The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and several central Ohio municipalities are coming together for a comprehensive affordable housing study.
MORPC Executive Director Bill Murdock expects a wide range of housing strategies.
"Help deliver options at all prices levels for people of all incomes and ages to have a chance to find and afford housing," Murdock said of the study. "This regional housing strategy will look at central Ohio's housing market today so that we can make sure we're meeting the needs of tomorrow. Our work will ask what policies, financial investments, and strategies we need to create a balanced housing market for both renters and homeowners."
Other elements of the study include assessing the data gaps that exist based on previous research, reviewing and analyzing the availability of public and private dollars, and identifying structural impediments to housing developments. Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown shared the story of her daughter who has a disability.
"She lives in an apartment, and rents keep going up," Brown said. "For her it's difficult because she needs not only an apartment, but one that's accessible. So it's additionally difficult. She doesn't have income. She's on Social Security disability. So I hear the stories from our residents, and I understand how difficult it is. We can fix that now. This strategy that MORPC and everybody else around the region are embarking on now is that answer. I'm thrilled that we're all in this together."
Funding support for the study comes from the cities of Columbus, Dublin, Grove City, Lancaster, Whitehall, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Marysville, Delaware, and Westerville - the counties of Franklin, Licking and Union - and the Columbus Partnership and Columbus Foundation. Consultants helping with the study are Enterprise Community Partners and three local firms - Ice Miller, RAMA Consulting, and Vogt Strategic Insights. Officials say the study should be completed by April 2020.