Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority Board approves investing nearly $65 million to rehabilitate and preserve affordable housing for seniors, families

Date Published: 
November 7th, 2023

From the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority's press release:

The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) Board of Commissioners announced today it has approved a combined total of $64.9 million in new investments that will rehabilitate or preserve 242 apartments for seniors and/or Columbus-area families.

“The Board’s decision is just the latest example of CMHA being laser-focused on providing affordable housing and meeting the needs of our neighbors in Columbus and throughout Franklin County,” said CMHA Board Chair James L. Ervin, Jr. “Our goal is to ensure CMHA remains an innovative agent for change and continues to evolve to meet the region’s housing needs.”

The communities approved for new investments by CMHA’s Board include:

  • Country Ridge: $34.8 million to renovate this 96-unit multifamily residential apartment complex at 5656 Farmhouse Lane. The total funding package includes $8.6 million in CMHA General Revenue Bonds; $10.9 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; a $2 million grant from the City of Columbus; a $10 million CMHA loan; $2 million from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency; and other sources. The planned improvements include new windows, kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring, interior and exterior doors. Replacing all refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and range hoods with energy-efficient appliances. ADA updates include ramps & roll-in showers, landscaping, and the renovation of the community center. This project will pursue National Green Building Standards Silver Certification.
  • Mapleworrd Heights Apartments$13.7 million to renew CMHA’s Project-Based Vouchers (PBVs) through 2043 for the residents living at the 71-unite complex of on bedroom apartnets located at 91 Maplewood Avenue, which serves senior families and provides comprehensive support services.
  • Sugar Grove Square Apartments$16.4 million to provide Project-Based Vouchers through 2043 to residents living at the at 75-unit complex of one-bedroom apartments located at 530 S. State Street. The apartment complex serves senior families and provides comprehensive support services.

CMHA’s Project-Based Voucher program is part of the federal Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Most Housing Choice Vouchers are “tenant-based,” meaning families can use them to rent any private apartment that meets program guidelines. PBVs, in contrast, are attached to a specific unit whose landlord contracts with the state or local public housing agency to rent to lower wage-earning families. Families can move without losing rental assistance if another voucher is available. If a family in a project-based voucher unit moves out, another low-wage earning family moving in benefits from the rent subsidy it provides.

Families or individuals in units with PBVs contribute 30% of their income for rent and utilities; the voucher pays the difference between the tenant contribution and the unit’s total rent and utility costs. Tenants in PBV units are assisted as long as they live in the unit and continue to qualify for the program.

PBVs are the largest, most available tool to create new project-based rental assistance, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan research and policy institute which works at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals.

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