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2023 Housing Initiatives

Columbus is facing an affordable housing crisis, one that is at risk of worsening as our population increases over the coming decades. As such, City Council has set forth to address the lack of affordable housing through a suite of policy proposals.
 

Homeownership Opportunities

Creating generational wealth for communities that have been disenfranchised or redlined. Potential

solutions can include homebuyer down-payment assistance, assistance for inspection cost, homeowner

counseling and check-ins. Partner with AHACO and other housing assistance providers to create a suite of options that make homeownership opportunities attainable.

Passed July 31, 2023

CM Barroso de Padilla

Contact: jicaceres@columbus.gov, Jessica Caceres

Owner/Occupied Initiative Program

This program will expand home repair grants to homeowners to include roof repairs. Home repairs, especially roof repairs pose significant hurdles for seniors to be able to age in place. 

Passed July 31, 2023

CM Brown

Contact: tzemene@columbus.gov, Tigist Zemene

Third Party Payment

Legislation requiring that a landlord accept payment on behalf of a tenant if the tenant is not in breach or default of their rental agreement. For example, if a third-party rental assistance provider has secured rental assistance for the tenant, and that tenant is not in breach of their contract, the landlord is required to accept payment. Failure to accept payment will be deemed as an affirmative defense in any eviction action filed against the tenant for non-payment of rent. 

Passed July 31, 2023

CM Favor

Contactsnjindal@columbus.gov, Sundeepti Jindal

Columbus Rental Registry

The purpose of the Rental Registration Program is to protect and promote the public health of its citizens, and to encourage owners and occupants to maintain and improve the quality of rental housing within the community. The expected outcomes of the program are to help ensure a safer rental housing stock, protect property values, improve accountability of rental units, and to create stronger relationships between landlords and tenants. Additionally, with the collection of a rental registration fee, the program will generate millions of dollars

that can be used for rental assistance and other housing uses.

CM Bankston

Contact: jbdorval@columbus.gov, Jean-Philippe Dorval

ADUnit Pilot Program

This pilot program will focus on the creation of affordable accessory dwelling units on lots that currently house one single-unit dwelling. Adding an accessory dwelling unit doubles the amount of housing units at a low cost to the primary landowner. There will be a fifteen -year affordability covenant on the ADU through the Community Reinvestment area (CRA) program.

CM Remy

Contact:  ajtownsend@columbus.gov

Averi Townsend

Wholesaler Regulation Legislations

Regulate a growing industry of freelance residential property wholesalers. The practice tends to be predatory with wholesalers identifying low income or struggling families who need immediate income. Legislation establishes a license to practice residential property wholesaling. Such a process will require applicants to undergo a background check with the intention being to avoid granting licensure to individuals with criminal records or ethical complaints. 

CM Favor

Contactsnjindal@columbus.gov, Sundeepti Jindal

Retaliatory Action

Retaliatory Action legislation aims to protect renters by empowering them to stand up for their rental rights without having to fear retaliation from landlords. This ordinance strengthened and clarified language from the legislation which was  passed in 2018. 

Passed April 24, 2023

CM Favor

Contactsnjindal@columbus.gov, Sundeepti Jindal

Office of Fair Housing

Through Councilmember Favor’s Housing for All campaign, many initiatives focusing on tenant

protections have been legislated. Sadly, the lack of a robust enforcement strategy has led to the continuation of tenant’s rights being taken advantage of. In an effort to enhance these protections, City Council will create an Office of Fair Housing and lead the enforcement of these protections.

CM Favor

Contactsnjindal@columbus.gov, Sundeepti Jindal

Vacant & Foreclosure Registry

Vacant and Foreclosure registries will serve as two independent registries, both housed within the City Attorney’s office. The City would require participation in registering your properties and paying a fee based on the length of time your property remained vacant or foreclosed on.

CM Dorans

Contact: kbmccain@columbus.gov, Kevin Mccain

Pay to Stay

Ohio is one of five states where property owners can give tenants a three-day notice to leave or face

eviction proceedings. And landlords are not required to accept rent payment during that time. Pay to

Stay ordinances provide tenants a defense to an eviction for non-payment of rent, if the tenant tenders to the landlord, and the landlord refuses to accept, (1) all past due rent, and (2) reasonable late fees. The

tender can either be prior to the eviction being filed, or after the eviction is filed but before the court

issues a judgment.

Passed July 31, 2023

CM Favor

Contactsnjindal@columbus.gov, Sundeepti Jindal

Rent Increase Notification

Legislation would require that any rental agreement or renewal for a rental unit must require at least a 180-day notice when the monthly rental price will be increasing upon renewal. This notification is critical in allowing tenants who cannot afford the increased rent price more time to find a suitable replacement.

CM Favor

Contactsnjindal@columbus.gov, Sundeepti Jindal

Legal Representation at Eviction Court

Eviction proceedings historically have been unfair and imbalanced. In the courts 90 percent of landlords are represented by legal counsel in evictions, but fewer than 10 percent of tenants have representation. Demand for representation exceeds the  supply of legal aid attorneys and every morning many tenant families are told that they will not get an attorney and must navigate the eviction court landscape on their own. Proceeding in an eviction case without legal representation greatly increases the chances that a family will end up displaced on a short timeline.

CM Favor

Contactsnjindal@columbus.gov, Sundeepti Jindal

City of Columbus Housing Strategy
three-pronged approach:

Invest

Preserve

Include

in our city through the sustainable development of new affordable housing units

our current housing stock

all people, regardless of socio-economic status in the housing process

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