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Office of the Director   
111 N. Front Street, 8th Floor  
Columbus, OH 43215  
(614) 645.7795   
(614) 645.6675 [FAX]  

Economic Development
111 N. Front Street, 8th Floor 
Suite 220  
Columbus, OH 43215-4418  
(614) 645.8616  
(614) 645.6675 [FAX]  

Housing Division  
111 N. Front Street, 3rd Floor  
Columbus, OH 43215-9040  
(614) 645.7896  
(614) 645.6675 [FAX]  

Land Redevelopment Division  
845 Parsons Avenue    
Columbus, OH 43206-9030  
(614) 645.5263  
(614) 645-6675  [FAX] 

Planning Division   
111 N. Front Street, 3rd Floor   
Columbus, OH 43215-9030   
(614) 645.8664   
(614) 645.6675 [FAX]


Rental Housing Production and Preservation

Funds may be used to help developers or other housing organizations acquire, rehabilitate, or construct affordable rental housing.

These rental units must be occupied by income eligible tenants, and carry rent and occupancy restrictions for varying lengths of time, depending upon the amount of funds invested per unit.


While the Rental Housing Production/Preservation Program is anticipating a higher than normal interest in the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund Bond Gap Financing, we are trying to establish a process to make sure anyone that is interested in these funds, have plenty of time to apply and receive a letter of support in time for OHFA’s Bond Gap Financing Round. 

With that being said, the City is requesting that any developer interested in a support letter from the City of Columbus for OHFA’s Bond Gap Financing Round on June 18th, please submit a completed application for review by Monday, May 24th end of day.  This will allow us enough time to review each application and provide your needed support letter by Friday, June 11th

The Rental Housing Production/Preservation Program is unsure not only in the amount of interest anticipated, but also the amount of Capital Bond Funds we will receive for 2021.  While the City plans to give priority to applications awarded OHFA’s Bond Gap Financing for 2021, we do not have the ability to predict our capacity in Bond Gap Funding until our 2021 Capital Bond Funds are awarded.  Because of this, your application this year will also act as a placeholder and put your application in a ‘queue’ until we have a better understanding of how many projects we will be able to fund for 2021.   

Thank you and please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.



Krystal Dunlap

Rental Rehabilitation Program Manager

[email protected]


Program Guidelines

Please click here for the Rental Housing Program Guidelines

For additional information, please contact:

Email: [email protected]

The Rental Housing Production and Preservation Program (RHPP) provides financial assistance to affordable multi-family housing projects that serve low and extremely low income households. The RHPP assistance is a vital component in ensuring successful projects that otherwise could not go forward or serve the extremely low-income population.

Geographic Location and Eligible Properties

Projects must be within the City of Columbus corporate limits. Priority will be given to rehabilitation of existing low-income housing located within the City of Columbus Empowerment Zone, new construction near employment centers, Section 8 preservation, and any property containing one or more residential units where at least 51% of the rentable floor space of the project is used for residential rental purposes. In the case of mixed-use structures, there must be a plan as well as financing in place for the commercial portion of the property. *The property must be decent, safe and sanitary at the time of occupancy.

Eligible Activities and Types of Projects

Rehabilitation: The property must require a minimum of $5,000 per unit of rehabilitation work.

New Construction and Conversion: Construction of new units and/or conversion of building to residential rental housing.

Expiring Section 8 Projects: Restructuring of projects with expiring project-based Section 8.

Acquisition: For the purpose of developing multi-family or single family rental housing.

Types of Projects: Single family rental units; multi-family rental units (2 or more units); Supportive Housing for people with special needs; and single room occupancy (SRO) units.

Eligible Applicants

An investor-owner is defined as a Sole Proprietor; a For-profit and Not-for-profit developer; Partnerships.


Rental housing projects must serve and be affordable to households earning 65% or less of the area median income (AMI) as defined by HUD. All rental units funded under the program must, at a minimum, meet HUD HOME Investment Partnership Program funding standards for rents and tenant income. More stringent affordability requirements may be applied to projects based on intentions set forth in the applications for funding or needs identified in the Consolidated Plan

2021 HUD Income Guidelines for Columbus MSA found at:

NOTE: Total yearly household income includes the income of all adults 18 years of age and older living in the home; Family size includes all persons living in the home.

 Financing Guidelines


The amount and terms of the loan will be structured based on the minimum required to make the housing affordable. The City may invest up to 50% of the project cost after a 5% equity contribution, up to a maximum of current maximum per/unit subsidy limits  established by HUD.

