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COMMISSIONERS ANNOUNCE INTENT TO FUND $4 MILLION OF NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECTS

Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Contact:
Tyler Lowry, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-6630
Jodi Andes, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-5273

The Franklin County Commissioners have provided letters of intent for $4 million of funding for 273 new affordable housing units in developments around Franklin County.  The funding is part of the new Franklin County Magnet Fund program, which is designed to induce new affordable housing projects to seek the federal 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit in addition to other sources.  Every $1 of Franklin County funding provided will leverage $11 in private/non-profit investment
 
Eight projects applied in all, totaling more than $9.4 million in funding requests, and were ranked by proximity to high frequency transit lines.  The Magnet Fund intentionally prioritizes affordable housing along those corridors to allow for equitable access for all residents to jobs, housing, education, health, and wellness opportunities.  Projects not selected in this first round of letter of intent offers will be allowed to transfer their project applications into the next round of magnet funding, to be considered in 2021.
 
The four highest-ranked projects, which will receive the letters of intent are:
 
Project Corridor/Neighborhood Developer Letter of Intent
Mulby Place Cleveland Ave/ Linden Homeport $1,350,000
Westport Road W. Broad St./ Franklin Twp Woda-Cooper $1,140,000
Touchstone Field Place II Lockbourne Rd/ Southside CHN $660,000
Reeb Parsons/ Southside Woda-Cooper $850,000
 
“We can’t judge our community’s success by how well the wealthy are doing,” said Board of Commissioners president, John O’Grady.  “It’s not meaningful success unless all of our residents have a chance to be successful, and no one can fully participate in our growing community if they can’t afford to live someplace decent.”
 
The Magnet Fund is just one of several programs of action originating from the commissioners’ strategic focus on poverty and is rooted within the county’s Rise Together Blueprint for Reducing Poverty.  The development of affordable housing was also a key recommendation in the 2018 Economic Development Strategic Plan. As a result of those planning efforts, the Magnet Fund was the flagship new initiative of the county Economic Development and Planning Department’s Affordable Housing Implementation Framework, adopted by the Franklin Commissioners in August of 2019.
 
“We have seen time and again that poverty isn’t the result just any one thing, but rather a combination of challenges faced by hardworking families that are struggling to get ahead,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown.  “None is more damaging than the lack of access to safe, affordable housing near good schools, jobs, and transportation, and this is an important part of our overall effort to address poverty in Franklin County.”
 
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit is a federal program to incentivize the construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing that otherwise may not be financially feasible or attractive to developers.
 
“I’m really proud of our Economic Development and Planning team and their strong, innovative plans,” said Commissioner Kevin L. Boyce.  “Working directly with developers to help secure the funding they need to make these projects viable, and prioritizing projects near public transportation, is going to make real differences in the lives of real Franklin County families.”
 
A letter of intent is not an official award of funding, but signals the county’s intent to fund projects in the future if they are successful in receiving the 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit and enough additional funding for the project to be viable.  Actual funding awards will be subject to final approval and a resolution by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners.
 
For more information about the program visit development@franklincountyohio.gov.
 

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