Team COHHIO donned hardhats and spent May Day with Habitat for Humanity building a home on the Statehouse lawn – a great place to spotlight the need to do more to address Ohio’s growing shortage of affordable housing.

COHHIO staff joined dozens of other volunteers to frame walls that were later moved to a site in Columbus’s Linden neighborhood, where they will become part of the permanent home of the Siyad-Daad family. The project was funded in part by the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, which provides $200,000 a year to fund Habitat projects in urban areas.

Habitat for Humanity of Ohio is part of the Home Matters to Ohio coalition that has been working to expand the Housing Trust Fund in the next biennial budget, which is slated for completion by June 30. Numerous legislators from districts throughout the state saw for themselves a tangible piece of the Trust Fund as they pounded nails during the opening ceremony.

Funding for Habitat projects is just a very small piece of the Trust Fund’s broader impact. In Fiscal Year 2019, the OHTF allocated $23.1 million for homeless services, $13 million for affordable housing development and rehabilitation, and $4.5 million for local repair and accessibility programs that keep seniors and Ohioans with disabilities living in their own homes.

While OHTF funding provides essential support for local programs, need for homeless and housing services far outstrips the roughly $47 million the Trust Fund generates each year. That’s why COHHIO is leading the charge to expand the OHTF in the FY 2020-2021 budget.

Thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Ohio for bringing a small piece of the Housing Trust Fund directly to the Statehouse, and thanks to Ohio Development Services Director Lydia Mihalik for supporting the OHTF!