Immediate Release
March 16, 2023

{Columbus, OH} -- This morning, Columbus City Councilmembers rolled out the Council’s 2023 Housing Initiatives to combat the ongoing housing crisis. The theme is “Invest, Preserve, and Include.” The initiatives align with the Columbus Housing Strategy to address the Columbus region’s housing crisis and foster equitable housing opportunities. Currently, housing is an issue at every level. Council’s housing initiatives aim to create solutions to issues regarding housing investments, preservation of current housing, and inclusion of all residents and landlords at all income levels. Each Councilmember will lead an initiative along with the community and stakeholder conversations. Councilmember Shayla Favor, chair of the Housing Committee, will lead several initiatives.

“We are at a critical point in our City’s history. With the expected growth of Columbus, comes challenges, with housing being at the forefront. The approaching housing crisis threatens the stabilization of families and more specifically families of low-income, and Black and Brown families.” said Councilmember Favor. “With these housing initiatives, City Council is acknowledging the challenges the housing crisis presents and outlining our commitment to providing tangible solutions.”


  • Homeownership Opportunities: Councilmember Lourdes Barroso de Padilla
    • Creating generational wealth has been an uphill battle for communities that have been disenfranchised or redlined. This initiative will lead to partnerships with providers focusing on housing assistance and making homeownership more attainable.
  • Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Pilot Program: Councilmember Emmanuel Remy
    • This program will focus on the creation of affordable accessory dwelling units on lots that currently house one single-unit dwelling. Adding an ADU doubles the amount of housing units at a low cost to the primary landowner.


  • Wholesaler Regulation: Councilmember Shayla Favor
    • Creates licensed regulations similar to that of a realtor to prevent predatory practices.
  • Vacant and Foreclosure Registry: President Pro Tem Rob Dorans
    • A registry would give the ability to have up-to-date contact information for the owners of foreclosed or vacant properties and legally hold property owners responsible for leaving abandoned properties in disrepair.
  • Owner/Occupied Initiative Program: Councilmember Mitch Brown
    • This program will expand home repair grants to homeowners to include roof repairs. Home repairs, especially roof repairs pose significant hurdles for seniors to be able to age in place.


  • Office of Fair Housing: Councilmember Favor
    •  Legislation would create a robust fair housing office to hold landlords/property owners accountable and to protect the rights of tenants.
  • Pay to Stay: Councilmember Favor
    • To allow residents time to secure rental assistance dollars without having an eviction judgment on their record.
  • Third Party PaymentCouncilmember Favor
    • Legislation would require landlords to accept payment on behalf of a tenant if that tenant is not in breach of their rental agreement.
  • Legal Representation at Eviction Court: Councilmember Favor
    • In 2022, Council legislated $1.5M to create a more robust legal representation team at eviction court. Currently the demand for representation exceeds the supply of legal aid attorneys. This initiative will fund an additional year of work.
  • Retaliatory Action: Councilmember Favor
    • This initiative will strengthen and clarify language from legislation passed in 2018.
  • Rent Increase Notification: Councilmember Favor
    • Legislation would require that tenants receive at least a 180-day notice of monthly price increase upon lease renewal.
  • Columbus Rental Registry: Councilmember Nick Bankston
    • A Rental Registration Program will protect the wellbeing of our residents and encourage both owners and occupants to maintain and improve the quality of rental housing. With the collection of a rental registration fee, millions of dollars will be generated and used for rental assistance, thus providing an “insurance policy” for landlords.

“As a part of the City’s overall housing strategy, Council is rolling out a package of housing policy,” said Council President Shannon G. Hardin. “These policies aim to help working-class families build wealth, strengthen tenant protections, and prepare Columbus for projected population growth. This is the start of a community conversation so we need to hear from stakeholders, residents, and more to improve these ideas.” 

Council President Hardin will support member offices through the stakeholder engagement process while encouraging a vision of housing abundance where more homes of all shapes and sizes are accessible for all our neighbors.

These initiatives will be rolled out over the next 9-16 months, with extensive public engagement before legislation is formally drafted. To grow as a City, we need economic and housing development. If we fail to keep up with housing demand, people will leave and the population will drop. Council looks forward to interacting with residents and receiving feedback on these initiatives.