Gov. DeWine and the Ohio House included several positive housing proposals in the state budget, but the Ohio Senate removed them and added other provisions that will stifle development of affordable housing. Chief among them is a plan to abolish the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and move its operations to the Ohio Department of Development.

Please take a moment right now to add your organization to this sign-on letter to defend OHFA’s independence, reduce bureaucracy and politicization in the development process, and incentivize affordable housing production through a new state housing tax credit program.

The Senate is revising their budget Wednesday afternoon and voting on the bill Thursday, so please don’t wait! The deadline to sign is Wednesday at noon! Our goal it have at least 100 organizations sign on.

In case you missed it, below is the budget alert we sent out last week that has more information about the Senate’s bad budget changes, and how you can take further action to advocate as an individual for affordable housing.

Thank you!

Dear Members of the Ohio Senate:

The undersigned organizations share a mutual understanding that decent, affordable housing is the foundation for self-sufficiency, improved health outcomes, vitality in distressed communities, and economic growth. Therefore, we respectfully request that the Senate reject the proposal in Substitute Bill 33 to replace the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) with the Governor’s Office of Housing Transformation within the Ohio Department of Development. We ask that the House’s version of the budget be restored, as it pertains to all provisions related to housing.

The Senate’s proposal increases bureaucracy, reduces independent oversight of housing programs.

As proposed, the Senate budget would remove OHFA’s ability to issue bonds, audit and monitor projects, and direct financing programs to achieve its mission of maximizing affordable housing production in the State, and require approval from the Tax Credit Authority to finance multifamily housing projects (LSC Comparison Document Pg. 151).

Decades ago, OHFA was a division of the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), but in 2005, the Ohio General Assembly intentionally removed OHFA from ODOD to “make the agency more independent so it can more quickly adapt its programs and structure to the needs of state residents.” The State made this change to conform with best practices across the country and to specifically allow OHFA to be an independent entity that would act as a firewall between elected officials and developers to administer a wider range of affordable housing and community development programs to meet the needs of Ohio

The Senate’s proposal reverses this decision, shifting the State’s approach away from best practice, adding bureaucratic hurdles, and jeopardizing Ohio’s economic growth. Indeed, most housing finance agencies across the country are independent entities, designed to balance competing interests and prevent the politicization of housing development programs.

The Senate’s proposal will put affordable housing further out of reach for Ohioans.

Since 1986, OHFA has helped finance the construction or preservation of nearly 150,000 affordable rental units. Unfortunately, the need for affordable rental housing has grown even faster, especially in recent years. A March study found that Ohio has a deficit of 270,000 housing units for extremely low-income families, a shortage that grew 6% worse in one year. Almost 70% of extremely low-income Ohioans are severely rent-burdened, spending more than 50% of their income on rent.

As currently structured, OHFA leverages limited resources allocated by the federal government to successfully facilitate housing investment and generate economic benefits for Ohio by leveraging public-private partnerships to drive affordable housing production. Currently, Ohio is competitive in its efforts to attract private affordable housing investment because states with stable, consistent, and transparent programs, like OHFA, attract higher prices for their tax credits, which draws more investment.

Increasing bureaucracy and the potential for political interference in the tax credit allocation process will likely result in decreasing the value of Ohio’s tax credits. This would reduce private investment and push affordable housing further out of reach for many Ohioans. A drop in tax credit pricing results in fewer projects being developed in the state. Every 10-cent reduction in pricing would result in 400 -1,000 fewer affordable homes available, at a time when Ohioans are already struggling to afford the homes, they live in.

Given the current dire need for affordable housing in Ohio, it would be detrimental to disrupt the progress OHFA has made since 2005 when the legislature intentionally made it an independent agency. In the years ahead, OHFA must continue to be a key player in addressing Ohio’s housing challenges. To do so, OHFA must remain an independent agency so that it can, without disruption, continue to:

  • Self-fund its own operations and be highly rated nationally; Administer essential federal rental housing resources;
  • Provide reliable sources of capital in the affordable housing system;
  • Substantially increase its impact by continuing to grow its assets and net worth, and;
  • Reach underserved borrowers and markets

Furthermore, we are concerned that other changes in the substitute bill regarding the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, Opportunity Zones, Community Reinvestment Areas, and Tax Increment Financing will also stifle private investment in affordable housing. We urge the Senate to remove these provisions and restore language in the House’s version of the budget to create a new Workforce Housing Tax Credit program and implement a uniform valuation method for assessing local property taxes. Enacting these proposals will better position our State to address the shortage of affordable housing in Ohio.


