The Central Ohio housing market may be growing at a record pace, but there is still a lack of affordable housing options for low income families. Policymakers have discussed some of the ways that they can address these problems. One of their options is by replacing some of the abandoned houses that are falling apart around the state.
New Report Shows Need to Replace Abandoned Housing
Policy Matters Ohio recently published a report that showed the problems with the state housing market. The report said that many foreclosed properties have fallen into disarray. These properties have been held by lenders since the foreclosure crisis took hold nearly a decade ago. They probably won’t be sold anytime soon, since they are in dire need of repair.
Policy Matters Ohio said that these properties should be replaced. Their presence could threaten prices of other properties, which could derail the state’s otherwise stellar performing housing market.
The question is what to do with the land if these buildings are torn down. Some groups recommend replacing these buildings with units that would house low income families, since there is a great need for that.
Replacing housing units would also benefit the state taxpayers. The number of residents receiving assistance for public housing has been elevated in recent years. In fact, a recent report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Inspector General showed that nearly 400 families are receiving housing aid that they aren’t eligible for. Some of these families are generating six figure household incomes, which means that they are taking up spaces that are needed by people without the resources. Local housing officials are given discretion over enforcing these policies, but many of them have been reluctant to take action.
While some of these families are actually making high incomes, the shortage of available housing units in many parts of the state is a driving factor. The state recognizes the need to increase the supply of housing for middle and working class families, but has yet to release any substantive proposals to address the issue. The state legislature is currently discussing a new bill (HB 134) that would expedite the process of acquiring, destroying and transferring properties, but some details may still need to be ironed out.
Many policymakers will likely be swayed by the recent report and may consider trying to purchase foreclosed units to develop new affordable housing programs.