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Ginther announces tax incentive change, affordable housing agenda

The city is growing and evolving every day. Sure, the new condos and breweries are great but, arguably, one thing that falls to the wayside is affordable housing.

Mayor Andrew Ginther’s latest announcement aims to address just that.

Ginther alongside City Council released information about historic changes coming to decades-long residential tax incentive policy that will focus on creating more affordable housing opportunities in Columbus neighborhoods.

In 2016, Mayor Andrew Ginther tasked the Department of Development to commission the first-ever study to better understand the City’s use of both residential and business incentives.

The changes to the tax incentive policy will reflect the study’s findings as well as input gathered from several hundred Columbus residents.

“Based on research and input from the community, we have put together a new policy that will benefit neighborhoods and residents by spurring development of affordable housing and living wages—real and long-lasting changes for the people of Columbus,” said Mayor Ginther in a release.

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The new residential incentive policy makes significant changes to support affordable, mixed-income neighborhoods in the City’s existing post-1994 Community Reinvestment Areas.

Neighborhoods will be placed into one of three categories based on the following criteria: population growth, median household income growth, poverty rate, growth in median rent, housing vacancy rate and mortgage foreclosure rate.

“As chair of the Housing Committee, I am working diligently to increase access to affordable housing and believe that the implementation of this policy is a critical step,” said Councilmember Jaiza Page. “I look forward to working with my Council colleagues to make this policy robust.”

Council will conduct a second tax incentive policy public hearing on Monday, July 23 at 3pm, in Council Chambers, 90 West Broad Street.

The hearing is to discuss proposed amendments to the legislation, based upon feedback received from the initial meeting.

The new policies will take effect summer 2018.

To review the report and proposed changes visit https://www.columbus.gov/Development/.

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