Around the Alliance: June 2019
Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio News
AHACO 2.0 is launched!
--E.J. Thomas, Board Chair
In 2018, the members of the Affordable Housing Alliance began a planning process to define "AHACO 2.0." I am pleased to report that this transition is well underway.

It began with expanding our membership, including adding for-profit affordable housing organizations. In the last year we have added five new members, most recently welcoming the NRP Group and the Finance Fund Capital Corporation (see their profiles below). New members increase our expertise and impact.

The most important goal for this year was to add a full-time executive director, after being staffed by very competent, but part-time consultants. More staff hours are needed to keep up with the growing number of affordable housing initiatives in the community.

I am pleased to report that, following a search that produced approximately 100 applicants, Tracey Ballas has accepted the position of our Executive Director. Tracey brings experience in nonprofit management, public policy advocacy on issues of children and poverty, and administration of state homeless continuum of care programs. Currently she serves as the Ohio Development Services Agency’s Supportive Housing Programs Manager. She will begin her tenure with the Alliance on July 8.
Tracey Ballas
We are fortunate that Tracey will have the support of Bobbie Garber and the benefit of her institutional knowledge through the end of 2019 to assure a smooth transition. We are excited to bring Tracey on board as we launch AHACO 2.0

Finally, we will now have an office presence. United Way of Central Ohio, an Alliance member, has generously agreed to support our operations during a transitional period by donating office space and other operational support. Thanks to Lisa Courtice and United Way for providing a home for AHACO.

I am looking forward to working with all of you on this next Alliance iteration!
City and County to Announce Private Fund To Advance Affordable Housing
Monday, June 24, marks an exciting milestone for the Affordable Housing Alliance! Join us when the City of Columbus, along with Franklin County and corporate partners, announce a Housing Action Fund to address the need for affordable housing in Franklin County.
When: Monday, Jun 24, 2019. 2 p.m
Where: 2959 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, OH 43224
*Parking is available at New Salem Baptist Church, 2956 Cleveland Avenue.
Columbus Bond Issue Passes
On May 7, 2019, Columbus voters approved totaling $1.03 billion . Issue 11 will provide $50 million for affordable housing over three years. Thanks to the residents of Columbus who voted for the bond issues! This represents significant new funds for affordable housing that can leverage other housing resources. In collaboration with Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Columbus will develop a plan that addresses housing as a regional issue and guides the City on how to most effectively spend its housing funds.
Columbus City Council Allocates Funds for Affordable Housing
On April 15, Columbus City Council City Council approved the allocation of $5.6 million for affordable housing to enable grants for hard-to-finance projects to house homeless youth and the lowest-income renters. The funds will go to the Affordable Housing Trust for Columbus and Franklin County. This is the payment of the $5 million Mayor Andrew Ginther had pledged to the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio as part of the 2018 capital budget. Another $600,000 comes from funds formerly designated for demolition of blighted property.
Seven Local Projects Receive Tax Credit Awards
Seven affordable housing projects in Franklin County received Low-Income Housing Tax Credit awards in May . The Ohio Housing Finance Agency awarded the credits to projects that will preserve and create more than 570 units. Five of the recipients are Affordable Housing Alliance members:
Community Housing Network --Creekside Place, 63 apartments of permanent supportive housing
Homeport --Hamilton Crossing Annex, 32 units of senior housing and Kenlawn Place, 50 units of family housing and five single-family homes.
Woda Cooper Companies and Community Development for All People --Jenkins Street Lofts, 60 apartments, 11 for individuals with disabilities.
National Church Residences --Northland Gate, 93 units of senior housing with supportive services.
Alliance member Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing raises private capital from corporations for investment in affordable housing developments utilizing the Tax Credit Program.
Affordable Housing an Integral Part of Local Plans
The culmination of two communitywide planning process--one that addressed poverty and one that addressed transit corridors--resulted in plans that include affordable housing as components.
• On June 11, the Franklin County Commissioners announced a new collaboration with the Columbus Partnership to begin to address poverty in Central Ohio in a systematic way. The Franklin County Rise Together Blueprint identifies housing as one of the areas that are key to helping provide economic mobility for residents in poverty. Read the Columbus Dispatch editorial.
The insight2050 Corridor Concepts Study report found that the Columbus region could accommodate more than half of the projected 2050 growth by adding denser development and faster, more reliable transit options along five major corridors. The recommendations for denser development include incorporating affordable housing in transit corridors. This would enable more workers to easily get to job centers without owning a car. Read the Business First editorial.
5.15.19 Columbus Alive: Move to Prosper’s forgotten families
5.28.19, Akron Beacon Journal and Columbus Dispatch:  Editorial: Budget should boost affordable housing
Welcome new AHACO members!
The Affordable Housing Alliance is pleased to welcome two new members to our organization:
The NRP Group was founded in 1994 with a clear goal: to develop, construct, and own apartment communities that support residents’ lifestyles and give them homes they can be proud of. Today the NRP Group offers a broad range of services across many housing markets, including luxury apartment homes, student housing, senior housing, and affordable housing. They have developed and constructed more than 27,000 residential units in 13 states, including eight affordable and senior properties in Central Ohio.
Finance Fund Capital Corporation (FCAP) the certified non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) affiliate of Finance Fund brings capital to distressed urban and rural communities.. FCAP forms public-private partnerships with financial institutions, investors, charitable foundations, community organizations and federal, state, and local governments to provide flexible financing that supports a wide range of projects, including affordable housing. Since 2006, FCAP has financed projects that have developed 314 housing units.
National Church Residences Gahanna Senior Housing Project Moving Forward
Gahanna’s Planning Commission approved a final development plan and related legislation April 10 for a 92-unit, three- and four-story senior independent-living facility by National Church Residences on Olde Ridenour Road. Read the This Week News article.
CMHA Receives National Recognition for Scholar House
Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority has been
recognized as one of five public housing authorities at the vanguard of helping its residents earn college degrees and improve their opportunities and earning potential. The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities issued a report in May lauding Columbus Scholar House as a “promising practice” that is “redefining the traditional role of public housing.” Located on the Near East Side, Scholar House provides 38 units of subsidized rental housing for income-eligible college students. CMHA co-developed the program with CPO Management . Read about the next phase of Scholar House.

