March 2016 Press Release

  • March 2016 Press Release


Friday, March 18, 2016
Media Contact:  Molly Moses
Phone: 614.728.2911

OHFA Board Affirms its Commitment to Serving Ohio's Most Vulnerable Residents

COLUMBUS – At its March 16, 2016, Board meeting, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) was recognized by the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) for its partnership in offering safe and affordable housing options for Ohioans with mental illnesses and/or substance addictions. According to OHMAS, 50 percent of homeless individuals have a behavioral health disorder; and of those individuals, 87 percent are currently in transitional shelters across the state. Recent statistics suggest that as many as 42 percent of people connected with publicly-funded behavioral health services in Ohio are living in another person's home (OHBH, 2014).

The Housing and Urban Development Act established 30 percent as the national threshold for household income spent on rent. Currently, the average rent for a studio apartment in Ohio is 74 percent of the average Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment ($773), which makes housing unaffordable for most adults living with serious mental illness who rely on SSI. Most people with serious mental illness and many with severe substance use disorders easily fall into Ohio's "worst case housing need", where they pay well over 50 percent of their income on rent and live in substandard housing.

Compounding the issue of homelessness is the short supply of specialized housing units for persons with behavioral health disorders. While supportive residential settings are often what is needed during recovery, there is a short supply of permanent supportive housing units throughout Ohio, leading many to resort to living in nursing homes, on the streets or in housing designed to provide a higher level of care than needed.

Also, the Board approved a resolution that updates target areas for OHFA's First-Time Homebuyer program. The new boundaries will increase price and income limits in more neighborhoods, allowing households in a wider variety of communities to access Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance and other OHFA programs. The changes will also make federal compliance easier to attain in the future and establishes OHFA as a leader among its peer agencies, setting a precedent for other states to follow. These areas will take effect on July 1, 2016.

Next, the Board also announced Governor John Kasich's re-appointment of Robert Alexander, Senior Vice President in the Special Assets Capital Recovery Group of the Commercial Real Estate Division of Integra Bank. Mr. Alexander will continue to serve until January 2022.

Finally, the Board approved more than $11.8 million for affordable housing initiatives throughout the state of Ohio, including:

  • More than $1 million through the Housing Development Loan (HDL) program. The HDL provides financial assistance for the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing through unclaimed funds from the Ohio Department of Commerce.
  • More than $8.6 million through the Housing Development Assistance Program (HDAP) to provide flexible, low-interest financing for affordable housing developments across the state. Funding for HDAP comes from the Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF) and the federal HOME program.
  • Multifamily Lending Program (MLP) funds over more than $1 million.
  • Additionally, the Board approved $1.2 million in Capital Funding to End Homelessness Initiative (CFEHI) funds. These funds are a one-time boost to the local Continuum of Care to assist with their strategies to end homelessness in Ohio. The CFEHI is in addition to programming that OHFA already provides annually to finance permanent supportive housing.

Developments receiving funding include:

Emerald Alliance IX, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, for the construction of 66 one-bedroom units of permanent supportive housing in a four-story elevator building.

HDAP: $300,000
HDL: $1.5 million
Developer: Cleveland Housing Network, Inc.

Hamilton Crossing, Whitehall, Franklin County, for the construction of 29 one-bedroom units and 35 two-bedroom units in a three-story elevator building.

HDAP: $750,000
HDL: $1.5 million
Developer: Columbus Housing Partnership, Inc. dba Homeport

Hough Heritage, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, for the construction of 60 rental units for seniors.

HDL: $1.5 million
MLP: $530,000
Developer: Cleveland Housing Network, Inc.

Hopkins Commons, Hamilton Township, Warren County, for the new construction of 33 one and two-bedroom units for seniors. This project was recognized by OHFA as innovative for its optional assisted living services to residents, which could be a savings to the state Medicaid program as the cost of residing in a nursing home far exceeds the cost of living and optional services in a project of this type.

HDL: $2.5 million
MLP: $540,000
Developer: JMB-HC Development, LLC

NPI Byrne Road Repair, Toledo, Lucas County, for the repair of 27 units of permanent supportive housing for families in which one adult member has a severe and persistent mental illness.

CFEHI Amount: $1.2 million
Developer: Neighborhood Properties, Inc.

For more information regarding HDL or other affordable housing programs, please contact OHFA at 888-362-6432.

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About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the state of Ohio.