  1. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO)
  2. Enterprise Community Partners
  3. Ohio Apartment Association
  4. Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging
  5. Ohio Association of Foodbanks
  6. Ohio Association of Health Plans
  7. Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing
  8. Ohio Capital Finance Corporation
  9. Ohio CDC Association
  10. Ohio Council for Affordable and Rural Housing
  11. Ohio Domestic Violence Network
  12. Ohio Housing Authorities Conference
  13. Ohio Housing Council
  14. Ohio Mayors Alliance
  15. Ohio Municipal League
  16. Ohio Poverty Law Center
  17. Ohio Urban Community Action Network
  18. Ohio Women’s Affordable Housing Network
  19. Ohio’s Hospice
  20. Habitat for Humanity of Ohio
  21. The Ohio Council of Behavioral Health & Family Services Providers
  22. Leading Age Ohio
  23. NAMI Ohio
  24. Finance Fund
  25. National Affordable Housing Trust
  26. National Church Residences
  27. NeighborWorks Collaborative of Ohio
  28. Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
  29. Sisters of Charity Health System
  30. Greater Ohio Policy Center
  31. Advocates for Ohio’s Future
  32. Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio
  33. Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati
  34. ACCESS, Inc
  35. ACEnet, Inc
  36. ACW Care
  37. Acoust-A-Fiber
  38. Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.
  39. Affordable Housing Advisors, LLC
  40. Affordable Housing Advocates
  41. Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio
  42. Alliance for Children and Families, Inc.
  43. American Community Developers, Inc.
  44. Area Agency on Aging District 7 – Ohio
  45. Artemis Center
  46. Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board
  47. Aurora Project, Inc.
  48. Barbara Poppe & Associates
  49. Bay Interfaith housing
  50. Beach House Inc dba Leading Families Home
  51. Beacon 360 Management
  52. Beacon Communities
  53. Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital
  54. Belmont Metropolitan Housing Authority
  55. Bennett Martin Consulting
  56. Bethany House
  57. BJ Brown and Associates LLC
  58. Borror Development Company
  59. Bridges Community Action Partnership
  60. Buckeye Community Hope Foundation
  61. Buckeye Ridge Habitat for Humanity, Inc.
  62. Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.
  63. Butler Metro Housing Authority
  64. CANAPI
  65. Central Community House
  66. Central Ohio Housing Action Network
  67. Central Ohio Symphony
  68. CHC
  69. Cherry Street Mission Ministries
  70. CHN Housing Partners
  71. Cincinnati Development Fund
  72. Cincinnati Northside Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation dba NEST
  73. City Mission of Findlay
  74. City of Cleveland
  75. City of Delaware
  76. CityWide Development Corporation
  77. Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
  78. Clinton Metropolitan Housing Authority
  79. Columbus City Schools
  80. Columbus Compact dba Columbus Empowerment Corp.
  81. Columbus Early Learning Centers
  82. Columbus Housing Enterprise
  83. Common Threads Closet
  84. Community Action Commission of Fayette County
  85. Community Action Committee of Pike County
  86. Community Action Wayne/Medina
  87. Community Building Partnership of Stark County, Inc.
  88. Community Counseling Center of Ashtabula County
  89. Community Development for All People
  90. Community Housing Network
  91. Community Housing Solutions
  92. Community Matters
  93. Community Mediation Services of Central Ohio
  94. Community Properties of Ohio
  95. Community Shelter Board
  96. Concord Counseling Services
  97. Cornerstone Renter Equity
  98. Corporation for Supportive Housing
  99. Council on Aging Southwest Ohio
  100. County Corp
  101. Dayton Energy Collaborative
  102. Dayton Metropolitan Housing Authority
  103. Del-Mor Dwellings Corp.
  104. Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce
  105. Delaware County Against Human Trafficking Coalition
  106. Delaware County Housing Alliance
  107. Delaware Metropolitan Housing Authority
  108. Direction Home Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities
