NCRC Housing Rehab Fund and the Central Ohio Community Land Trust Lead Collaborative Housing Initiative in Franklin County
The NCRC Housing Rehab Fund, LLC (NCRC HRF) announced today completion of phase one of the Franklin County affordable housing initiative designed to increase home ownership for low- and moderate-income Ohio residents. As part of its nationwide GROWTH by NCRC initiative, NCRC HRF partnered with the Central Ohio Community Land Trust (COCLT), a subsidiary of the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC), to build 20 new homes in the Near Eastside and Southside neighborhoods of Columbus.
Elected officials and community leaders in central Ohio have recognized affordable housing as a critical community need and identified this land trust transaction as an important step on the road to answering that need. Columbus City Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, the City Council of Columbus and the Franklin County Commissioners supported the creation and funding of the Central Ohio Community Land Trust to help resolve this major problem. Working closely with the Land Trust, GROWTH, with help from partner banks, financed and developed the project.
GROWTH completed the work nine months after breaking ground, five weeks early and approximately $20,000 under budget per home. Additional support for the larger affordable housing initiative comes from a coalition of community leaders, including Huntington Bank, COCLT, COCIC and various other nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
The 20 new three-bedroom homes were built by local builder Rockford Homes with construction funding provided by GROWTH and project management support from GROWTH and Civitas Development Group. The homes are situated on scattered sites throughout the city with land provided by the City of Columbus Land Bank and COCIC.
“We are a mission-driven real estate fund helping make homeownership possible for more working-class people across the U.S.,” said Ed Gorman, Managing Director, the NCRC Housing Rehab Fund. “We are honored to support the mayor’s initiative to build more affordable housing in the city and we look forward to continuing to support future affordable homeownership development led by this strong coalition of community leaders.”
The City of Columbus’ affordable housing program helps reduce the sale price of new homes to a level that is affordable for low-, moderate- and middle-income residents. NCRC HRF has financed all 20 homes, benefitting homebuyers with incomes ranging from 39% to 91% of the area’s median income.
“Our goal is to provide opportunities for our low- and moderate-income neighbors to own a home in gentrifying and mixed-income neighborhoods, providing an opportunity for them to build wealth in a fashion not available to them otherwise,” said Curtiss L. Williams, Sr. President and CEO of COCIC and the COCLT.
The Community Land Trust holds land as a permanent community asset and guarantees perpetual affordability of homes for its residents through a 99-year land lease. The Community Land Trust homeowners own their home and lease the land underneath it from the trust. This guarantees each house remains affordable, not only for the first homebuyer, but subsequent homebuyers who follow. Program participants also qualify for a 15-year tax abatement.
“This initial project with the City of Columbus, GROWTH, Rockford Homes and Civitas Development Group has been wildly successful,” said Williams. “The new homeowners are ecstatic and speak about now having something to leave to their kids,” he added.