Update June 25, 2024

The Ohio House Finance Committee advanced Senate Bill 94 today, despite a letter signed by over 200 organizations expressing concern that it could undermine the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, the primary source of state funding for local homelessness and housing programs. The committee also inserted numerous other bills to the legislation, making it likely to pass both chambers Wednesday and get signed by the governor shortly after.

SB 94 doesn’t cut the OHTF; it increases county recorder fees without increasing the OHTF fees. This upsets the 21-year precedent of sharing fee revenue equally between counties and the OHTF and could make the fund more vulnerable to future budget raids.

Fortunately, several key legislators have committed to finding new sources of revenue to bolster the OHTF. This is promising because recording fee revenue, which depends on the housing market, has decreased nearly 35% since 2022. Even if home sales pick up again, the OHTF is unlikely to reach the $65 million appropriation limit because county recorders are shifting to electronic documents that don’t generate as much fee revenue.

With all the focus on the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, now is the time to show legislators how much the OHTF benefits their communities and their most vulnerable constituents. One thing that’s become clear during this process is the legislators don’t know much about the OHTF. So please reach out to your House and Senate members today and invite them to come see for themselves the good work being done in their districts! This is especially important if your program has received OHTF funding. (List of OHTF awards by county)

We can help! Contact Gina Wi​lt for guidance on advocating with your legislators and organizing a tour of your program.

We have the opportunity now to start designing the future of state funding for local homelessness and housing programs. But we need to show lawmakers how much the good OHTF is doing today so we can convince them to invest in the OHTF of the future.

Amy Riegel
Executive Director


June 24, 2024

CONTACT: Marcus Roth, marcusroth@cohhio.org

200 Groups Request Amendment to Legislation that Would Weaken Ohio Housing Trust Fund

A coalition of more than 200 businesses and nonprofits sent a letter Monday urging state legislators to fix a bill that would undermine the state’s primary source of funding for local housing and homelessness programs.

The Home Matters to Ohio coalition said Senate Bill 94, which is scheduled for a vote in the House Finance Committee on Tuesday, would pave the way to divert funding from the Ohio Housing Trust Fund at a time when revenues are already decreasing dramatically.

“This proposed erosion of revenue into the Ohio Housing Trust Fund comes at a time when Ohio is poised for economic growth, while a record number of Ohioans face housing insecurity, and communities lack sufficient affordable homes for working Ohioans and seniors,” the letter says.

The legislation would upset historical precedent that divides county recording fee revenue equally between counties and the Ohio Housing Trust Fund. There have already been multiple attempts to divert funding from the OHTF during the 21 years since the fee structure was established.

“From 2022-2024, there was a 35% decrease in OHTF revenue. Both county recorders’ offices and the Ohio Housing Trust Fund are seeing the impact of less revenue collection. While Senate Bill 94 offers a cure for the County Recorders offices to recover some or all the lost revenue, unfortunately, the Ohio Housing Trust Fund has been left out of this legislation and will suffer significant revenue losses just as more Ohioans need assistance to cope with high housing prices,” the letter says.

“We can modernize county recorders offices and support the Ohio Housing Trust Fund. Please support an amendment that would modernize county recording fees while maintaining the traditional 50%-50% split between counties and the OHTF.”

The letter was signed by more than 200 groups, including the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity of Ohio, Ohio Community Development Corporation Association, NeighborWorks Collaborative of Ohio, Enterprise Community Partners, Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, National Church Residences, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, LeadingAge Ohio, Ohio Domestic Violence Network, Ohio Association of Foodbanks, Ohio Poverty Law Center, Policy Matters Ohio, and the Greater Ohio Policy Center.