COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The federal government has a new action plan aimed at providing affordable housing, and the announcement of the program happened in Columbus Monday.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge chose Columbus to make the announcement

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said affordable housing isn’t just the city’s issue — it’s a regional issue, and Columbus is already examining what it can do to benefit from this.

“We have a supply problem here in central Ohio — demand continues to go up, supply remains flat,” he said.

According to the Ohio National Low Income Housing Coalition — Ohio as a state is short more than 254 thousand affordable and available rental homes.

“Building affordable housing is not profitable and so builders don’t want to build it, but what we have done is put in place tools that we think will be helpful so that there’s gap funding available,” she said of the plan.

Fudge said the federal action plan involves providing grants through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and providing incentives for zoning reform, both things Columbus is looking to do.

“There’s a reason it hasn’t been done in 70 years; it’s complex — it’s difficult,” Ginther said. “There’s a lot of folks not interested in change. Well, I’m here to tell you folks growth is coming, change is coming, so we need to embrace it and shape it to make sure it reflects our values moving forward.”

He says a housing initiative will be on the ballot this November to ease the pinch in the city.

“We need our neighbors in New Albany, and in Dublin, and Upper Arlington, Westerville, and Worthington to join this team to dramatically increase the amount of units available to folks at all price points,” Ginther said.

There are some parts of the announced plan that will need Congressional approval.