Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther last night unveiled plans for more affordable housing and improved internet access during his State of the City speech at East High School.
Ginther said he plans to include 3.8 million dollars in the capital improvements budget to fund a pilot project building 30 new affordable homes in Franklinton, the South Side, the Near East Side and Weinland Park under a newly formed land trust, which will help control rental prices. Another 7.2 million dollars for the project comes from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. Ginther says the city plans to meet with internet providers on expanding access to high-speed internet in low-income neighborhoods.
Ginther said as part of ongoing efforts to reduce infant mortality, the city will launch an app this summer to help expectant mothers schedule rides to doctors and communicate with them. Smart Columbus also will release an app that consolidates trip planning for multiple transportation modes later this year, with plans to add a payment system in 2020. Ginther highlighted the introduction of the One Linden plan and says the city is working with developers to reimagine housing in the neighborhood. Some of those developers are also contributors to the campaigns of local elected officials.
Ginther said the city is working to develop a similar plan for the Hilltop. And he announced the planned construction of a new facility near Highland Elementary School to increase the capacity of early childhood learning programs on the Hilltop. The facility is a collaboration between two developers, the Columbus City Schools and the Boys and Girls Club.
It's not clear when the facility will open.