FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 19, 2019
Media Contact: Dorcas Jones
Housing Costs Burden Many Ohioans, New Report Says
Annual Assessment Details Low-Income Ohioans' Difficulty Accessing Affordable Housing
COLUMBUS, OH - Although Ohio has recovered in many ways from the most recent housing crisis, many Ohioans on the lower end of the economic spectrum are increasingly burdened by the high cost of housing, according to the Ohio Housing Needs Assessment (HNA). The HNA is an annual report distributed by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), providing a comprehensive summary of Ohio's most critical housing trends and needs.
According to the report, about half of Ohioans are cost burdened: they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. The challenge is particularly critical for Ohio's most vulnerable: 71% of the lowest earning groups spent more than 50% of their income on housing. There are not enough affordable units to serve Ohio's population. There are only 43 available and affordable rental units per every 100 extremely low income renter household.
The housing affordability crisis is not limited to renters; homeowners in Ohio also face a tight market. Ohio's housing stock is old and has not kept pace with population change. Half of Ohio's housing units were built before 1965. The aging and limited stock has decreased vacancy rates and continued to the rising purchase prices.
Challenges to secure and maintain affordable housing are particularly difficult for Ohio's children and aging adults. Both children and seniors are more likely to live in cost burdened households and thus face potential housing insecurity.
As Ohio's population continues to age, a growing number of older adults is also vulnerable to high housing costs. One of every nine households has a single adult aged 65 and over, making regular home maintenance challenging. Older Ohioans also have higher rates of disabilities: nearly two-thirds of homes in Ohio are inaccessible to someone in a wheelchair.
"The need for affordable housing for these populations is significant," said Holly Holtzen, OHFA's Acting Executive Director. "Our Agency's work to create housing solutions for all Ohioans helps reduce the number of people without a stable and affordable place to call home."
While the HNA demonstrates the substantial need for more affordable housing options for Ohio, it also highlights some of the positive trends related to OHFA's work with partners throughout the state. Down payment assistance programs and homeownership programs help low to moderate income Ohioans buy homes, contributing to the state's 67% homeownership rate, which surpasses the national average of 64%. Similarly, funding from the Hardest Hit Fund has played a role in the decline of Ohio's foreclosure and 90-day delinquency rates.
The HNA is compiled by OHFA's Office of Housing Policy. The assessment is updated each year to provide a current, statewide look at housing issues. As the state's leader in affordable housing, OHFA continues to provide opportunities for Ohioans to find safe, affordable housing through our development and homeownership programs.