Director's Message

  • Executive Director Sean Thomas

As the summer of 2017 enters full swing, the Agency remains busy and motivated in our work. As we look forward to the rest of the year, we look back on a quarter filled with unique challenges and enormous successes. For the second year in a row, the Agency has been named a Top Workplace by Columbus CEO Magazine. I would like to thank our hardworking staff for everything they do to accomplish the mission of Opening the Doors to an Affordable Place to Call Home.

OHFA's programs continue to perform exceptionally during a busy summer in the housing market. Over $500 million in gross reservations for homebuyer loans have been made, which allows Ohioans all over the state to accomplish the dream of homeownership. Thanks to the Hardest Hit Fund, $443 million have been paid out in an effort to save 25,293 homes. The Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP) continues to stabilize property values and improve communities by removing 710 homes this quarter bringing the cumulative total to over 5,000.

The Office of Planning, Preservation and Development also released the results of the 2017 Housing Tax Credit Program funding round. Nearly $26 million in credits were awarded to 33 developments across the state of Ohio to create 1,698 quality affordable housing units for residents. Thank you to all of our partners in our homebuyer and development programs for their continued support and diligent effort.

In its 2018 Annual Plan, OHFA unveiled its four initiatives to further the Agency's mission:

  1. Continue to expand and preserve affordable housing opportunities through OHFA's core programs
  2. Focus on customer-driven, sustainable and multi-sector solutions to promote public health, welfare and prosperity through affordable housing
  3. Promote awareness of OHFA's affordable housing programs
  4. Strengthen OHFA's culture to encourage growth, innovation and collaboration among all Agency staff

These initiatives guide the Agency as we continue in our mission to provide affordable housing to all Ohioans.

Within the Agency, Dr. Holly Holtzen was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO) in May 2017. She served as OHFA's Director of Research and Strategic Planning for eight years and will continue to supervise that office. In addition, the Office of Homeownership, the Office of Planning, Preservation and Development and the Office of Program Compliance will report to her; the Offices of Mortgage Funding, Debt Management, Communications and Marketing and Facilities will also be under her direction. Dr. Holtzen will also assist with OHFA's policies and help strengthen the Agency's culture.

This past quarter, Al Scott left his position on the Agency's Board; Bill Sanderson will now serve in his role and advise the Board on the homebuilding industry. Bill Sanderson is Vice President of Land & Construction with BR Knez Homes in Lake County. He is an active member in the Ohio Association of Homebuilders and has experience in both single family and multifamily construction. I am proud to welcome him to OHFA's Board and look forward to working with him.

Finally, save the date for the 2017 Ohio Housing Conference, Coming Together in Ohio, which will take place on November 7–9. We look forward to this informative and exciting annual conference as we continue to work with partners to provide homes for all Ohioans.

Sean Thomas
Executive Director
Ohio Housing Finance Agency