September 10, 2019

Creating More Affordable Rental Homes in Rural Ohio

Yellow Springs Ohio Housing Volunteers

Yellow Springs Home, Inc. (YSH) is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening community and diversity in Yellow Springs and Miami Township in Ohio. YSH provides well-designed, safe permanently affordable and sustainable homes through their community land trust.  

Enterprise’s Rural and Native American Initiative awarded YSH a $35,000 grant to support staff capacity in furthering initiatives and policies to achieve comprehensive sustainability, inclusion, and affordability in their high opportunity community. We’re excited to share this update on how the funding has impacted the community YSH serves.

Struggling to Keep up in a High-Opportunity Area

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the Kirwan Institue for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University have developed an opportunity mapping tool that analyzes differences in access to opportunity. 

Some of the factors considered in measuring opportunity for the index include:

  • Public transit access and average commute time
  • Educational attainment and school performance
  • Entry-level job access and workforce training and development
  • Median rent, median home value and existing Low-Income Housing Tax Credit concentration
  • Food access and newborn health

According to this index, Yellow Springs is a high opportunity area. While this sounds positive, an abundance of amenities paired with a limited service area translates into an affordability crisis as housing prices outpace incomes. 

A Strategy to Support Vulnerable Populations

A place-based community stabilization strategy is needed to support priority populations identified in a recent municipal housing needs assessment. 

There’s a high need for more rental homes that are affordable for extremely low-, low-, and moderate-income renters, including seniors and those with special needs. The assessment also found a need for more single-family homes for low-to-moderate-income households. 

Create More Affordable Rental Homes in the Community

YSH responded to this need in Yellow Springs by completing their first multifamily community. Forest Village Homes serves special needs and senior households with low-incomes in energy-efficient rental homes.  Forest Village Homes consists of a two-bedroom duplex at 511 Dayton Street and four one-bedroom “garden cottages” at 540 Dayton Street. 

One home in each location is fully wheelchair-accessible, and remaining apartments are adaptable to renters with special needs. This is the first multifamily rental built in Yellow Springs in many years and will help fill a void in the Yellow Springs affordable housing market. 

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