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Mayor Ginther unveils new affordable housing plan for Columbus

Columbus Mayor Andre Ginther announced a new housing strategy for Columbus on June 27, 2022.
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Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced Monday a new effort to build more affordable housing. It's called the Columbus Housing Strategy.

The strategy rests on three pillars: preserve existing housing affordability, invest in new housing, and inclusion--that is, addressing racial and economic disparities impacting neighborhoods.

"Rising housing costs are causing vulnerable residents to be evicted, displaced, or forced into shelters. And disproportionately, households headed by women and people of color are being pushed over the edge and into the crisis," Ginther said.

Ginther wants to put a $200 million bond issue before voters in November, four times the amount voters authorized in 2019 to help fund affordable housing developments.

"If $50 million can help us mobilize $300 million in affordable housing development, just think what $200 million can do," the mayor said.

Part of the strategy will also include Columbus City Council requiring developers to build affordable housing units in high-rent neighborhoods to qualify for a tax abatement.

The mayor's office considers housing "affordable" if a household spends less than 30 percent of its income on housing expenses.

Matthew Rand is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher.