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Enterprise to Create up to 700 Affordable Homes

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Columbus RetroMetro wrote Enterprise Makes New Markets Tax Credits Investment to Create up to 700 Affordable Homes in Columbus, Ohio

Posted by Paul Bonneville on February 14, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio – February 7, 2008 – Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., (Enterprise) announced today a strategic investment of $9.5 million using New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to assist Columbus Housing Partnership in financing the construction or rehabilitation of up to 700 affordable homes in Columbus, Ohio, over seven years.

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13 Responses to Enterprise to Create up to 700 Affordable Homes

  1. SusanB
    SusanB February 15, 2008 1:18 pm at 1:18 pm

    It sounds great….but:

    CHP actually creates infill SECTION 8 housing in working class neighborhoods that are struggling to become “mixed income”. It is IMHO a total detriment to those neighborhoods (mine was one) and a real problem that is dressed up as “helping” the neighborhood. CHP is the largest section 8 landlord in the city of Columbus. Amy Klaben, the Executive Director quoted in the news release, lives in Bexley btw, not near any of the wonderful housing she inflicts on the good people of Columbus. It is a case of mutton dressed up as sheep as that the houses built are “lease option” meaning that the tenants have to rent for 10 to 15 years before they have the option to buy the house at a price set at the time of sale. Needless to say, folks tend not to stick around that long. We are on our 2nd set of tenants in the CHP house on our street in 3 years. Again I will stress that this is all IMHO so that they don’t try to sue my butt as that I feel that they are not the nicest of folks and have a lot of $$ and political muscle.

  2. uncoolcynthia February 15, 2008 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm

    chrisawards wrote It sounds great….but:

    CHP actually creates infill SECTION 8 housing in working class neighborhoods that are struggling to become “mixed income”. It is IMHO a total detriment to those neighborhoods (mine was one) and a real problem that is dressed up as “helping” the neighborhood. CHP is the largest section 8 landlord in the city of Columbus. Amy Klaben, the Executive Director quoted in the news release, lives in Bexley btw, not near any of the wonderful housing she inflicts on the good people of Columbus. It is a case of mutton dressed up as sheep as that the houses built are “lease option” meaning that the tenants have to rent for 10 to 15 years before they have the option to buy the house at a price set at the time of sale. Needless to say, folks tend not to stick around that long. We are on our 2nd set of tenants in the CHP house on our street in 3 years. Again I will stress that this is all IMHO so that they don’t try to sue my butt as that I feel that they are not the nicest of folks and have a lot of $$ and political muscle.

    They also hold a number of “building leases” in struggling neighborhoods so that as many folks with high needs and few resources are warehoused without bothering the good folks in areas with higher ratios of owner occupied housing.

  3. cmhcow
    cmhcow February 15, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm

    Look, it is easy to pick on CHP when you are not someone who requires what is essentially housing of last resort. One can become quick to NIMBY. Just to be clear, CMHA governs more Section 8 vouchers than any one in town, not CHP, but because there is such a need for affordable housing for the working poor, they are no longer taking reservations as their waiting list is three years long. Thus the need for CHP and other Columbus non-profit developers of affordable housing to show initiative. Yeah, I know CHP’s rep on the Southside and it isn’t stellar, but I find it difficult to imagine them sued over a IMHO, unless of course it was somehow liable. Ms. Klaben is an attorney you know.

    Yes, in a social utopia, perhaps lease purchase is not ideal, but the end game does allow for home ownership and 70% of people who are in those homes buy in year 15. Like i said, not ideal, but low income housing tax credits ensure low income rental in perpetuity, which can have a far more adverse effect on a community.

    This allocation of New Markets Tax Credits is for 700 units of homeownership housing. I don’t recall if the press release indicates that or not, but that in fact is the case.

    Also, who cares where Klaben lives? Does that have anything to do with the ability to direct an organization with a social mission? Should Strickland move to Linden or Arnold move to Compton just to keep it real? Of course not. That would be silly. I guess unless you are Jerry Brown. :D

  4. RawWebDesign February 16, 2008 3:16 am at 3:16 am

    It would be awesome if they used homes that were already built, instead of adding to the glut of empty homes already in and around Central Ohio.

  5. cmhcow
    cmhcow February 16, 2008 6:44 am at 6:44 am

    good point. approximately 500 of the 700 units developed will be vacant, foreclosed upon homes. this is good, but it only deals with a small portion of the greater issue. Central Ohio has thousands of homes in the early stages of foreclosure and this is before taking into consideration that the next big subprime reset is coming in May. the housing environment hasn’t been this bad since the depression.

    the other 200 are infill homes on vacant land in existing neighborhoods.

  6. uncoolcynthia February 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am

    cmhcow wrote Look, it is easy to pick on CHP when you are not someone who requires what is essentially housing of last resort. One can become quick to NIMBY.

    Also, who cares where Klaben lives? Does that have anything to do with the ability to direct an organization with a social mission? Should Strickland move to Linden or Arnold move to Compton just to keep it real? Of course not. That would be silly. I guess unless you are Jerry Brown. :D

    One can become quick to NIMBY when one’s BY is already full of people who have an extremely high level of needs that are not being met. Folks who live in these already struggling neighborhoods get no support when they resist these projects because they are so overwhelmed with issues and have insignificant proportions of owner occupied housing to fight these large institutions that know a good deal when they see one.

    I care where Klaban lives. It’s not about “keeping it real”; it’s about earning your income from a neighborhood that is so blighted you don’t choose to live there yourself. It’s about sucking the public tit to buy a home in an area that wouldn’t consider having any of these units, yet alone 700! It’s about maintaining the status quo at the expense of those too poor to fight you.

  7. SusanB
    SusanB February 16, 2008 6:46 pm at 6:46 pm

    cmhcow wrote:

    Yes, in a social utopia, perhaps lease purchase is not ideal, but the end game does allow for home ownership and 70% of people who are in those homes buy in year 15. Like i said, not ideal, but low income housing tax credits ensure low income rental in perpetuity, which can have a far more adverse effect on a community.

    Where did you get that 70% statistic? When CHP came to the South Side w e were told that the program hadn’t been in effect long enough to have stats. And are those people the same ones that have been the houses for 15 years or where they the tenants that were in the house at year 15? (when the house goes on the market).

    It does matter where one lives, if not just for moral/political reasons, but also to have a real understanding of the issues that these neighborhoods face. Adding more low income rental housing through infill building can tip the balance in a fragile area that is struggling to overcome serious poverty issues. Homeownership is crucial to the survival of these neighborhoods, and to be told by people who do not live in areas anything resembling our working class neighborhoods that CHP housing is good for us, IMHO, was the ultimate exercise in upper crust arrogance.

    BTW IMHO the homes on the South Side are built like crap with only dow styrofoam sheets and house wrap under vinyl except the 4 corners where they used particle/wafer board. The paint is already peeling off the 3 year old porch on the house on Morril.

  8. cmhcow
    cmhcow February 16, 2008 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm

    it doesn’t have stats locally. the 70% number came from use of lease purchase in cleveland. its not a bad number considering that cleveland’s housing market is abysmal and the end result (albeit delayed for 15 years) is home ownership. i would hope columbus to fair as well, if not better, in year 15 since our housing market and regional economy are much more stable.

    where klaben lives is low hanging fruit, i get that. but since she alone is not responsible for every policy decision chp makes, should we be examining where the staff and board lives too? because not for nothing, they hardly all live in bexley. secondary to that, i like to think that a person can have a reasonable understanding of an issue by drawing upon their life experiences without (in this case) living in an a certain place at a certain time.

    look, i am not a big fan of lease purchase, you are not the only person i have heard comment on construction quality and its not a secret (especially to chp) that they are not likely to be embraced on the southside in our lifetime. what i do know is that they are hardly haliburton-esque. they have helped thousands of families find affordable housing and though this NMTC allocation referenced in the original post, they will be able help turn hundreds of vacant structures in our city in to owner occupied housing. i guess that i cannot demonize an entire organization, even an organization with flaws, for that.

  9. SusanB
    SusanB February 17, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm

    When CHP came to the we did exactly that – we looked up where the staff lived and guess what- the majority of them did not live in Columbus. Maude Hill lives in Renoyldsburg and many of the rest of the staff lived in other suburbs as well.

    I think that the rehabbing of existing real estate is great, no matter who does it (although having been in 2 of the CHP rehabs that are on the South Side I am not impressed, they do a poor job of it IMHO). It is the lease purchase bs that they call “homeownership” that I despise for many reasons. the most glaring of which is that it is dishonest to call the rental tenants “homeowners” as that they don’t own the homes! When I pointed this out to Ms. Klaben she replied “Well you don’t really own your house, the bank does.” which:

    1. Is total bs as that the deed to the house is in my name

    2. I don’t have a mortgage on my $37,000 house on the SouthSide

    3. Is completely besides the point as that homeownership is better for neighborhoods than rental property (especially low income or working class neighborhoods).

    Also-do you live in any of the neighborhoods CHP builds in? I’m going to guess not. You also sound like you work in the “affordable housing” biz. I hate that term, it is like saying collateral damage. Low income subsidized rental housing is not “affordable” to the neighborhoods that it is built in, it is infact very costly to the real estate values and quality of life of the struggling working class people who live there.

  10. uncoolcynthia February 18, 2008 9:01 am at 9:01 am

    cmhcow wrote it doesn’t have stats locally. the 70% number came from use of lease purchase in cleveland. its not a bad number considering that cleveland’s housing market is abysmal and the end result (albeit delayed for 15 years) is home ownership.

    where klaben lives is low hanging fruit, i get that. but since she alone is not responsible for every policy decision chp makes, should we be examining where the staff and board lives too? because not for nothing, they hardly all live in bexley. secondary to that, i like to think that a person can have a reasonable understanding of an issue by drawing upon their life experiences without (in this case) living in an a certain place at a certain time.

    look, i am not a big fan of lease purchase, you are not the only person i have heard comment on construction quality and its not a secret (especially to chp) that they are not likely to be embraced on the southside in our lifetime. what i do know is that they are hardly haliburton-esque. they have helped thousands of families find affordable housing and though this NMTC allocation referenced in the original post, they will be able help turn hundreds of vacant structures in our city in to owner occupied housing. i guess that i cannot demonize an entire organization, even an organization with flaws, for that.

    There are hundreds of people whose livelihoods depend on keeping certain neighborhoods (southside, weinland park, milo) very poor. If these organizations had to buy land or build in more stable or more numerous areas, they simply would not be able to afford to do what they do for the same number of families; I get that. I also get that they are choosing to do this over the long term well-being of the families they hope to serve by warehousing them in these neighborhoods with high crime, deplorable schools, and a public infrastructure that is not only unable to meet their needs, but adds to their problems.

  11. cmhcow
    cmhcow February 21, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am

    Not everyone is listed in the phone book and not everyone owns a home, so you can’t track where all the 50-odd CHP staff lives, but that is neither here nor there. Columbus Police Officers need only live in Franklin or an adjacent county, does that mean they are unqualified to perform their jobs? Besides, who knows what someone’s past experiences are and how they shape them today. I have a friend who grew up in a notorious public housing project on the north side, but now he works for a local bank and lives in a suburb. Should I presume that his current ZIP Code invalidates his experiences in The Terrace? I would not be so bold to presume as much.

    Neither one of us seems to like lease purchase – super. But that wasn’t the point of the posted article, NMTC were. You made it the point in your post, which of course is fine. All I am trying to suggest is that CHP doesn’t deserve to be demonized any more than they deserve to be canonized. CHP builds/renovates homes according to a series of standards that the general public is not forced to adhere to and it is a matter of public record that the housing product produced has positive effect on neighborhood comps. Let’s face it, with the exception of construction activities in a very few gentrified neighborhoods, there aren’t a ton of people willing to drop $100,000-$125,000 per unit in central city Columbus <– usually at least twice the value of existing housing stock. Are the people who live in the CHP housing so horrible? Do you know them? Are they worse than the guy down the street, or the woman who has lived there for 20 years? I am sure that that answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no. After all, generalizing and stigmatizing an entire group of people based upon their economics is not something I would expect a good socially minded person to do. I know, I know. No one asked for CHP to come upset balance of things in the neighborhood. Still, no one asks for any neighbor to come, good or bad, do they? What is a bigger problem on the southside – CHP building some houses or this http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/02/14/same_house.ART_ART_02-14-08_A1_T09BR07.html?sid=101

    Who is trying to be part of a solution? Who is part of a problem?

