Agency Will Study Region’s Housing Problems

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What's the housing situation really like in southern and eastern Ohio?

The Appalachian Ohio Housing Initiative is supposed to answer that question and could lead to improvements.

The Housing Initiative will be done by the Ohio Community Development Corporations Association.

Nate Coffman is head of the development group, which is based in Columbus.

He says "There is a great need and it does need to be addressed but first we need to know exactly what we are dealing with."

Coffman says this comprehensive housing research project – which is just now getting started – will cover the entire Appalachian region of Ohio.

"The Ohio Housing Finance Agency identified the lack of quality affordable housing in Ohio's 32 Appalachian region," he says.     

Coffman says the project will cost $210,000 and involve the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University.

It will include an affordable housing market study, asset inventory and a workshop with housing experts.

The study will take 19 months to complete.

Then, recommendations will be provided to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

Coffman says, "Anyone could anecdotally come up with potential solutions but that's not the way to go about things.  This will instruct us and (other agencies) as to how to address these issues."