COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Issue 11, one of five bond issues approved by Columbus voters Tuesday, will generate about $50 million dollars to be used to develop a regional affordable housing strategy.
Rev. John Edgar, executive director of Community Development for All People, says the bond issue has the potential to make a real difference.
“Having more money from this bond package to be invested in affordable housing means that we’re going to be able to ensure that people are not priced out of our urban neighborhoods,” Edgar said.
Experts say Central Ohio already has a shortage of affordable housing and the expected population growth over the next 20 to 30 years could make the problem much worse.
Edgar hopes the bond funds can be used to leverage additional funding from other sources. He said his agency has been able to develop $80 million dollars worth of affordable housing on the city’s south side over the past 15 years.
But Edgar says affordable housing is still a major obstacle for many residents. “So much of the housing in our community is no longer affordable even to people who are working full time at an entry-level job,” Edgar said. “Housing’s the foundation for everything else. If folks don’t have stable housing or if they’re spending more than half of their income on housing, then it’s very difficult for other parts of their lives to fly.”