Affordable Housing

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

In the midst of the ongoing intense cold weather, teams of volunteers are spreading across Montgomery County Wednesday morning for the yearly statewide census of homelessness. The count gives service organizations a snapshot of how many people are on the streets or in shelters on a given night, and it is required for counties that receive affordable housing assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Last month WYSO reported that an Illinois-based hedge fund had purchased about one in eleven homes in the town of Huber Heights. The company made national news by asking Montgomery County to reduce its property taxes by over a million dollars. Now the results are in—and they weren’t as hard on the local budget as expected.

Twin Towers in Dayton. St. Mary's Church, in the background, is central to the neighborhood's history. east side east end
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The Twin Towers neighborhood in Dayton was established more than a hundred years ago, and it’s been through a lot. Recently 84 new houses opened in the area for low-income families through a public-private partnership organized by East End Community Services. But what does this mean for a neighborhood trying to turn itself around?

 

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Just down the block from the tall church towers that give Twin Towers its name, there’s a surprising image: instead of Dayton’s classic, old wood homes you see a block full of brand new wood homes in a similar style.

 

It’s been five years since the housing bubble burst. Lots of people in the Dayton area lost their homes to foreclosure, and many of those homes are still sitting vacant.

Before the housing bust, McCarthy says his work at the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center often focused on discriminatory lending and rental practices; they were trying to get people of color into homes. But since the housing bust, he says the center has shifted focus towards keeping people in the greater Dayton area in their homes, through fighting foreclosures and seeking refinancing.

Guaranteeing access to affordable rents was among pressing housing topics local and national experts and policymakers addressed at an Ohio Statehouse forum.

The Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission sponsored the Tuesday event, headlined by U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi.

The forum highlighted policy recommendations for the housing sector contained in a report the commission issued in February.