The Columbus City Council in Ohio has approved the conversion of several properties and land foreclosures into affordable housing designed to help low income families acquire homes. The project will be financed through the federal government’s neighborhood stabilization grants.
The Council gave the Department of Development permission to execute deeds and agreements to conduct titles for properties under the control of the city’s land bank. The area is still suffering from increasing numbers of Columbus pre foreclosures and existing foreclosures which lead to neighborhood decline.
This prompted city authorities to use $22.8 million of the federal grants that the city has in its hands to develop properties in the Hilltop, South Columbus and Franklinton. The city is collaborating with nonprofit developers to build the affordable housing units.
Foreclosures in Ohio have resulted in neighborhood blight, something that local authorities are now trying to resolve by making sure that vacant homes and properties are occupied. However, the grant that the city has in its hands is not enough to accommodate all troubled neighborhoods seeking redevelopment.
Because of these, some areas suffering from property and land foreclosures were left out of the grants handed out by the federal government. Representatives from Driving Park have complained that their area was included in the neighborhood stabilization grants application but was left out once the city distributed the federal money.
In response, City Council officials asserted that a study was conducted to determine how the grants can best help the whole city. They revealed that the evaluation did not rely on poverty demographics but on existing foreclosure rates and risks of having more homes included in foreclosure listings services in the future.
Officials further added that the money is not enough to accommodate all areas facing foreclosures and some counties might have to wait for future grants from the federal government. For now, the grants being held by the city is being used on areas and projects that qualify under the criteria.
Housing and land foreclosures in Columbus, Ohio have caused structural and social declines, according to city officials. With the aim of reviving the health of neighborhoods, the council has agreed to use the federal grant money it received to create affordable homes for low income families in blighted neighborhoods.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.