Columbus to investigate community housing needs

The city of Columbus is planning to spend $150,000 or more to look into the community’s housing needs.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission approved the initial spending Monday with the understanding that the costs could grow as the study scope expands.

Mary Ferdon, the city’s executive director of Administration and Community Development, asked the commission for the funding, saying that the city would be issuing requests for proposals for companies to perform the study. She said that the study would include an assessment of existing housing conditions, demographics, market demands and identify critical gaps. The goal is to help city officials identify priorities and policies to address housing issues.

Ferdon said that there are several trends limiting available housing, including seniors aging in place in larger homes and the huge surge in post-World War II housing construction that is now nearly 80 years old, deteriorating and doesn’t meet modern needs.

Funding for the study will come from the redevelopment commission’s tax increment financing district revenue from the Central area of the city.