Innovative Scholar House Celebrates Ground Breaking


October 28, 2015 - The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, Community Properties of Ohio Development, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing and other development partners celebrated the ground breaking of the innovative Columbus Scholar House, which will uniquely combine affordable housing with educational opportunities for student-parent households pursuing a post-secondary educational degree or certification.

Bryan Brown, Chief Operating Officer of the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Agency, kicked off the celebration by stating that education is the best anti-poverty program around and the Columbus Scholar House will apply a two-generation approach to address poverty. 
This innovative development, located in the King Lincoln district, includes the new construction of 28 two- and three-bedroom apartments and townhomes; integrated with  10 existing apartments constructed as a pilot program. The Columbus Scholar House development contributes to and supports the revitalization efforts of the Near East Side neighborhood and the P.A.C.T. initiative.

The Columbus Scholar House addresses generational poverty through education and offers a service program that supports the parent-student and their children. The program is designed to encourage at-risk student-parents who face barriers in educational achievement and provide quality affordable housing, specialized resident services, and child care opportunities to support these families while they pursue their education. There are 10 local colleges within four miles of the Columbus Scholar House. Residents of the Scholar House pilot program have graduated from The Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College.

Columbus Scholar House will consist of two townhome buildings and a three-story apartment building, in addition to the ten existing apartments located in the recently constructed Charles Building. Homes will feature Energy Star appliances, central air conditioning, window coverings, ceiling fans and basements in the townhouses. Community Properties of Ohio Managements Services manages the development and plans to develop a playground area as well as a home-based childcare center in the neighboring community.

Financing for the Columbus Scholar House includes Low Income Housing Tax Credits and a Direct Loan administered through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, City of Columbus HOME funds and General Obligation Bonds, funding through the Affordable Housing Trust of Columbus and Franklin County and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, funding through the Ohio Capital Finance Corporation, and equity provided by the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.  Project based operating subsidies are being provided through CMHA.

Those speaking at the celebration included: Bryan Brown, CMHA; Andrew Ginther, Columbus City Council; Donald Shackelford, Affordable Housing Trust; Thomas Leach, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Sean Thomas, Ohio Housing Finance Agency; Hal Keller, OCCH; Isabel Toth; Community Properties of Ohio Management Services; Yolanda Zepeda, The Ohio State University; Dr. David Harrison, Columbus State Community College; James Flynn, Neighborhood Homeowner; and Kourtney Clark, Columbus Scholar House Resident.

For more information, contact Sarah French at sfrench@cpoms.org.

 

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