COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — With a symbolic groundbreaking Monday, construction will start this week on a new 180-unit affordable housing development in north Columbus which will list rent as low as $350 a month.
City and state leaders gathered to praise the new project owned and operated by NRP which will offer a fitness area, computer room, and up to four-bedroom apartments.
The Sinclair, scheduled to open in 2023, sits on the former Alrosa Villa site which had been a historic music venue in the city. It is also where five people were shot and killed in 2004. The lot went on the market in 2019.
"We need to continue to build more houses. That's not just affordable homes,” said Director of Development for the City of Columbus Mike Stevens.
Stevens said the population for Columbus has grown by 100,000 people in the last decade.
City leaders also indicated they’ll use $35 million of a $50 million bond package passed by voters two years ago to help fund affordable housing. Some of those moneys went the Sinclair project.
Stevens says the rest will help put 1,000 more affordable housing units on the market. While those units would take up to two years to construct, the current affordable housing gap in the city is estimated at 54,000 units.
Problem Solvers asked Stevens what the city is doing in addition to helping bridge the gap as area shelters are hitting max capacity.
“There are other tools we're using to encourage that private development to make the investment into new housing," he said.
Stevens mentioned trying to lure developers into converting old hotels and motels into affordable living spaces as well as revamping zoning codes to allow more transitional housing.