As we enter the new calendar year and leave the last behind, let’s reflect on some of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s (OHFA’s) achievements during 2023, which include moving to a new office, record numbers at the Ohio Housing Conference, launching two new programs, and an improved format of the quarterly newsletter. OHFA hopes you enjoy this look back. 

On November 28–29, 2023, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, the Ohio Housing Conference drew 1,568 attendees representing 36 different states to participate in 36 sessions covering all aspects of affordable housing.

On Tuesday evening at KembaLIVE, the conference hosts, OHFA and Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH), also held a Party with a Purpose, which benefitted the 14 Ohio chapters of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a nonprofit organization that builds and delivers beds, new mattresses, pillows, and bedding to families in need.

OHFA and OCCH inducted two new members into the Ohio Housing Hall of Fame: Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) former Executive Director Bill Faith and National Church Residences Executive Vice President of External Affairs and Strategic Initiatives Michelle Norris. The Ohio Housing Hall of Fame was established in 2022 to recognize individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving affordable housing opportunities throughout Ohio. OCCH and OHFA received more than 20 nominations from industry partners for the Ohio Housing Hall of Fame this past year.

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New Statewide Programs

The FY 2024–2025 state budget included two new programs to help Ohio address its housing needs: the State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the Single Family Housing Tax Credit. The State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit provides OHFA with $100 million a year in tax credits for the next four years to support the development of low-income multifamily rental housing in Ohio that would not otherwise have been created. While the Single Family Housing Tax Credit provides $50 million a year in tax credits for four years to support the construction of single-family housing for Ohioans. 

Office of Single Family Housing Year-in-Review

Housing Preservation Division

The Save the Dream Ohio program stopped accepting applications for mortgage assistance on October 31, 2023, after helping more than 18,000 Ohio homeowners pay delinquent mortgage payments and/or future mortgage payments for up to six months. The Utility Assistance Plus portion of the program, which helped pay delinquent utility bills and other housing related expenses for qualifying Ohio residents, stopped accepting applications to help pay utility bills and homeowners' association (HOA) payments on December 31, 2023. However, assistance for property taxes will be available until April 30, 2024. 

To date, Save the Dream Ohio has disbursed more than $240 million of the $280 million awarded to Ohio by the U.S. Department of Treasury through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Residential Lending

OHFA’s Office of Residential Lending saw record volumes in 2023. During calendar year 2023, it closed 3,730 loans totaling $638 million and its reservations were 5,133 totaling $889.5 million.

On October 3, 2023, OHFA recognized its top lender and housing counseling partners at the Annual Partner Celebration. Top loan producers included: Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.; Cross Country Mortgage LLC; Ruoff Mortgage Company, Inc.; The Huntington National Bank; and First Ohio Home Finance, Inc.

Office of Multifamily Housing Year-in-Review

Development Division

In 2023, the Office of Multifamily Housing, Development Division, awarded 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) to 31 properties.

"The investments we announced today will create new housing opportunities in 21 counties and help address our housing shortage," said OHFA Executive Director Shawn Smith. "OHFA is working to ensure Ohioans have access to safe, affordable places to call home."

Of the developments receiving tax credit reservations, 41% will create or preserve housing for Ohio families, 45% will create or preserve housing for older Ohioans, and 21% will create or preserve supportive housing for Ohioans. There will be 211 units created in rural counties.

Compliance Division

2023 was a busy year for the Compliance Division. Staff completed 468 inspections and trained 2,047 owners, developers, property managers, compliance specialists, and others.

In February 2023, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published the final rule of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016, also known as HOTMA, and Compliance staff worked to provide guidance to multifamily project owners. HOTMA was implemented to streamline processes and reduce burdens on housing providers. Owners have until January 1, 2025, to fully implement HOTMA.

In June, HUD published the National Standards for the Physical Inspections of Real Estate (NSPIRE) rule. NSPIRE is the new physical inspection model designed by HUD with the goal to reduce health and safety hazards in homes by prioritizing the condition of residents’ units. NSPIRE consolidates inspectable areas into three easily identifiable locations relating to buildings: Outside, Inside, and Units. Throughout 2023, OHFA staff issued updates and offered training for owners.

Office of Research and Analytics Year-in-Review

In July, OHFA published the Executive Summary of the 2023 Ohio Housing Needs Assessment and its Fiscal Year 2024-2025 Annual Plan. Using a wide range of data, the Ohio Housing Needs Assessment identifies the scale and scope of Ohio's housing challenges. Along with input from a variety of stakeholders, the results of the Ohio Housing Needs Assessment help OHFA develop its Annual Plan, which highlights the strategic and programmatic priorities on which the Agency will focus during 2024 and 2025.

In October, OHFA published its Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Report covering the highlights of OHFA’s 40th anniversary of helping low- and moderate-income Ohioans access safe, quality, and affordable housing.

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