FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Media Contact: Dorcas Jones
New Policy for Affordable Housing Developments & Executive Director Announcement
COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Housing Finance Agency Board today unanimously approved a new policy providing financial assistance to affordable housing developments facing construction cost overruns due to escalating prices of lumber and other material and supplies.
Developers awarded tax credits in 2019 and 2020 may request up to $100,000 in additional tax credits and up to $1 million in additional Housing Development Loan funding. Property owners claim tax credits over a 10-year period to help offset the costs associated with construction or rehabilitation of a housing development.
Requests for additional funding must outline how specific cost overruns relate directly to increased material and supplies and have negatively affected construction timelines. Funding is limited and will be provided to applicants first come, first served.
Generally, housing construction can take up to 24 months from award to project completion. Awardees from 2019 and 2020 fall within that timeframe.
In other business, the Board also unanimously voted and approved Shawn Smith as the Agency's permanent Executive Director, effective immediately.
Smith has served as Interim Executive Director for the past year, leading the Agency through the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic while working to remain focused on fulfilling the Agency's mission, retain staff engagement and morale, and maintain positive relationships with OHFA's many partners and stakeholders.
During the earliest stages of the pandemic, Smith and the Board approved using Agency resources to provide nearly $10 million in critical financial support to the state's homeless shelter and service providers, the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio and other housing-related organizations across the state focused on vulnerable Ohioans at risk of contracting COVID-19.
In subsequent months, Smith's focus has included standardizing policies and procedures, promoting staff focus groups, and furthering the agency's diversity and inclusion efforts.
Smith came to OHFA in 2019 after nearly two decades in governmental accounting and public finance. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer at the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.