Columbus City Introduces Competition to Address Housing Affordability

8 months ago
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By Jessie Prysock (Ohio Media School Intern)

Ohio City of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, City Councilmember Shayla Favor, Franklin County Commissioners President Kevin Boyce, and Franklin County Treasurer Cheryl Brooks Sullivan have unveiled a housing design competition, “Next Home 2021”, inviting architects, designers and builders to submit design concepts to address housing access and affordability in central Ohio.

The goal of the competition is to develop new, replicable strategies and high-quality housing solutions to increase access to housing for all residents.

“Finding creative ways to encourage housing that is affordable to everyone is not just the right thing to do,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther.

“It helps the region remain competitive in attracting and retaining businesses.”

To address housing cost as an equity issue, the City of Columbus and Franklin County committed funding to the Community Land Trust in 2019. The Trust holds the land on which a home is built as a community asset and guarantees the affordability of homes on the lots for future residents. Homeowners own the home but lease the lot from the Trust. The competition will help address the pressing need of housing affordability by constructing additional homes for the Trust portfolio using the winning design proposals.

“Innovation and creativity will be essential to helping address our region’s critical need for more affordable housing,” said Councilmember Shayla Favor, chair of City Council’s Housing Committee.

“The Central Ohio Community Land Trust is a phenomenal partner in the Next Home competition as homes constructed for the portfolio will remain affordable for future generations.”

The competition is sponsored by the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC), in partnership with Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC), the City of Columbus Land Redevelopment Division, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Columbus and Building Industry Association (BIA) of Central Ohio. Next Home 2021 challenges designers and builders to submit adaptable design concepts and will conclude with two-buyer ready prototypes of the winning designs.

“Affordable housing is the bedrock of a thriving and vibrant community,” said Franklin County Commissioner President Kevin L. Boyce.

“We must think creatively on ways to address our housing needs. The partnership between The Next Home Housing Design Competition and our COCIC is the kind of collaboration that can help bridge the wealth gap in Central Ohio.”

Entrants will submit a design proposal for a housing solution that can be adapted and built in two Franklin County communities: Hilltop (Columbus) and the City of Whitehall.

The solutions must each be buildable for a construction budget of $170,000, or less. A jury consisting of competition stakeholders, community representatives, builders, and unaffiliated design professionals, will review submissions and select one winner. Information about registration can be found at www.aiacolumbus.org.

“When we launched the Central Ohio Community Land Trust in 2019, it was our goal to uplift changing neighborhoods by providing long-term stability for residents,” said Franklin County Treasurer Cheryl Brooks Sullivan, who chairs the Franklin County Land Bank.

“The Next Home Affordable Housing Design Competition is inviting creative solutions to our efforts to boost homeownership and our community’s supply of affordable housing. I find that very inspiring.”

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