The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and the City of Columbus recently announced that they are seeking proposals for a regional housing strategy as part of an overall strategy to deal with the shortage of affordable housing.
The scope of the Request for Proposals (RFP) will include assessing the state of the housing market and affordability in the region; reviewing and analyzing current availability of public and private dollars to support affordable housing development; identifying data gaps necessary to develop regional recommendations; and identifying structural impediments to housing developments. The study will also include developing a housing strategy for the region that includes investment and policy recommendations for communities to support mixed income neighborhoods and regional growth.
Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther shared, “We are at a critical moment in the city’s trajectory, facing a shortage of affordable housing at the same time our economy and population are continuing to grow. We are looking for effective and strategic plans, not just for Columbus but for the region, that will ensure residents will be able to remain in their neighborhoods without stifling growth and development.”
“The City of Columbus is committed to addressing the affordable housing crisis head on. Earmarking dollars to affordable housing is a great start. However, if we’re truly going to make a difference, we must create a plan that will not only address our housing needs but provide opportunities for development and investment in our communities,” said Columbus City Councilmember Shayla Favor.
One of the fundamental elements of the plan will be recommendations on how to most effectively spend public and private dollars for affordable housing, including funds generated by the City’s upcoming $50 million housing bond package. The housing plan will build on the work of the Affordable Housing Alliance, Franklin County’s poverty and economic development work, Building Industry Association of Central Ohio Housing Need Assessment, and the City’s 2018 Incentives Study. More than 40,000 people moved into Columbus last year, but studies have shown that the city is already short 54,000 units of affordable housing.
“This regional housing strategy will complement much of the work MORPC already performs related to land use and development, as well as our home weatherization and home repair services. As Central Ohio grows, confronting our housing challenges becomes increasingly important. That’s why we’re especially eager for the region to chart a path forward on this issue” said MORPC Executive Director William Murdock.
More information about the RFP can be found here. The deadline is May 6.