  109. Downing Community Advisors
  110. DPP Property Services, LLC
  111. Drake Construction Co.
  112. DRK Consulting, LLC
  113. Dublin Capital Group, LLC
  114. East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp.
  115. East End Neighborhood Development Corporation
  116. EDEN Inc.
  117. Elevate Northland
  118. Episcopal Retirement Services
  119. Eradicating Systemic Poverty Team, Oxford Presbyterian Church
  120. Erase the Space
  121. Erie Metropolitan Housing Authority
  122. Fair Housing Center for Rights & Research
  123. Fair Housing Resource Center, Inc.
  124. Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation
  125. Fairfield Homes, Inc.
  126. Famicos Foundation
  127. Family & Community Services
  128. Family Promise of Lima-Allen County
  129. Family Promise: Promise House Delaware and Impact Station Marysville
  130. Firelands Habitat for Humanity
  131. Franciscan Village
  132. Franklin County Auditor
  133. Franklinton Development Association
  134. Franklinton Rising
  135. Freedom BLOC
  136. Friends of the Homeless of Tuscarawas County
  137. Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency
  138. Gladden Community House
  139. Great Lakes Community Action Partnership
  140. Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition
  141. Greater Dayton Real Estate Investors Association
  142. Green National
  143. Grovedale Consulting
  144. Gualtieri Law Offices
  145. Habitat for Humanity in Wayne County, Inc.
  146. Habitat for Humanity Lima Area
  147. Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County
  148. Habitat for Humanity of Fulton County, Ohio
  149. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati
  150. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton, Inc.
  151. Habitat for Humanity of Knox County Ohio
  152. Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning Valley
  153. Habitat for Humanity of Medina County
  154. Habitat for Humanity of Ottawa County
  155. Habitat for Humanity of Richland & Crawford Counties, Inc.
  156. Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio
  157. Habitat for Humanity of Summit County
  158. Habitat for Humanity of the Tri-State
  159. Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio
  160. Haven of Hope
  161. Highland County Homeless Shelter
  162. Hocking Metropolitan Housing Authority
  163. Home for Families
  164. Home is the Foundation
  165. Home Repair Resource Center
  166. HomeBase Cincinnati
  167. Homefull
  168. HomeOwnership Center of Greater Dayton
  169. Homeport
  170. Homes on the Hill CDC
  171. Housing Network of Hamilton County
  172. Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati
  173. Huckleberry House
  174. Human Service Chamber of Franklin County
  175. Humility of Mary Housing
  176. Hunger Network in Ohio
  177. I&D Consulting Services
  178. ICAN Housing
  179. IMPACT Community Action
  180. Inclusive Housing Resources
  181. Integrated Services for Behavioral Health
  182. Ironton Lawrence County CAO
  183. Joseph & Mary’s Home
  184. Jurisdiction-wide Resident Advisory Board, Inc.
  185. Just 4 Them
  186. Kennedy Heights Development Corporation
  187. KM Date Community Planning, LLC
  188. Knickbocker Senior Apartments
  189. Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity
  190. LakewoodAlive
  191. Liberty Community Center
  192. Licking County Coalition for Housing
  193. LISC Cleveland
  194. LISC Greater Cincinnati
  195. LISC Toledo
  196. Lots of Love Learning Center
  197. Lowenstein Development LLC
  198. LSC Service Corp (Barton Communities)
  199. Lucas Housing Services Corporation
  200. Lucas Metropolitan Housing
  201. Luken Solutions
  202. Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry
  203. Lutheran Social Services
  204. Mansfield Metropolitan Housing Authority
  205. Marion Metropolitan Housing Authority
  206. Maumee Valley Habitat For Humanity
  207. MaxHousing
  208. Medina Metropolitan Housing Authority
  209. Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati
  210. Miami Valley Community Action Partnership
  211. Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, Inc.
  212. Mid-Ohio Board for an Independent Living Environment
