The Ohio Housing Finance Agency recently announced a pilot program to demonstrate the impact that targeted housing assistance can have on the infant mortality crisis.
OHFA is making available up to $1 million for projects that offer new and expectant mothers and their families time-limited rental assistance and other supports to help them maintain stable housing. The agency recently issued a notice of funding availability to providers with Nov. 1 deadline for proposals.
“We’re glad to see OHFA is moving forward with this pilot program. Research shows that housing instability plays a significant factor in Ohio’s shamefully high rate of infant mortality and one of the more challenging factors to address,” said Douglas Argue, COHHIO’s managing director. “We believe OHFA is on the right track with this rental assistance pilot project.”
During deliberation on state legislation aimed at reducing Ohio’s high infant mortality rate (Senate Bill 332), COHHIO advocated for a rental assistance program aimed at extremely low-income pregnant women and new mothers facing the highest risk of infant mortality.
Proposals that include an Ohio Equity Institute partner located in Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery, Stark and Summit counties will receive priority consideration, according to the NOFA. Preference will be given to proposals targeting families at 30 percent of area median income, with a fully integrated program that includes partnerships with a local continuum of care and public housing authority. Projects must have a research partner to assist in measuring outcomes.
For more information about the OHFA NOFA, visit: http://ohiohome.org/news/documents/ReduceInfantMortality-NOFA.pdf