by Carlos Iñiguez
Renters Density Map that informed EDDM routes selection.
This past autumn, NDC worked with the City of Columbus’ Department of Neighborhoods in an effort to inform, engage, and strengthen the relationship between rental owners and renters. The 3rd Annual Landlord Education Series featured an array of informative sessions and speakers open to both landlords and tenants.
The Landlord Education Series is a recurring event sponsored by the Department of Neighborhoods. The series aims to educate citizens on the state of housing, increase landlord compliance with housing and rental regulations, and strengthen the landlord and renter community. The Neighborhood Design Center assisted this effort by facilitating the event’s marketing, branding, and outreach.
The Landlord Education Series was composed of four sessions that hosted a limited amount of pre-registered in-person attendants to follow safety protocols. For those who could not attend in-person, each 90-minute session was live-streamed for free. The sessions were hosted from the middle of October to early November and featured four main themes including the state of housing, virtual city hall, safe and secure, and keeping families home. Representatives from city divisions including Code Enforcement, Police, and Refuse, along with the city housing offices and the mayor, served on different panels at the sessions. Other organizations, including the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, also took part in the panels. Following presentations, each session also included panel discussions and a Q&A period.
To reach geographies with a high population of renters, NDC identified Columbus zip codes with the highest density of renters and rental properties. With this information, event postcards were sent to addresses across seven zip codes providing a description of the Landlord Education Series and instructions for registration.
Event postcard sent via USPS EDDM service to high renters' density areas in Franklin County.
In addition to event marketing materials, NDC created and published a landing website for the event. The website provided a central location for citizens to register for events and find resources from the city and other organizations to evaluate and support renters through the program. NDC created social media graphics and established a graphic identity to assist the Department of Neighborhoods in creating a consistent brand for the event.
Ultimately, NDC’s efforts worked to connect Columbus’s rental owners and renters an opportunity to engage in available programs and focus groups. NDC, along with the Department of Neighborhoods, aims to raise awareness of existing programs to assist renters and rental property owners. They hope to make renters aware of their rights, make landlords aware of their responsibilities, and improve communication for the renter and landlord community.