November 24, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The announcement that more than $20 million in Ohio Housing Trust Fund grant awards will soon be headed to 76 homeless services agencies in 34 counties came as very good news to Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO). “Many of our shelter member organizations are reporting record-level volume – especially among families,” he said. “These funds come at a time when communities need them most. It shows what a valuable resource the Ohio Housing Trust Fund is to Ohio.”
In addition, nearly $800,000 in grants to repair 44 shelters and supportive housing properties have been allocated. Administered by the Ohio Department of Development, the Ohio Housing Trust Fund is a flexible funding source that responds to the critical housing needs of Ohio’s military veterans, senior citizens, people with disabilities and working families.
“The priority of the OHTF has always been to direct funds to those most in need,” Faith said. “It’s a unique funding source that becomes even more important when social service safety net programs are cut to the bone.” According to the Ohio Department of Development, the funds will assist approximately 51,000 people and leverage more than $73 million in private investment. “For every Trust Fund dollar invested, more than three dollars flow into communities from private partnerships, creating jobs and a stronger economy,” Faith said.
The Ohio Housing Trust Fund began in 1990 when voters approved a constitutional amendment making housing a public purpose. Following years of advocacy from the recordation fees to create a permanent, dedicated funding stream for homeless and affordable housing programs.
Since then the OHTF has distributed more than $369 million to diverse projects that include adult and youth shelters, affordable housing development projects, home repair, rehab and energy savings projects, Habitat for Humanity of Ohio, support services to help those in need stay in their homes, and service coordination for seniors, among others. “These funds have been the safety net needed for more than a million people in every county in our state, with half or more going to projects in rural counties,” said Faith.
For a list of OHTF Recipients, please go to Ohio News Room and Development Ohio.
Suzanne Gravette Acker