    As far as where I live, that isn’t relevant to this discussion either. But since you brought it up, I live in a neighborhood in Columbus with a CHP low income housing project that will never be anything but subsidized rental two blocks from the house that I own about 25% of (yes, the bank owns the rest) and there is another CHP project about 7 blocks away. This is good, because according to your logic, it makes my opinion more valid than if I lived in Worthington, Granville or even Clintonville.

    See you around.

  12. SusanB
    SusanB March 2, 2008 1:36 pm at 1:36 pm

    I do think that Columbus Police should be required to live in the city, in fact I think that all city workers should have to live in the city. It would make Columbus a better place.

    As far as credibility, absolutely you win points by owning/living near CHP housing, it’s too bad the vast majority of the upper tier CHP employees don’t. (and yes, we tracked them down and ran 50′s on them when we were fighting their housing).

    The CHP housing certainly hasn’t raised my property values one bit. As far as the drug murder you gleefully point to- it happened 2 houses down from a CHP built house. Yes, the south side has other problems, that’s the point -chp housing makes it worse, not better. Or is your point that if the neighborhood is “shit” more shit can’t hurt? The good people in Olde Oaks were actually told this (by a CHP employee) in a public meeting. They were not amused.

    The objection is to more low income infill housing added to neighborhoods that cannot handle more tenants who don’t or can’t care about their neighborhood. Rehab not infill is what we begged for, but chp made $30,000 administrative overhead on each house that they built on the south side, so it was a very lucrative project for the organization. Why must we spend 120k each of our tax dollars on infill when we have so many homes vacant just down the street from these cheap ass foam core houses that chp built?

    If all chp did was rehab (albeit poorly) houses I wouldn’t despise them as I do, even though they were rude, classist, and condescending to us on the south side. If they were honest and actually gave a damn about our neighborhoods they wouldn’t get so much flack.

    I hope that the other people in the “affordable” housing biz aren’t as nasty as CHP was, but I’m wary now after our interactions on the south side. As far as I see it I can respond to CHPs propaganda that is disguised as “press releases” on this board and still be on topic. IMHO poverty pimps need to be called out and exposed so that people can see them coming.

    If you work in the “affordable” housing biz I hope that you hear what people who oppose your projects are saying about their neighborhoods and understand that we are not poor stupid people who don’t know any better, nor are we NIMBY yuppies (CHP accused us of both). Understand that we are trying to protect and fix the neighborhoods that we care deeply about.

  13. cmhcow
    cmhcow March 17, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am

    i hear you. i really do. but there is not magic bullet. i live in the city, i volunteer in my own neighborhood, i work to develop real estate (yep, affordable housing and the commercial/retail that is desperately needed in the core of our city), but none of us have the ability to damn or save the world. not CHP, not the Mayor, not you and certainly not me. At the end of the day I go to sleep knowing that thousands of people in Central Ohio are seeking decent, safe and affordable housing and are unable to find it. That is why I don’t sleep much. I wish the world was a better place. I wish that people EVERYWHERE cared about those less fortunate. I wish I could change the minds of the crowd who thinks that the poor uniformly drinks from the public well – because that is an exception, not a rule. why do low income housing tax credit projects seem to find their way in to already challenged neighborhoods time after time? because that is the way the state awards money. guess what? you CAN’T build affordable housing in dublin, pickerington, gahanna, worthington, UA, grandview, etc., etc., etc., because they won’t let you! The system is overtly classist and racist. yet all those other communities must laugh if they read this blog. they can see us fighting amongst ourselves!! equality friends!!! if you come to my Columbus concert, football game or symphony, then you must by right (either moral, social or econominc) shoulder your fair share of the poor. what right do you have to swoop in for all that is good yet ignore all that is wrong?? inclusionary zoning could create affordable housing near job centers, in good school districts without forcing the city to address all the social elements that come with embracing our economically disadvantaged citizens. although hardly a panacea, it could be a helpful tool to begin addressing some the challenges that confront our region.

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