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Report: Ohio’s affordable housing gap shrinking

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(The Center Square) – Ohio’s shortage of affordable housing is slightly shrinking based on a new report released Thursday morning.

The Gap Report, released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, showed the disparity between affordable rental units and extremely low-income households fell by 3,017 in the past year.

The ratio between affordable units to every 100 households remained unchanged at 40.

Ohio coalition Executive Director Amy Riegel said the fall in the shortage shows the state is improving from the 6% rise from the previous year. Still, high rent inflation continues to have an impact.

“It’s great to see that access to affordable housing finally started moving in the right direction,” Riegel said. “Policymakers took initial steps toward expanding the supply of housing in Ohio, so we’re hopeful we can continue this positive momentum.”

The report illustrates the state’s largest cities had similar housing deficits, with Cincinnati having a shortage of 49,510 units, Cleveland 56,560 and Columbus 52,694.

Columbus’ ratio of affordable units available to extremely low-income renters was 26 to 100, lower than the 41 to 100 in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

“This is no time to rest on our laurels,” Riegel said. “Evictions and homelessness are still increasing in Ohio. To reverse these troubling trends, we need Congress and the Statehouse to be more assertive in addressing affordability for our most vulnerable residents.”

The report also showed that most rental markets have enough supply for middle-income renters, but no market in the country has enough homes for extremely low-income renters.

Just 2% of Ohio’s middle-income renters spend more than half their income on rent, while 70% of low-income renters are considered “severely housing cost-burdened.” That’s the highest percentage since 2016, according to the report.

“We know what works to end house insecurity and homelessness – what we lack is the political will to invest in these solutions at the scare needed,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the national coalition.

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