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Franklin County receives Door Knocker award for Commons at Buckingham

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Contact: Hanna Greer, 525-5848
Emily Wickham, 525-6638

During Tuesday‟s General Session meeting, Franklin County Commissioners accepted the HOME Program‟s 20th Anniversary Door Knocker Award for the Commons at Buckingham project. This award, presented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, recognizes states and local governments for outstanding work in producing affordable housing.

The Commons at Buckingham project, located in Franklin County, was one of 14 Door Knocker Awards presented for exceptional use of funding provided through HUD‟s HOME Investment Partnerships Program in four categories. Franklin County and the Commons at Buckingham were honored in the Reaching Underserved Populations category.

The Commons at Buckingham project is a four-story building that consists of 100 studio-style, „single-room occupancy‟ units in Downtown Columbus‟ Discovery District and is the first LEED-platinum certified affordable housing complex in Ohio and the Midwest.

The project is the product of collaboration among Franklin County, National Church Residences, the Community Shelter Board, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and private investors. In 2009, Franklin County provided $500,000 in financial support.

“As a result of strong collaboration among the private and public partners, Franklin County continues to be recognized as a national leader for leveraging HOME Investment Partnership Funds,” said Marilyn Brown. “This year alone, for every HOME dollar spent by the County on affordable rental housing projects such as the Commons at Buckingham, an additional $39 will be matched by other investors in the community. That is something to celebrate!”

“Working together on projects such as the Commons at Buckingham improves the quality of life for all Franklin County families, creates job opportunities, and ensures affordable housing availability,” said Paula Brooks. “This year, Franklin County‟s allocation of HUD funds will serve over 2,400 families and impact over 1,300 jobs in our community.” “Having a place to call home is the foundation of the American Dream,” said Commissioner John O‟Grady. “The Commons at Buckingham provide residents the help they need to break the cycle of homelessness by creating permanent, affordable housing and offering links to support services. This Door Knocker Award is a testament to the great partnership behind these efforts.”

The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) is the largest Federal block grant designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low- and very low-income households. Each year HUD allocates nearly $2 billion among the States and hundreds of localities nationwide.

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