Supported by funding from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), the NDC worked in partnership with the City of Columbus Housing Division to produce the Franklinton Target Area Plan in 2019 and early 2020. The plan was created in conjunction with residents and the Franklinton Area Commission as part of a new OHFA funding opportunity that will bring mixed-income housing developments to Franklinton.
The FHAct50 Program
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law in 1968, following a prolonged legislative battle and on the heels of the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Act extended the basic discrimination protections within the 1964 Civil Rights Act into the housing market. It explicitly prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex – and, following amendments in 1988 – familial status and disability.
Using the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act as its namesake, the FHAct50 program helps build on the spirit of the legislation by supporting the development of diverse, mixed-income communities. The FHAct50 Building Opportunity Fund was an option extended by OHFA to Ohio’s three largest cities: Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. The City of Columbus elected to participate in the FHAct50 Building Opportunity fund for years 2019-2021. The fund provides access to a pool of $3 million in low income housing tax credits to further the creation of diverse and accessible communities within the boundaries of a TAP identified by the City of Columbus. Each affordable unit must be leveraged by a market rate unit in the same neighborhood, created at the same time in order to support the development of mixed-income communities.
Target Area Plan
The Target Area Plan was created with the direction of the Housing Division of the Department of Development while NDC provided technical assistance. The document presents data about the existing conditions of the Franklinton neighborhood, and recommends improvements in broad areas. The final component of the plan details the FHAct50 process and the individual housing developments selected to move ahead with the funding opportunity.
In the existing conditions profile, aspirational goals are included after each topic area covered. These goals reflect the areas of need determined by evaluating multiple data sets and through public outreach efforts. They are visionary and normative—meaning they propose how to improve the quality of life for Franklinton residents.
Map of the target area, represented by the Franklinton Area Commission boundary. The three developments selected to received funding are also depicted on the map. One is in the eastern portion of the neighborhood, while the remaining two are in the western portion.
The Franklinton community was asked to provide input on specific housing development proposals, as well as more general issues facing the community.
The Neighborhood Design Center engaged a diverse group of Franklinton stakeholders to inform the TAP and the three development projects proposed within the community. The initial project introduction was made to the Franklinton Area Commission on March 12, 2019.
In an effort to reach as many Franklinton residents, businesses and nonprofits doing work in the community as possible, the NDC followed the Area Commission’s recommendation to attend the Franklinton Nonprofit Coalition meeting on March 14, 2019 to discuss the potential affordable housing developments associated with FHAct50 funding, and to request that they utilize their established networks to help get the word out.
Open House Event
To formally introduce Franklinton residents to the project, the NDC facilitated an Open House held on April 24, 2019 at Mt. Carmel Hospital, the same location the Area Commission meets. In advance of this event, post cards were sent to every address (a total of 3,900) in Franklinton, inviting them to come share a meal with their neighbors and learn more about FHAct50 affordable housing initiative.
Residents left 53 comment cards regarding the proposed housing projects, which were immediately forwarded to the corresponding developers. Additional feedback and comments were collected at National Night Out in Franklinton in August 2019.
The plan will be released in Spring 2020 and developments will likely break ground later this year. Learn more at the project website.
A compilation of photos taken in Franklinton.