New Builds in Ohio: A Changing & Challenging Housing Landscape

New Builds in Ohio

Reports of the housing shortage have been dominant in the public consciousness for the past several years. At the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), we are identifying the various causes of this shortage and implementing programs to address it. As part of the annual planning process, OHFA's Office of Research and Analytics conducts a biennial assessment of housing needs across the state.

One of the most striking trends in the most recent Ohio Housing Needs Assessment is the decrease in new housing units authorized for construction since 2000. In 2022, 30,936 total housing units were authorized for construction, which is a 38% decrease since the early 2000's — or put another way, it is a decline of around 19,000 units over the past 22 years in annual production. Construction of single-family housing also saw a decline in construction, dropping from 38,013 units in 2000 to 17,424 units in 2022. Structures with between two and four units saw a similar decline in construction, decreasing by 41% since 2000, which accounts for a loss of 1,195 units annually.

The lowest point of production occurred during the 2008 financial crisis. Between 2009 and 2011, total unit production dropped to around 11,000 units per year. Over the last several years, this number has steadily increased to around 30,000 units per year due in large part to stronger growth in the multifamily building sector (i.e., buildings with more than five units).

Housing Units Authorized by Type
Year 1 Unit 2-4 Units Multifamily (5+ Units) Total
2000 38,013 2,901 8,831 49,745
2009 10,593 519 2,231 13,343
2022 17,424 1,796 11,810 30,936

The decrease in housing production over time has led to the deficit of housing units we see now. This gap is important to understand because it forces Ohio to build units above and beyond its annual growth if it wants to close the deficit and decrease home prices. Fortunately, OHFA continues to open the doors to an affordable place to call home for more Ohioans through the financing of multifamily housing developments. In addition, the state budget this year included two new programs, which OHFA will administer: a $50 million a year Single-Family Housing Tax Credit to construct new single-family homes and a $100 million per year Ohio Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to develop more affordable rental housing. Both programs are additional tools to help Ohio address its housing shortage.

OHFA continues to engage housing industry stakeholders to find new solutions to the housing shortage across Ohio. The two new programs and potential solutions to Ohio's housing challenges will be part of the discussion at the upcoming Ohio Housing Conference on November 28-29, 2023, in Columbus. OHFA looks forward to dynamic discussions at the conference and working with partners across the state to make sure every Ohioan has a safe, affordable place to call home.