Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) and Beacon

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Harriet’s Hope, a new $ 13 million affordable housing community slated for construction at 1567 W. Broad Street in the Franklinton neighborhood, has received a major boost financial that will help move the project forward from its current project phase to a possible revolutionary, the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (ACSM) announced today.

the Ohio Finance Housing Agency (OFHA) included Harriet’s Hope in its coveted 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) award this year. The federal government annually allocates a limited 9% of LIHTC authority to state housing finance agencies on a per capita basis, so the 9% LIHTC process is very competitive and winning an award is considered as a significant achievement that will help Harriet’s Hope. from vision to reality.

“This is a major victory that I would call a game changer – without this OFHA LIHTC award, this important and much needed project might not have come to fruition,” said CMHA President and CEO Charles D. Hillman.

“The LIHTC program plays a vital role in the production and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing in Ohio and the United States, as it is viewed as a highly effective and efficient method of leveraging private capital to build affordable housing. Hillman said.

Harriet’s Hope Development is a partnership between ACSM, Beacon 360 management, Financing fund and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH).

Originally, the idea of Celia Kendall, CEO of Beacon 360 Management, Harriet’s Hope will be the first of its kind for the Columbus community that will serve survivors of human trafficking. Kendall conceived the name as a tribute to Harriet Tubman, the slave-turned-abolitionist who saved dozens of slaves from slavery.

Human trafficking has “devastated” central Ohio with more than 9,000 contacts statewide with the National Anti-Human Trafficking Hotline over the past 12 years and 1,214 victims and survivors reported in 2019, Kendall said.

“We are delighted to have reached this crucial milestone in the development of the Harriet Hope Project,” said Kendall.

“There is an urgent need for diverse solutions that collaboratively address the human trafficking epidemic in central Ohio,” she added. “We envision Harriet’s Hope as a vessel to bring hope, restoration, rehabilitation and freedom to the most vulnerable residents of our community.

Tentatively inaugurated in 2022, the new construction building will feature a mix of one and two bedroom apartments, multi-purpose space, private meeting rooms, computer access, laundry access, and recreational / green space. Through a number of partnerships with local service providers, Harriet’s Hope will provide a rich range of programs to support every resident throughout the recovery journey.

Finance Fund demolished the previous building – formerly the site of a Knight’s Inn that later became a dilapidated Motel 6 hotel – on the West Broad Street property, then sold the land to ACSM where Harriet’s Hope will be located.

“Housing is essential to stability for any individual, and particularly essential for those who have overcome trauma. The support of LIHTC is an essential part of the development of Harriet’s Hope, which will be able to provide this necessary base for future residents, ”said Diana Turoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Fund.

National data shows that one person is trafficked every 30 seconds and over 80% of them are girls and women used as sex slaves. As a result of human trafficking, over $ 150 billion is generated worldwide each year, including over $ 50 billion in the United States.

Ohio ranks fourth in the United States for human trafficking and second for opioid overdose deaths, primarily due to the major highways that connect Buckeye State to Canada to New York, in Michigan and other places.

While it is difficult to track accurate statistics on victims of trafficking due to the underground nature of the crime, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s The office identified a total of 305 potential victims of sex trafficking in the state in 2019, including 96 victims aged 18 or younger.

Survivors of trafficking need a wide range of services and the lack of affordable housing is seen as the top need, ACSM officials note. Studies show that housing is the main obstacle for survivors of human trafficking to escape a life of trafficking. Nationally, there is a shortage of permanent supportive housing dedicated to victims of trafficking.

CMHA and its partners seek to tackle the multifaceted issues facing survivors of human trafficking in Columbus through Harriet’s Hope.

“Harriet’s Hope will create homes that promote healing, instill confidence and inspire independence,” said Scott Scharlach, Chief Operating Officer, CMHA. “As a housing provider, we see Harriet’s Hope as a community response to the lack of coordinated housing and social services for this underserved population.

Officials say ACSM, Beacon, Future Fund, OCCH and the Harriet’s Hope team are committed to incorporating the voices of survivors into the building’s design and the support services that will be provided on site. Survivors have met with architects and engineers on the project at least three times so far to discuss the layout of the building.

According to Scharlach, the most important concerns for survivors include building security (internal and external), space for private and semi-private meetings, community space for all residents to hold programs, access to the computer and the leisure area. Recommendations from potential future residents shape the design of the property and they will continue to be consulted throughout the process, added Scharlach.

“OCCH will mobilize private capital for the construction and preservation of the affordable housing community of Harriet’s Hope.

“With this LIHTC award, OCCH looks forward to partnering with the Harriet’s Hope team to provide a high quality, dignified home and comprehensive on-site support services, specially designed for survivors of human trafficking.” , said Catherine Cawthon, President and CEO of OCCH.

The LIHTC program was created in 1986 and made permanent by Congress in 1993. The purpose of the indirect federal grant is to help fund the construction and rehabilitation of affordable, low-income rental housing, officials said. ACSM.

Congress presented the LIHTC program as an incentive for private developers and investors to provide more low-cost housing. The LIHTC incentive offers investors a dollar-for-dollar reduction in their federal tax liability in exchange for funding to develop affordable rental housing. The equity contribution from investors subsidizes the development of low-rental housing, allowing some units to rent at lower than market rates. In return, investors receive tax credits paid in annual grants, generally over 10 years.

Funded projects must meet eligibility criteria for at least 30 years after project completion, according to Novogradac, a national professional services organization that works extensively in the areas of affordable housing, community development, historic preservation, areas of opportunity and renewable energies. The requirements ensure that landlords must keep rent-restricted units available to low-income tenants. At the end of the period, the properties remain under the control of the owner, reports Novogradac.

Founded in 1934, ACSM has more than doubled its affordable housing portfolio over the past five years, including a record investment of over $ 200 million in 2020 that the authority used to acquire or build 1,000 units, the highest agency totals. the story. CMHA has consistently been named a Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) High Performing Program for the past 11 years by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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About ACSM: CMHA helps people access affordable housing through collaborative partnerships, promote neighborhood revitalization, and help residents access the social services they need. CMHA has more than doubled its housing portfolio over the past five years, including over $ 200 million in investment in 2020. We own over 4,000 affordable housing units and, through our voucher programs With housing choice and project-based rental assistance, we provide rent assistance to more than 250,000 residents of Ohio and Washington DC. Half of the government apartments are reserved as labor housing for families earning 80% of the region’s median income.


        

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