The interest rate is negotiable. The equity required is a minimum of 5% of the total project cost. All projects must achieve a Debt Coverage Ratio of 1.1 in the stabilized year. The assumability of the loan will be addressed on a case by case basis depending on the project requirements.


Grants in the form of forgivable loans may be available for projects serving the homeless, special needs populations or lowest-income households (households earning 30% or less of the AMI). These grants will be considered on a case by case basis. Funds may be available from another funding source to cover the cost of identified lead-based paint hazards.

Restrictive Covenant

The owner must execute a restrictive covenant to ensure a minimum period of affordability as outlined below:

Per Unit Assistance Minimum Period of Affordability
Rehabilitation or acquisition of existing housing
Amount of HOME fund
Under $15,000  5 years
$15,000 to $39,999  10 years
$40,000 and above  15 years
New Construction or acquisition of newly constructed housing
Under $15,000  20 years
$15,000 to $39,999  20 years
$40,000 and above
 20 years

If there is a FHA insured loan on the property, the period of affordability will be the term of the FHA loan or the period defined above, whichever is longer.

Eligible Project Costs and Eligible Soft Costs Project Costs include: Acquisition; New Construction; Rehabilitation that addresses the following issues - Correction of all building code violations/incipient code violations; making energy efficient improvements; making general property improvements. The City may elect to target funds to specific project costs.

Soft Costs include but are not limited to the following: Loan origination fees; credit reports; title reports and updates; recordation fees; preparation and filing legal documents; appraisals; attorney's fees; loan processing fees; architectural fees; engineering fees; preparation of work write-ups/cost estimates; audits; affirmative marketing and fair housing; construction management; environmental testing and/or site cleanup (not related to lead based paint testing).

The final 10% or the rehabilitation and construction payments will be available only after final inspection is completed and final Certificates of Occupancy are issued.

Costs not Reimbursed

Legal organizational or syndication expenses associated with the development of low-income housing tax credit projects; the creation of the organization itself; construction contingency fund - 5% to 10% of hard construction/rehab costs; developer's fees defined as compensation for profit and/or risk - maximum allowable developer's fees total 10% of total project costs; costs incurred prior to the agreement between the City and the applicant.

Additional Obligation for Funds


If the applicant has acquired the real property within the last year or plan to purchase property as part of the project and/or there are tenants in the property, certain obligations must be met to ensure Federal Compliance. Contact the Acquisition and Relocation Compliance Services office, for guidelines and requirements.

Environmental Review

HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 58.22 prohibit grant recipients and their partners from committing or spending HUD or non-HUD funds on any activity that could have an adverse environmental impact or limit the choice of reasonable alternatives prior to completion of an environmental review once a project has become “federal.” This prohibition on “choice-limiting actions” prohibits physical activity, including acquisition, rehabilitation, and construction, as well as contracting for or committing to any of these actions. The environmental review should therefore begin in the project planning’s earliest phase to maximize opportunities to improve projects’ environmental design.

Historic Review

Clearance from the City of Columbus, Historic Review Preservation Officer must be obtained. The rehabilitation must comply with Section 106 standards by the Secretary of the Interior.

Federal Prevailing Wage requirements will apply to projects in which the following number of units are funded: CDBG funded projects - eight or more units; HOME funded projects - twelve or more units.

Lead Based Paint Hazards

Work on properties that were built prior to 1978 must comply with Title X rules and regulations, as well as applicable state lead paint laws. The cost and scope of rehabilitation work determines what inspections and interventions will be required.

Code Inspection/Occupancy Permit

All projects must have building permits, pass a building code inspection and receive a final Certificate of Occupancy prior to final draw.

Community Consultation

Applicants are required to submit their applications to the appropriate Area Commission or Civic Neighborhood Association for disclosure and review prior to submission to the Department of Development. For assistance identifying the appropriate organization, click here.

For your Neighborhood Liaison contact information and area map,  click here. There may be several civic or neighborhood associations to meet with. Be advised that the Area Commission process can take 2-3 months.

City Reservation of Rights

The City of Columbus reserves the right to waive the provisions of these guidelines within the limits of the Federal HOME, CDBG, City and State regulations in order to advance its mission and the goals of the Consolidated Plan. Such waiver shall not be construed as a general set-aside of the provisions and is at the sole discretion of the Director of the Department of Development.

Section 3 Packet

Housing Contact Info
Department of Development, Housing Division

Office : 614-645-7896
Waiting List Intake Line:
Email: [email protected] 

Franklin County Auditor 
Franklin County Recorder's Office 
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  
Homeport Downpayment Assistance 
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