Almost everyone recognizes we are facing a Housing Affordability Crisis not just in Columbus, but throughout the country.
The solutions are complex and will require continuing cooperation between private developers, builders, local, state, and national governmental agencies.
Zoning issues and opposition to higher density housing options are at the forefront of this issue. While certainly not the model for many governmental initiatives, California is leading the way in some meaningful ways.
California and Oregon lead the way in allowing ADUs. ADUs or Accessory Dwelling Units are a way to add additional housing without additional development and without significant increases in required governmental services like fire, police, trash collection, etc. ADU’s can provide senior housing in a more family friendly environment, housing for Boomerang Babies who need a place to live without totally destroying the empty nest, or even housing for friends or family not in a position to obtain housing through more traditional means.
California also recently passed laws to help fast-track lower income housing. One law is allowing developers to work with Colleges and Churches to build housing on surplus land owned by these institutions. The other law provides a path for developers to expedite the approval process for the permitting processes to build affordable homes.
Closer to home, Cincinnati’s revised their zoning code to allow ADUs to be constructed in all zoning districts that permit single-family dwellings. As long as they are developed in a manner that respects neighboring land uses
Home Buyers, Builders, Realtors and Local Government need to continue to examine ways to make housing more affordable for all of Central Ohioans.