  213. Midwest Affordable Housing Management Association
  214. Millennia Housing Management
  215. Montgomery County Office of Reentry
  216. Mt Auburn Community Development Corp (MACDC)
  217. Mt. Washington CDC
  218. Mustard Seed Development Center
  219. My Sister’s Place
  220. Neighborhood Development Services, Inc.
  221. Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield
  222. Neighborhood Housing Services of Hamilton
  223. Neighborhood Properties, Inc.
  224. NeighborWorks Toledo Region
  225. Netcare Corporation
  226. New Era Benefits Consulting, Ltd.
  227. Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless
  228. Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium
  229. Northern Ohioans for Budget Equality Fairness
  230. Northwest Neighborhoods CDC
  231. Norwood Together
  232. Oberer Companies
  233. Oberlin Community Services
  234. Ohio Animal Advocates
  235. Ohio Fair Lending
  236. Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation
  237. One South Euclid
  238. OneEighty, Inc.
  239. Our Lady of Angels Apartments, Inc.
  240. Over-the-Rhine Community Housing
  241. Parma Public Housing Agency
  242. Parsons Avenue Redevelopment Corporation
  243. Partnerships for Housing
  244. People in Need Inc. of Delaware County
  245. Physicians CareConnection
  246. Pivotal Housing Partners
  247. PLACES Incorporated
  248. Preservation of Affordable Housing
  249. Price Hill Will
  250. Randall B. Shorr, Attorney at Law
  251. Rebuilding Together Central Ohio dba Modcon Living
  252. Refuge Host Homes
  253. Renewal Housing Associates, LLC
  254. Renter Mentor
  255. Resident Resources Network
  256. Residential Administrators, Inc.
  257. RevUrbanist Studio
  258. Right Path Financial Coaching, LLC
  259. RLH Partners, Inc.
  260. Rock of Faith Community Development Corporation
  261. Rotary Commons Sr. Housing
  262. Saad & Saad LLP
  263. Safe Harbor
  264. Salus Development
  265. Sanctuary Night
  266. Sandusky County Habitat for Humanity
  267. Sandusky Metropolitan Housing Authority
  268. Sawmill Road Management Company
  269. Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses
  270. SourcePoint
  271. Spatialist LLC
  272. Spire Development, Inc.
  273. Square One GJM
  274. St. Mary Development Corp.
  275. St. Vincent de Paul Society of Central Newark
  276. Stark Housing Network
  277. Stemen, Mertens, Stickler CPAs & Assoc.
  278. Strategies to End Homelessness
  279. Sunset Development
  280. Talbert House
  281. TASC of Northwest Ohio
  282. Tender Mercies
  283. THE ABCD, INC
  284. The Akron Leadership Foundation
  285. The Board of Mahoning County Commissioners
  286. The City of Whitehall
  287. The Columbus Urban League
  288. The Commonwealth Companies
  289. The Community Builders
  290. The Family Resource Center
  291. The Orlean Company and ABC Management Co.
  292. The Partnership Center, Ltd.
  293. The Provident Companies
  294. The Summit Group
  295. The Well CDC
  296. Tidwell Group
  297. Transformation Life Center
  298. Transformations CDC
  299. Trotwood Community Improvement Corporation
  300. Twin Towers Neighborhood Association Dayton
  301. UNIK Foundation
  302. United Church Homes
  303. United Way of Central Ohio
  304. United Way of Delaware County
  305. United Way of Greater Cleveland
  306. United Way of Summit & Medina
  307. Vacant and Abandoned Property Action Council (VAPAC)
  308. Village of Yellow Springs
  309. Vistula Management Co.
  310. Vogt Strategic Insights
  311. Wallick Communities
  312. Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation
  313. Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority
  314. Wayne Metropolitan Housing Authority
  315. Welcome BG
  316. Westwood Works
  317. Weybridge Realty LLC
  318. Willowood Manor/Fairview Park Sr Housing/LSC Corp
  319. Woda Cooper Companies, Inc.
  320. Wooster Homelessness Task Force
  321. Yellow Springs Home, Inc.
  322. YMCA of Central Ohio
  323. Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation
  324. Youth Over Us, inc.
  325. YWCA Columbus
  326. YWCA Hamilton
  327. YWCA Mahoning Valley
  328. Zanesville Housing Development Corporation