HOUS­ING

The Columbus Dispatch - - Metro&state - Jweiker@dis­patch.com @JimWeiker

“We’ll never build a health­ier, wealth­ier, bet­tere­d­u­cated Ohio un­less we first sta­bi­lize our foun­da­tion: hous­ing.”

The study con­cluded that Amer­ica needs 7.4 mil­lion new af­ford­able homes to meet the de­mand among those who are ex­tremely poor (de­fined as ei­ther at or be­low the poverty level or earn­ing no more than 30 per­cent of the area’s me­dian in­come). Most of those house­holds spend more than half their in­come on hous­ing, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

“They are one ill­ness, one di­vorce, one pay­check away from not be­ing able to pay the rent, fac­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of home­less­ness,” said Diane Yen­tel, pres­i­dent of the National Low In­come Hous­ing Coali­tion.

The re­port is based on 2015 Cen­sus Bureau data, but Faith be­lieves the sit­u­a­tion has only wors­ened since then.

“I think in most parts of the state, the rental mar­ket has even tight­ened up more,” he said. “That’s cer­tainly true in Colum­bus.”

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, cen­tral Ohio needs an ad­di­tional 42,860 af­ford­able homes to meet de­mand.

Another way of view­ing the short­age: For ev­ery 100 ex­tremely low-in­come house­holds that need hous­ing, 31 af­ford­able homes ex­ist in cen­tral Ohio. Statewide, 42 af­ford­able homes ex­ist for ev­ery 100 fam­i­lies in need.

The most se­vere af­ford­able-hous­ing short­age in the na­tion can be found in Las Ve­gas, where 12 homes ex­ist for ev­ery 100 ex­tremely low-in­come fam­i­lies.

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