Our Platform

Our Platform

Central Ohio is growing. People want to live here!

We’re excited to welcome more neighbors into our communities.

Housing is too expensive. We need more.

Central Ohio has a shortage of housing. We need to build more homes for more people to start getting it under control.

We must re-populate our urban neighborhoods!

Our historic communities were once thriving. Filled with families, businesses, and all the amenities that make city life fantastic.

Central Ohio is growing.

Our region is projected to have 3 million residents by 2050.

The 15-county region is on track to reach 3 million residents by 2050, compared to 2.2 million residents in 2010. This translates to 1.2 million households and 1.5 million jobs in 2050. We’re also trending toward urban revitalization: In the 2010s, 70% of the region’s population growth was in Franklin County—compared with 42% in the 2000s.

Who’s moving here? Mostly people from Ohio.

Of domestic migration, 80% of people are coming from other parts of Ohio! And 20% of growth is expected to come from baby boomers aging into older adulthood.

Central Ohio gained 18,077 new residents in 2019—growing to 2,122,271 people. That’s about 50 people every day.

What kind of housing do they want?

Not your typical single-family home, that’s for sure. There’s a rising demand for multifamily development. From 2010 to 2019, 58% of all new units built were multifamily, compared with 42% single family.

In 2017, a survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 51% of respondents would prefer to live in multi-family housing if in a walkable urban neighborhood close to work. This illustrates a significant growth in demand for multi-family living. Just two years prior, only 45% of respondents preferred multi-family housing under the same conditions. This demonstrates there’s a growing demand for compact, urban living.

Housing is too expensive.

To help stabilize housing prices and empower tenants, we need to increase the supply of housing.

Housing affordability is a persistent issue in Central Ohio and is continuing to intensify as the region accommodates an increasing population. According to the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio, the housing wage for a Franklin County two-bedroom apartment is $19.08. That’s gone up $2 in just two years! The burden of housing cost is disproportionately shouldered by households with lower incomes.

The median price of a home in Central Ohio rose to a record $220,000 in August 2019, up from $205,000 in August 2018 and a full $50,000 above the median price in July 2015. Typical homes sold after just 23 days on the market and sold for more than 98% of their asking prices. “Falling mortgage rates are improving housing affordability and nudging buyers into the market,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors. However, he added that the supply of affordable housing is severely low. “The shortage of lower priced homes has markedly pushed up home prices.”

From 2000 to 2019, wage growth was strongest for the highest-wage workers, continuing the trend in rising wage inequality since 1979.

Economic Policy Institute

Another reason housing is too expensive is that people aren’t earning enough money—due in part to a concept called wage stagnation. Unfortunately, slow wage growth and rising inequality is the new norm in the United States. Companies aren’t paying workers enough to survive, and they haven’t for decades. However, incomes for the top 10% of earners have grown substantially—leaving the rest of the workforce out of luck.

While we can’t control how much money workers earn, we can advocate for more housing to help alleviate the housing shortage in our region. When housing is scare, landlords and developers have the upper hand. Tenants with limited housing options are forced into housing that isn’t right for them. A larger range of housing options will help give tenants more agency and flexibility. This is one small part of increasing the quality of life for everyone in Central Ohio.

We must
re-populate our
urban core.

Did you know there are 150,000 less people living in urban Columbus now than in 1960?

It’s hard to believe, right? Within the city’s 1950 boundaries, which includes historic neighborhoods from the Hilltop to Eastmoor, and from Beechwold to the South Side, there are 151,477 less people today than 60 years ago.

In 1960, there were 386,291 people living in urban Columbus. In 2019 (the latest data available), there are just 234,814.

We have so much room to grow and regain the lost energy and investment in our communities. There are even less housing units today than in 1960—15,066 less to be exact. Our central city neighborhoods were built to house tens of thousands more people than they current do, so let’s get building!

Interested in learning more on this topic? Check out our in-depth blog post.

Our communities were once bustling. We support housing to bring life back to our neighborhoods.

Today, many urban neighborhoods are in desperate need of more neighbors, more retail, and more customers to support local business. The data are stark. Many census tracts on the Near East Side and Victorian Village have less than half the number of people living there today than in 1960.

TractArea1960 Population2021 Population# Loss% Loss
38Old Town East6,8312,3874,44465%
37Franklin Park8,3973,0285,36964%
20Victorian Village7,5263,3144,21256%
16Weinland Park3,9202,3321,58841%
52German Village5,7283,1502,57845%
22Italian Village3,8633,25760616%
47Central Hilltop7,5925,9201,67222%
85Grandview Heights5,4915,2592324%
5South Clintonville4,7124,3843287%
Data based on just one census tract, not the entire area within each neighborhood.

Housing reform is deeply interconnected to other policy areas

Learn more in our
Resources section!