© 2023 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
WOSU TV is experiencing intermittent issues on Spectrum Cable. Watch the live stream on the free PBS app.

Affordable housing on its way near Easton Town Center

Easton Place Homeport.jpg
Courtesy of Homeport
Easton Place Homes will be a 50-unit apartment development for families located at 3474 Easton Square Place in Columbus. The nearly five-acre parcel will be splitt to create for 200 units of affordable housing. It will be developed in three phases in partnership with the Georgetown Company.

Around this time next year, there will be 50 new homes with affordable rents near Easton Town Center.

Construction began this month on the Easton Place Homes affordable housing project in Easton Loop that promises to provide opportunities for people to live and work in the same community.

Columbus-developer Homeport used low-income housing tax credits, loans and affordable housing dollars for the development.

The one-to-three-bedroom townhouses and flats will be reserved for people who make between 30% and 60% of the $55,000 median household income.

Homeport’s CEO Leah Evans said the housing needs in Columbus are overwhelming.

“In the past 10 years, we've added 163,000 more people to our community, but only 35,800 homes. Imbalances and supply and demand mean, what? Increasing rents, lack of affordable home-ownership opportunities and pressures on our existing housing stock,” Evans said Thursday at a ceremonial groundbreaking.

But, she says projects like these will whittle away gaps in affordable housing availability and these homes will offer another layer of services than typical housing.

"Families moving in here will have access to a major job center services and amenities at Easton, but also to the service social service connections that we provide," she said.

With housing the "single largest single largest expense for most households," rent designed to match income will make residents' lives easier and place them near an active job center.

Homeport expects to build 200 units over the course of the three-phase project.

The city needs to build 14,000 units per year to address current and future demands. Affordable housing dollars are helping to increase projects, city officials said. A $50 million affordable housing bond passed a few years ago led to $330 million, Mayor Andrew Ginther said.

"We believe strongly if you work in central Ohio, you should be able to afford to live here too. In a neighborhood of your choice with your family," he said.

Partners and contributors to the project include the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, First Financial Bank and RiverHills Bank.

The Georgetown Company, the real estate company that owns the shopping area in Easton, agreed to contribute $750,000 a year for several years to an affordable housing fund, said Shannon Hardin, Columbus City Council president.

Renee Fox is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News.