OHFA 2020 Summer Newsletter

OHFA UPDATE - PAGE 5 - SUMMER OFFICE OF HOUSING POLICY UPDATE Like much of the Agency, the Office of Housing Policy has spent the summer working to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affects housing needs and challenges in Ohio. By using data from HUD’s Point-In-Time count (an estimate of homelessness severity) and data on severe housing cost burden, our office helped OHFA staff and local housing partners determine how to allocate $5 million in assistance to address homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing and emergency rental assistance. The state’s nine Continua of Care, which have significant experience administering homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing and rental assistance programs, allocated the assistance in their regions. As loan delinquency rates increased, we worked with Single Family Housing to determine how the rates could affect OHFA’s first-time homebuyers. Strategic planning continues for the Agency, including the development of the Annual Plan and Housing Needs Assessment . In light of COVID-19, we switched the plan from a three-year cycle to a single-year plan, intended to help us be flexible with the needs of the state as the pandemic evolves. We created a COVID-19 supplemental for the HNA, which captured shorter-term indicators over the course of the year to show how COVID-19 has affected employment, mortgage delinquency and eviction. We have centered some of our analysis on the impact of COVID-19 within our Stories of Home blog and Doorsteps podcast. Chelsea Buckwalter highlighted the challenge of student homelessness during school closures . Devin Keithley looked at how limited broadband access throughout the state exacerbates educational challenges already facing economically disadvantaged students. Cody Price spoke with Terry Russell of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Ohio on the state of mental health care and the challenges brought on by COVID-19 . We also attempted to bring some levity to the time many of us were forced to spend inside with our quaran-quiz , which tests your Ohio knowledge. Check it out and see what your score is. I only got 6 out of 20. As racial justice issues inundated our news feeds, The Office of Housing Policy continued to work on issues of racial equity as it relates to housing, attempting to call attention to both the historical and ongoing segregation in housing development, lending, and housing security. Following up on a blog about Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact on housing , Cody released a podcast focused on the negative impacts of CRA reform . A special blog from Trevor Britton looked at the intersection of racial and educational inequality . This year’s multiple facets is proving to be one in which data and information are necessary resources. As the year progresses, the Office of Housing Policy plans to provide much-needed data-driven analysis and support to internal and external partners. KATIE FALLON DIRECTOR OF HOUSING POLICY