Columbus City Council tonight is expected to approve legislation authorizing property tax breaks to spur affordable housing development and improve existing stock on the the Far East Side.
The legislation creates the Far East Community Reinvestment Area, bounded by Brice and Refugee Roads, Blacklick Creek and Truro Township. New and existing housing in the area would get a 15-year, 100 percent tax break. During a public hearing last week, Columbus Development Director Steve Schoeny said the area has a faster growth rate and lower vacancy and foreclosure rates than the city as a whole, but struggles in areas such as poverty and overall development. Schoeny says the goal is to create a mix of safe and affordable housing options in the area, as well as help out existing homeowners.
One of the projects that would benefit from the tax break is a planned 248 unit complex being developed by Herman & Kittle . Spokesperson Caroline Kimmell says the project includes an affordable housing component that equals the life of the tax break.
Kimmell says her company decided to build in the CRA because of the demand and the amenities it offers.
The city has used this tool in other neighborhoods, including the Hilltop, Milo-Grogan, Franklinton and Linden.