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Building on Recent Planning Success in Akron

Following the success of Planning to Grow Akron, spurring the development of thousands of housing units in the previously stagnant city, Planning to Grow Akron 2.0 will leverage federal stimulus funds to further stabilize the city's housing market.
May 13, 2021, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced a new housing strategy, called Planning to Grow Akron 2.0, this week, reports Doug Livingston.

"Planning to Grow Akron 2.0 — an update on the first version from 2017  — promises a lot: better housing code enforcement, stiffer fines for absentee landlords, smoother zoning and permitting processes, a landlord-tenant council, a comprehensive strategy for homelessness by 2022, and a ranking by condition of all 84,000 residential structures in the city."

"Central to the plan, though, is a commitment to revitalize housing in what post-industrial, Midwestern cities like Akron are calling 'middle neighborhoods,'" adds Livingston.

Mayor Horrigan is proposing an expenditure of $20 million, a portion of the $153 million awarded the city through the American Rescue Act, to go toward housing in the city.

According to the article, the Planning to Grow Akron 2.0 plan is the second major housing initiative proposed by Mayor Horrigan. The first Planning to Grow Akron plan "exempted property taxes for new residential construction anywhere in the city for 15 years. Developers have since pounced on these residential tax abatements, which couldn’t be more aggressively structured under Ohio law."

According to an analysis included in this week's updated housing strategy, the effect of the first Planning to Grow Akron plan has been tremendous: "Before Horrigan took office, Akron was averaging less than 20 new home permits a year. There are now 1,800 housing units being planned, under construction or completed."

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Published on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 in Akron Beacon Journal
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