Central Ohio Housing Production Struggles to Keep up With Demand

The region’s population growth is outstripping the pace of housing construction.

1 minute read

October 16, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Randall Vermillion / Shutterstock

Writing in The Columbus Dispatch, Jim Weiker wonders why the number of permits for new housing units in central Ohio is “well below where experts say construction needs to be.”

According to Erin Prosser, assistant director of housing strategies for the city of Columbus, “in 2010, central Ohio had 7% more homes than households. By 2020, following years of construction shortages and population growth, that number shrunk to 2%.” Yet only 8,033 permits for new homes were issued between January and August of this year. 

This amounts to roughly 12,000 new homes per year, but the region needs 14,000 to 19,000 to keep up with demand. “Communities typically want the income tax that comes with jobs and offices, but are less interested in housing, noted Jon Melchi, executive director of the Building Industry of Central Ohio trade association.”

However, the Columbus area is issuing many more permits than other cities in the region, which are facing their own acute housing shortages, and the city approved $200 million in new affordable housing bonds. “In addition, the city is looking to revamp its zoning code to encourage more housing, especially more apartments along busy corridors such as Main and Broad streets.”

Sunday, October 15, 2023 in The Columbus Dispatch

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