The Threefold Mission of The Housing Trust is to:
- Serve as a catalyst for the production of affordable homes and apartments and to encourage homeownership in order to stimulate the development of affordable apartments and homes in and near employment centers.
- Invest in affordable residential development and construction in older and overlooked areas of Columbus and Franklin County.
- Use the resources available to us in the most efficient and cost effective way possible by leveraging dollars and manage operating expenses.
The Trust acts as an independent, not-for-profit lender for affordable new home and apartment development and for the rehabilitation of vacant and abandoned residential buildings.
The Trust is a catalyst, generating participation by other lenders and investors to leverage the impact of its own financial resources.
The Trust directs its resources toward builders and developers rather than individual households. But the beneficiaries of Trust programs are in fact the working people and seniors in low- and moderate-income households who benefit from additional affordable housing in the community.
The Housing Trust was created as an independent, not-for- profit entity in 2001, in response to the effort by the City and County to create more affordable homeownership and rental housing and to strengthen neighborhoods within Columbus and Franklin County.
Is there a Problem?
- In 2006 the average sales price of a home (new or existing) in Franklin County was $157,900.
- The average cost of a home in Columbus/Franklin County rose 79% in the past ten years, while lower and middle income wages have increased only 29%. Wages have not kept pace with inflation, therefore, more families must spend a greater portion of their income to own or rent a home. This means that working families are paying a much greater portion of their incomes for shelter (either for a mortgage or rent), leaving much less for food, clothing, education, and medical problems. And these families certainly have few reserves in times of emergency.
- Rental housing is unaffordable to many working families:
- A full time worker needs to earn $12.31 an hour or $25,600 a year to afford rent and utilities for a two bedroom market rate apartment in Franklin County. In 2000, 117,615 households had incomes below that level.
The Trust Philosophy:
With the support of the City, the County and our other partners, The Housing Trust has committed over $17 million to housing projects in Columbus and Franklin County resulting in the production of more than 1,772 homes and apartments. Of importance to the Trust and the community is increasing the capacity of both non-profit and for profit developers. We do this by lending money for construction, acquisition, bridge or gap financing and providing technical assistance as needed.
A majority of the homes and apartments financed by the Housing Trust are made available to families and the elderly that earn 80% of the Area Median Income and below ($51,000/yr for a family of four).
- 47% of the housing units have been made available to a family of two earning under $20,000 (two wage earners who each earn $5.00/hr) or a family of four earning under $26,000/year (two wage earners who each earn $6.50/hr)
- 31% of the housing units have been made available to a family of two earning under $30,000/year (two wage earners who earn $7.50/hr) or, a family of four earning under $38,000/year (two wage earners earning $9.50/hr
While the mission of the Housing Trust centers on the creation of affordable housing, we are also mindful of the critical need to be an efficient, cost-effective organization. We have a responsibility to be a good steward of public funds, and we measure our efficiency in a couple of ways.
Leveraging Dollars: By partnering with developers, banks, not-for-profit organizations and others, the Housing Trust's loans actually spur a much greater investment in affordable housing. To date, each dollar loaned by the Housing Trust has generated $11.50 of investment in our community's supply of affordable housing.
Operating Costs: The Housing Trust works to carefully manage its operating expenses. By keeping its costs stable while increasing its lending each year, the cost to local taxpayers is kept very low. Through 2004, the net cost of the Housing Trust's operation has been less than $1185 for every housing unit created.