Two new housing tax credit programs are launching as Ohio grapples with affordable housing.
The state housing tax credit program and the single-family housing tax credit program are part of Ohio’s two-year, $191 billion budget that Gov. Mike DeWine signed earlier this month.
“Governor DeWine recognizes the need to have a holistic statewide housing strategy that addresses affordable housing and housing for our growing workforce,” DeWine spokesperson Dan Tierney said in email.
There is a shortage of about 270,000 affordable and available rental units to the 448,000 extremely low-income households in Ohio — meaning there are only 40 affordable units for every 100 households, according to a March report from Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).
“We know there is a need for housing and both of them will help create more housing for Ohioans,” said Ohio Housing Finance Authority’s Spokesperson Penny Martin.
Full-time workers need to make at least $19.09 an hour to afford a 2-bedroom apartment in Ohio — a $2.04 increase from last year, according to a joint report from the NLIHC and COHHIO.
“These investments will create more starter homes for first-time buyers and build more sustainable options for our seniors and workers,” Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio’s Executive Director Carlie J. Boos said in an email. “We still have a long way to go to … but this is exactly the kickstart that will keep Ohio competitive and welcoming.”
OHFA, which will remain independent, has a budget of $16.8 million for fiscal year 2024 and $17.4 million for fiscal year 2025.
The Senate’s version of the budget would have transferred OFHA to the governor’s office, but that did not make it in the final version of the budget.
State Housing Tax Credits
The budget funds a new program that will attract developers to build low-income housing by making state tax credits accessible to projects receiving federal aid.
The budget limits the amount of credits at $100 million – which will hopefully create about 4,000 housing units during the program’s term, which ends on June 30, 2027, said Amy Riegel, COHHIO’s executive director.
“That is definitely a step in the right direction,” she said. “We also are hopeful that as we show the appetite for the tax credit and the fact that it can be so effectively used across the state … that hopefully in the future it can expand to a larger tax credit that would be able to produce even more housing units.”
DeWine originally capped the tax credits at $100 million, but the House’s budget proposal upped the amount of credits to $500 million — which would have created 26,000 housing units, Riegel said. The Senate brought the tax credits back down to $100 million, which ultimately ended up in the final version of the budget.
Advocates said there needs to be enough housing to meet the demand as jobs like Intel come to Ohio, and as Honda and Google put down more roots in the Buckeye State.
“The state housing tax credit really will help those who are working in our state who are filling jobs that are essential within our communities to have a place to live in that community and to be able to live there and thrive, and not be put in a situation where they are struggling to stay afloat and always tethering on the edge of eviction,” Riegel said.
Single-Family Housing Tax Credits
The single-family housing tax credit program is geared at helping first-time home buyers and goes through June 30, 2027. The budget generally limits the amount of state credits that can be reserved in a fiscal year to $50 million.
“The goal is to have the local communities and the developers come together to help create single-family homes for purchase, not rent, but for purchase for Ohioans,” Martin said.
This story was republished from the Ohio Capital Journal under a Creative Commons license.