Program Evaluation

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Ohio Housing Trust Fund Lease Purchase Homeownership & Foreclosure Housing Tax Credit Program


Ohio Housing Trust Fund

For more than 30 years, the Ohio Housing Trust Fund has helped low-income Ohioans access safe and affordable housing. Since 1991, Trust Fund programs helped 1.9 million Ohioans find housing stability. The fund provides grants and loans for a wide range of housing and homelessness related activities, including the development and preservation of affordable housing, supporting service provision agencies for those experiencing homelessness, providing access to resources for low-income households to complete home repairs and connecting older adults with resources that allow them to age in place. This page highlights the projects that have been built using Trust Fund and the economic impact that these projects have had on the state and its communities.


Lease Purchase

The Office of Housing Policy and the Office of Multifamily Housing created and disseminated a survey to households living in properties that received Lease Purchase allocations from OHFA. The survey asked residents about their experiences finding housing, their preferences for home and neighborhood, their satisfaction with their current housing, preparation for homeownership, knowledge and interest in lease purchase, and information related to past and future mobility.

This report summarizes results from the Lease Purchase survey and connects the results to broader trends in the LIHTC and affordable housing. Throughout, we attempt to highlight differences between the Lease Purchase and broader LIHTC populations.

Findings from this survey highlight the need for more clarity and education for residents about the Lease Purchase program. Findings highlight the need to reconsider maintenance requirements in light of the low likelihood of conversion from rentership to homeownership.


Homeownership and Foreclosure

Hardest Hit Fund (HHF)

In the wake of the 2007-2008 U.S. mortgage crisis, Ohioans faced a tough economic climate. The statewide unemployment rate was over 10%, foreclosure and mortgage delinquency rates were at an all-time high, and home values were declining. In 2010, the U.S. Treasury Department created the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) to help states impacted by the nationwide foreclosure crisis. Ohio received the third largest allocation and developed programs to assist homeowners and revitalize neighborhoods.

In June 2021, OHFA's HHF program officially wrapped up. In total, $451 million was disbursed to 27,300 unique homeowners in all 88 Ohio counties, and $254 million funded 17,588 demolitions of vacant and blighted properties across 45 counties. Through HHF, OHFA was able to successfully help 96% of participating families remain in their homes and avoid foreclosure.

This report summarizes the implementation and evolution of each program, highlights program outcomes, and reflects on lessons learned. Findings from this program evaluation on implementing large-scale homeownership stability programs were used in creating the new Housing Assistance Fund (HAF) to assist homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Down Payment Assistance and Mortgage Performance

One of the primary obstacles that often prevent renter households from becoming homeowners is lack of financial resources (upfront capital) to cover the down payment and closing costs associated with home purchase. With this in mind, many affordable mortgage programs include some form of down payment and/or closing cost assistance to help offset the burden to the prospective homebuyer, who would otherwise quality for mortgage financing. These "down payment assistance" programs take various forms, from grants, to forgivable non-amortizing loans, to low interest rate second mortgages. A concern associated with down payment assistance programs is that homebuyers who require such assistance to purchase a home may not have the financial resources to sustain homeownership when faced with unexpected costs of being a homeowner, or, that because they have less invested up front, such homebuyers may be more likely to walk away from their property if they face financial hardship. In either case, an expected outcome might be increased mortgage delinquency and foreclosure for homebuyers receiving such assistance. This research project evaluates the loan performance of low and moderate income homebuyers receiving different forms of down payment assistance in OHFA's First Time Homebuyer Program, to identify factors that are more or less likely to lead to poor loan performance for borrowers receiving down payment assistance.


Housing Tax Credit Program

Findings of the 2018 LIHTC Resident Survey

Annually, Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) property managers are required to submit tenant information to Housing Finance Agencies to comply with federal and state reporting. Submitted tenant information includes basic economic and demographic details of LIHTC residents, such as income, age, voucher receipt, and household status. Little is known about LIHTC residents beyond this basic information. Yet, resident experience, preference, and mobility is critical to consider when designing policy initiatives and structuring the incentives and requirements within the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) for future LIHTC housing.

To fill this gap, the Office of Housing Policy and the Office of Multifamily Housing created a LIHTC resident survey and disseminated it to households living in properties that received 9% LIHTC allocations from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. The survey asked residents about their experiences finding housing, preferences for home and neighborhood, satisfaction with current housing, and information related to past and future mobility.

This report summarizes the results from that survey, connecting the results to broader trends in the LIHTC and affordable housing literature. Throughout, we attempt to highlight differences in property types when they are relevant. For example, resident barriers to finding housing are different for families compared to seniors: families face the biggest challenge finding a house that was the correct size for them, while seniors and disabled respondents faced more challenges finding housing that was ADA compliant.


Analysis Compares Ohio HTC Residents to National Counterparts

This brief highlights demographic information on Ohio's LIHTC project residents from 2015 to 2017. Data on residents' income, race and ethnicity, and housing assistance receipt are based on OHFA internal tenant data, which is collected annually from property managers. Ohio specific findings are compared to the nationally-focused blog entry published by Novogradac in March 2018; their Notes from Novogradac blog post aggregated data from HUD's annual report, "Understanding Whom the LIHTC Serves," which provides basic characteristics of LIHTC project residents by state. Due to a lag in HUD analysis, OHFA data are two years more current (2015-2017) than HUD data (2013-2015).

Key findings show that overall, LIHTC tenants in Ohio are poorer, less racially and ethnically diverse, and more likely to have a housing voucher than their counterparts nationally. This underscores the continued need for affordable housing in Ohio, which has been documented in the Ohio Housing Needs Assessment.


The Economic Impact of the Housing Tax Credit Program in Ohio: Income, Jobs and Taxes Generated

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) was commissioned to estimate the short and long-term direct, indirect, induced, and total economic effects of the Housing Tax Credit Program in terms of employment, tax revenue, and the value added to Ohio's state and local economy. In particular, OHFA asked NAHB to estimate the impacts of 4,608 units of new construction and rehabilitation of existing structures that were cost certified in 2011 and 2012. The NAHB model captures the effect of the construction activity itself and the ripple impact that occurs when income earned from construction activity is spent and recycled in the state.