Director's Message

  • Executive Director Doug Garver

The first quarter of 2017 has proved to be very busy yet very productive for the entire Agency. I am honored to have stepped into the role of executive director and excited about the future challenges and opportunities ahead. I would like to thank Doug Garver, the OHFA Board, and the entire OHFA staff for helping to facilitate a smooth transition.

OHFA's homebuyer programs continue to experience exceptional results as we move into spring which is traditionally known as the season for homebuyers to intensify their home search and apply for financing. The Office of Marketing and Communications has again constructed a diverse advertising plan that will expand brand awareness and help attract and educate future OHFA customers. Developers submitted 85 new Housing Tax Credit applications to the Office of Planning, Preservation and Development in March. The applications totaled over $68 million, representing 4,500 units of affordable housing. Final results will be presented to the OHFA Board and shared with the public in July. The Agency continued to make progress on the 2018 Annual Plan led by the direction of the Office of Affordable Housing Research & Strategic Planning. A draft will be made available on the OHFA website for public comment for 30 days beginning May 3 and a public hearing will be held on May 17. Additionally, the Office of Program Compliance continues to help OHFA meet its regulatory responsibilities in the timely monitoring of a growing portfolio of affordable rental properties.

As we enter a new landscape where fiscal constraints, tax reform and new directions in monetary, regulatory and housing policy are quickly emerging, we have an opportunity to reach across sectors to develop collaborations to improve communities. We invite you to our second Starting at Home Conference where we will explore linkages between affordable housing finance /development and other public policy fields, including health, education, transportation and economic mobility and security. The conference will take place April 27-28 at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Columbus and will feature a powerful schedule of renowned speakers and professionals from across the nation. You can register here.

While we continue to monitor and anticipate possible changes in federal policy and tax reform, OHFA and its partners must remain committed to serving those most vulnerable populations by addressing a basic human need- safe, decent and affordable housing. Although we are still unsure of the direct impact these impending changes may have on affordable housing policy and more specifically OHFA and other housing finance agencies, we will continue to maintain and develop programs that drive our mission of Opening the Doors to an Affordable Place to Call Home.

Sean Thomas
Executive Director
Ohio Housing Finance Agency