CMHA Buys New Albany Apartment for Workforce Housing
Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority recently bought the180-unit Arden Park apartments near the New Albany and Westerville border. The authority plans to use the year-old property as workforce housing. With this acquisition, the affordable housing group has bought about 1,000 housing units in the past three years. CMHA has sought to invest in the city's suburbs in an effort to maintain affordable housing near major job centers outside of the city's urban center. Read the Business First Article
CHN Opens Briggsdale Apartments II
Community Housing Network held the grand opening of Briggsdale Apartments II on May 16. Briggsdale II Apartments is a major expansion of CHN’s original Briggsdale community that opened in 2006. The new building adds 40 units to more than double the number of residents living in a supportive environment. The new apartments will serve people experiencing homelessness, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders. Residents may receive on-site support services in partnership with Southeast, Inc. Read the Dispatch article.
Homeport Continues its Investment in Milo-Grogran
In 2017 and 2018, Homeport built 33 homes in Milo-Grogan but the organization’s involvement in the neighborhood will continue well into this year. In addition to the new homes, Homeport has paid to repair 16 other Milo-Grogan homes and is helping renovate 11 more this year. “We have been able to put new housing where there were empty lots,” Luecke said. “We have been able to do a lot of repairs and things to help individuals stay in their homes.”
Community Leaders Honored at CSB Event
The Community Shelter Board presented awards to three community leaders for their commitment to people facing homelessness. Douglas Kridler, President of The Columbus Foundation, received the 2019 Mel Schottenstein Leadership Award. Paul Coleman, CEO of Maryhaven from 1991-2016, was recognized with the 2019 Nancy Jeffrey Advocate Award. Trent Smith, head of the Franklinton Board of Trade, received the received the 2019 Bob Lazarus Unsung Hero Award.

HOME4GOOD Seeks Landlord Partners
HOME4GOOD is a new CSB initiative to recruit and support compassionate landlord partners. CSB partner agencies are continuously seeking partnerships with landlords, who are a vital to help people exit homelessness. HOME4GOOD offers incentives for landlord participation. More information can be found here.
Habitat Hosts "24 Hours of Hockey for Habitat"
On June 14-15, more than 100 brave men and women gathered at Ohio North Chiller for the third annual Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio 24 Hours of Hockey for Habitat. Players engaged in a 24-hour playoff-style hockey marathon on two rinks. More than $65,000 was raised to benefit Habitat's Veterans Build program. If you missed the action but want to contribute to the event, visit: before July 31, 2019.
Affordable Housing Emerges as 2020 Election Issue
Several of the candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination have begun talking about affordable housing. These articles address affordable housing policy as a 2020 election issue:
Is Single-Family Zoning the Problem?
Recently, Minneapolis took the bold step of eliminating single-family zoning. Across the country, states and cities are examining the role of single-family zoning in blocking the development of affordable housing:
Race, Poverty, and Housing
Housing patterns and real estate ownership are linked with issues of segregation, race, and poverty, as examined in these articles:
How Affordable Housing Gets Made
Four years, $13 million and dozens of hands: How ‘affordable housing’ gets made in America. This MarketWatch article examines why it is so expensive and difficult to develop and maintain affordable housing.
How to Contribute to the Alliance
With your financial support, we are working to cut the Franklin County affordable housing gap, which will make our community the best it can be. Please make checks and other gifts payable to: Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio - 175 South Third Street, Suite 1060, Columbus, Ohio 43215. The Alliance is a 501(c)(3), so contributions are tax deductible.
To learn more, see the AHACO affordable housing research report on our website: The Columbus and Franklin County Affordable Housing Challenge: Needs, Resources, and Funding Models.
AHACO Members
•      Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority
•      Community Development for All People
•      Community Housing Network
•      Community Shelter Board
•      Creative Housing
•      Finance Fund Capital Corporation
•      Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio
•      Homeport
•      Homes on the Hill
•      National Church Residences
•      National Affordable Housing Trust
•      The NRP Group
•      Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing
•      United Way of Central Ohio
•      Wallick Communities
•      Woda Cooper Companies
•      YWCA Columbus